Clogged Drains 101
When you’re a homeowner, drain clogs are inevitable, especially when you live in a house with toddlers or children, or you have a large family.
Before you call the plumber to handle a clogged drain, there are some things that you can do to try and remove the blockage on your own.
If you have a clogged toilet, the trusty plunger is your first line of defense. Plungers do more than just unclog toilets, they can be used to unclog bathtubs and showers as well, but just be sure that you fill the base of the shower or tub with at least one inch of water, this way there is a seal before you begin plunging.
If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, try a drain auger, also known as a “snake.” This is a flexible cable that is pushed into a drain to manually break apart the clog. Augers don’t harm your pipes, but they can scratch porcelain, so insert them carefully.
The thing about toilets is people often flush things that they’re not supposed to, such as baby wipes, paper towels, and even small toy cars or action figures. All of these things can cause the toilet to back up, especially in older homes with tree roots in the main sewer lines.
If you live in an area with large, mature trees, one of our Kansas City plumbers can trim the roots inside the pipe to prevent future clogging.
We don’t recommend that homeowners immediately drive to the store and purchase an acid-based drain cleaner. These should only be a last defense, especially if you live in an older home with copper or cast iron piping.
Kitchen drain clogs are usually the result of grease, food, and abused garbage disposals. The key to using a garbage disposal correctly is to always run plenty of cold water while you’re running the unit. While hot water may seem like it would be better, it’s not. It can cause food particles to melt and clog the unit.
Bathroom sink and shower clogs are usually the result of hair and gunk buildup (from soap scum). One way to keep these drains clear is to run hot water through them on a weekly basis.
If you have a stubborn clog, or if your drains keep clogging, it may be time to call in a professional plumber to clean your drains.
At A-1 Sewer & Septic Services Inc., we use high-pressured water jets to remove blockages and debris from an isolated drain or the entire drainage system. As one of the most powerful drains cleaning methods, your drains will be back in working order in no time!