Drain ArmageddonBy Winters Home Services
Before I tell you how to overcome your own, personal drain Armageddon, I think it wise to introduce myself. My name is CJ the plumber, and it is a pleasure to meet all of you. I realize as I write this your sentiments may not be reciprocated, as, after all, you are reading a blog titled Drain Armageddon—I assume you are in the middle of a plumbing predicament. If you are currently fighting a brutal battle with your drains, I can almost assure you this will be your last. With my help, you will learn how to avoid future clog catastrophes, sense when you are heading into drain disaster territory, and know when it’s time to let a professional fight the battle for you.
I will assist you in overcoming your current drain debacle and teach you how to prevent future drain damage. So, step up to your sink, and let your senses guide you. If you see, hear, or smell one of the following—you will need to contact a professional plumber immediately.
Signs Your Drains Are Out To Get You
If you are showering and find yourself standing in a pool of wastewater, if you are washing your dishes in an overflowing sink, or if you go to brush your teeth at night and the sink is still draining from your morning brush—it’s safe to say your drain is officially clogged. When a clog is responsible for slow drainage, the blockage is in the fixture itself. Grabbing your plunger won’t do any good here.
When a drain has a mass in the fixture, you need a professional plumber to retrieve the clog. It is imperative you resolve your clog ASAP, as persistent clogs can cause detrimental damage to your draining system. Contact me and my friends, here at Winters® Home Services. We can catch any clog.
You do not want to be the person with a home that has, and I will put this nicely, a unique smell to it. Strange stenches result from waste-build up within your drain pipes, and the bigger the clog, the more severe the smell. Do not let your drains compromise the integrity of your home.
In addition, waste-build up can increase water pressure and cause cracks, damaging your pipes beyond repair. A broken pipe may also lead to water damage, which I can assure you, is no walk in the park. Prevent irreparable damage by phoning a friend, a.k.a., me, CJ the plumber, for professional drain cleaning.
You should not be able to hear your drain. If you do, your drains are trying to communicate with you that there is a problem. When you hear your drain, you are actually listening to water go head-to-head with a clog. The gurgling you hear is your wastewater breaking through air pockets in your pipes. Once your clog is removed, the noise will disappear, and you can go back to watching The Bachelor at a normal volume, as you will no longer have to cover up any unwanted sounds.
Now that you know how to detect diabolical drains, I want to give you tips on how to prevent their return.
Drain Don’ts in the Kitchen
With a name like “garbage disposal”, it’s not crazy to think you can throw trash down your sink; however, don’t. Misusing your garbage disposal will result in a flooded sink, full of wastewater. When you place incompatible foods down your drain, obstructions can form, blades can break, and piping can crack. So, here is a list of foods to keep out of your garbage disposal:
When coffee grounds get wet, they clump together—forming dense balls. As pipes carry water, the same happens when coffee grounds find their way into your plumbing.
The shell is not the issue here; however, the thin membrane that lives beneath the shell is. As it is extremely thin, this membrane remains intact as it passes your garbage disposal. Once in your plumbing system, the thin membrane acts as a little bag, catching food particles coming down your drain and forming clogs.
If you don't know how peanut butter is made, you are about to. When nuts are chopped and spun, they turn into a thick, sticky paste. Your garbage disposal both chops and spins. Hence, when you throw nuts down your disposal you are creating a peanut-butter-like substance that will coat your pipes and make them extremely susceptible to blockages.
Fruit or vegetable pits
Was the fruit pit you threw into your disposal from afar, as you yelled “Kobe”, soft enough to be sliced with a dull knife? No? Then, aim for the trash next time. Fruit and vegetable pits will break the blades of your disposal. Once broken, the only choice is a replacement; so, it’s best to keep your basketball training outside of the kitchen.
Grease and oil
When grease and oil make its way into your plumbing system, it coats your pipes and grabs anything that passes through, forming masses that cause backups.
Fish, Chicken, and Meat bones
Fish, Chicken, and Meat bones are extremely detrimental to your disposal's blades and motor. They can cause a complete breakdown, and your garbage disposal system will need to be replaced.
When mixed with water, starches expand. Just think about cooking rice, you put a little in the pot and it nearly doubles after cooking and soaking in water. The same thing happens when starches go down your sink—they swell until your plumbing is blocked entirely.
Drain Don’ts in the Bathroom
The issues you encounter with your bathroom sink and shower will greatly differ from the potential problems you may have with your toilet; but don’t worry, I got you covered on both ends.
Bathroom Drain Difficulties
If you are experiencing pooling water by your feet when showering, or if your sink fills up when you go to wash your hands, you’ll want to contact a professional plumber, here at Winters® Home Services, for drain repair. You likely have a clogged pipe.
The best way to keep your sink and shower from bad backups and catastrophic clogs is with routine drain cleaning. Additionally, keep the following items out of your bathroom drains:
Hair, hair, hair. Long or short, curly or straight—hair is your drains' worst nightmare. When hair makes its way down your bathroom drains, it forms into dense clumps that obstruct your piping. So, it’s time to stop brushing your hair over the sink, and when you are in the shower. Now, I recognize that you can’t prevent all hair from going down your sink, but changing this one bad habit can make drastic differences in drain function.
This is a big no-no. Not only do contacts cause massive clogs, but they are bad for the environment. Your contact lenses are plastic, and when they go down your drain they end up in the food supply.
Hair product has a ton of chemicals and grease that corrodes plumbing. Keep your de-frizzing solution out of your bathroom sink.
Instead of rinsing your band-aid down your bathroom drain, throw it in the trash when it falls off instead. When left in your piping it has the potential to cause major backflow.
“I love dealing with a clogged toilet”, said no one, ever. Toilets are not designed to break down substances apart from an appropriate amount of toilet-paper and waste; so, keep these common toilet clogging culprits out of your toilet bowl:
Baby Wipes and Feminine Products
These do not breakdown like toilet paper. Let me repeat, baby wipes do not breakdown as toilet paper does. When flushed down your toilet, baby wipes clump together instead of separating into pieces.
I know, you are thinking “foreign objects?”. Believe it or not, kids oftentimes throw toys and other objects into the toilet as a game—a disappearing act of sorts. So, if you have young kids, keep an eye out during playtime, or install a toilet clasp, which will child-proof your toilet.
The Benefits of Maintaining Peace Between You and Your Drains
When your drains and pipes are left with unresolved damages, their issues grow in an exponential fashion. Drain disasters are avoidable with routine drain cleaning and maintenance.
Who likes utility bills? Any takers? No? I didn’t think so. When your pipes are clogged, you are actually paying more in utility costs than you would if they were clean. Your water supply dwindles when your pipes are dirty, causing your water use to spike way up. Clean pipes equal happy lives.
That’s all for today, folks! I hope my tips help you keep your drains at bay.
Thanks for reading!
-CJ the Plumber
From now on, win every drain debacle. If you have a current drain disaster, contact Winters® Home Services, at (617) 977-3101, for your drain repair or plumbing replacement.