Clogged drains are one of the joys of indoor plumbing and can be nasty to deal with. If you experience a clogged drain in your home or business, here are some troubleshooting tips that may help. As always, Plumbing 911 is, “There When You Need Us.” Many drains can be pesky, but we can help.
Bathroom sink and shower drains can be easily clogged by a number of items including dirt, makeup and hair binding to the soap scum lining the drain, skin flakes, and the like.
Troubleshooting: Before making any drastic decisions, start by removing the drain stopper. Once removed, remove any debris from it and make sure it’s clean. If this does not fix the issue, use a drain plunger on the drain but be sure to cover the overflow drain when doing so or if you are feeling even braver, try removing the elbow joint of the drain and see if you can remove the clog in this area. Most serious clogs are past the elbow joint, so we will be there when you need us.
Toilets get clogged when items that aren’t supposed to be flushed, are flushed. Some items we commonly see flushed that aren’t supposed to be include feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, pre-moistened baby wipes, and dental floss. Because these items not organic products, they are un-dissolvable and will not break apart in the water. Our first recommendation is to make sure you are only flushing down things that should be flushed. Also, beware of heavy leftover stews or foods. While it may seem a good idea to flush unwanted leftover foods, this generally isn’t a great idea and has caused many clogs and toilet issues. Best rule of thumb: Only flush waste and paper that are dissolvable in water.
Troubleshooting: The first line of defense with a clogged toilet should always be to use a toilet plunger. This will help shoot water down the drain and pushing the clogged item through the pipes. In the case that this does not solve the problem, we will be happy to send a plumber your way to get this toilet up and working for your home in no time.
Kitchen Sink Clogs
Kitchen sinks can clog when grease or oil from cooking are poured down the sink, which sticks to the walls of the drain pipes. Overtime, the grease and oil will build up causing food and soap to get stuck to it as they flow down the drain, blocking off the entirety of the drain. This could be also grease that isn’t directly poured, but left from as little residue on pots and pans that with time, collects to the pipes and creates clogs.
Troubleshooting: You’re going to want to tackle a kitchen sink clog in a similar manner you would a bathroom sink clog. To start, run hot water down the drain with a dollop of dish soap to help soften the clog. This will help unclogging the drain with a plunger or drain snake much, much easier.
To avoid kitchen sink clogs, avoid pouring grease and oil from cooking down the drain. The best way to dispose of them is by allowing them to harden in a container and throwing them away in the trash. Our favorite way to do this is storing them in an old jar under the sink until full! Another favorite tip, is to use aluminum foil and sculpt a bowl, then pour the grease into it. Let the grease harden overnight and then feel free to throw out the foil with grease the next day.