Prevent Clogged Drains With These Simple Tips
Unclogging a drain can be extremely expensive, especially if the drain clog occurs deep down in the plumbing where snakes and hydrojetters can't get through it. The following are the top five reasons drains clog and what to do to prevent clogged drains.
1. Someone's Been Putting the Wrong Stuff Down the Drain
Bacon grease. Egg shells. Chicken skin. Vegetable peelings. All of these things stick to the inside of your garbage disposal and line your pipes, building up like plaque on the inside of arteries. Eventually the plaque becomes so thick that your pipe clogs completely, often deep down the line where you can't get at it.
You might be tempted to pour chemical drain cleaner down the pipe, but it only burns through a little of the clog, creating a tiny hole that opens the drain for a short while. Soon the pipe is clogged again — this time worse.
You pour chemical drain cleaner down it again, and this time it doesn't get through the clog. You try plunging it, and chemical cleaner splashes all over you. Bad idea, you realize, and you try snaking the pipe, only to discover the clog is too far away for you to reach it, and you have to call a plumber.
Teach your family what can and cannot go down the drain (click here for a list) and what to do to keep your garbage disposal and drains clear without using dangerous chemicals (click here to learn how to clean your garbage disposal).
2. Someone's Been Flushing Things That Should Have Gone in the Trash
A lot of people think it's okay to use the toilet as a trash can. To be safe, only flush human waste and toilet paper (click here for a detailed list of what not to flush).
3. Tree Roots Have Forced Their Way Into a Pipe
You probably never imagined this would be the case, but we see tree root invasions of sewage lines and pipes all the time. Why? Because trees in Charlotte are desperate for water. If a sewage pipe or water main pipe cracks even the tiniest bit, tree roots sense and seek out the water. The roots then force their way into the pipe through the itsy bitsy crack, widening that crack and growing into the pipe. We've extracted tree roots the size of a man's leg from big pipelines before. See our picture below!
How do those cracks get started in the first place? Sometimes they happen when heavy equipment rolls across the lawn during construction or infrastructure repairs or lawn care. Sometimes a natural sink hole can cause a pipe to develop a hairline crack. Whatever the cause, that miniscule crack can turn into a large break and a pipe full of tree roots.
4. No Preventative Measures Were Taken
If you ignore your drains, eventually stuff will accumulate inside the pipes, forming a clog at some point in time. Take preventative measures and do the following:
- Use a plastic 99-cent Zip It to fish out hair and gunk from all the drains in your house one every month or two.
- Pour an environmentally safe, proactive drain cleaner such as BioOne down your drains once a month. The bacteria in BioOne will eat away the plaque lining your pipes, preventing a drain clog.
5. Corrosion or Damage Occurred
If your pipes are old, they may corrode or collect sediment inside them. If you've tried to snake your drains or have used a power auger or hydrojetter improperly, you may have damaged the inside of your pipes or jammed stuff that was lining the insides of your pipes, causing a clog deep down in the plumbing.
Already have a clogged drain? Click here to learn how to safely try to unclog it yourself.
Charlotte Drain Cleaning Experts
Looking for a Gastonia plumber? A Concord plumber? An Indian Trail plumber?
E.R. Services serves a 30-mile radius of Charlotte, NC. Just call 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form to get Charlotte plumbing service 24/7, 365 days a year. We'll help you determine if you need help from a plumber or if you can handle that clogged drain yourself.
Quick question & answer: Why do drains clog?
Drains can clog because someone may have been putting the wrong stuff down the drain. Someone may have been flushing things that should have gone in the trash. Tree roots could have forced their way into a pipe. No preventative measures may have been previously taken. Lastly, corrosion or damage likely occurred.