Bathtubs are a common source of drainage issues. Blocks are primarily caused by hair making its way down the drain. Sometimes they become so blocked it takes several hours to drain the tub! There are simple solutions to prevent and remedy this issue. The installation of a strainer that situates itself on top of the drain, collecting any debris (hair) from getting tangled in the drain, can be easily wiped clean at the end of a bath or shower. You can even find these at some dollar stores! If you find your bathtub has become the victim of too many runaway hairs then you can purchase a tool at most hardware stores that is a long flexible plastic stick with teeth down two sides that can be inserted in the bathtub drain and that retrieves any hair tangled in in the pipe. This tool will not go beyond the p-trap but is a successful tool to clear hair and other debris at close proximity to the drain inlet. For clogs further down the line you will need to call a plumber with a snake machine.
Kitchen sink clogs are another source of frustration and grief as they are used constantly throughout the day. When the kitchen sink becomes clogged, it’s not the only fixture that becomes useless as the dishwasher also must go on standby because it utilizes the same drain. No one wants to rinse their salad or wash their dishes in the bathroom so it’s best to prevent this from ever happening. Minimizing the amount of food being disposed down the drain is the best option; toss excess food either in the waste bin or compost. This is especially true for certain foods that might stick to the walls of the pipe for example, coffee grinds and egg shells are frequent culprits. Although those grounds look harmless enough they can collect and cause major issues. We have all done it but excess grease and fat should be prevented from being sent down the drain at all costs. Over time grease can build up and harden causing a blockage! Wipe pans out with some paper towels or pour grease into a dish to be discarded. Often if you put it aside to cool and becomes a solid again and can easily be scooped into the trash. In commercial settings a grease interceptor is installed to collect oil, grease and other food debris before going into the main drainage system. Again for existing clogs a snake machine will be useful to help break up debris, push things through and pull out large pieces.
Every building has a main drain that is responsible for conveying waste out of the building and towards the municipal sewer system. Main drain back-ups are hands down, the worst clog in any residential or commercial building. When these get clogged every sink, toilet, bathtub, and shower are out of order as the waste water has nowhere to go. This can wreak havoc on the family or work place. Additionally, there is damage caused by sewage water coming out of the floor drains and toilets in the basement! This can make for costly and ugly repairs. Main drain backups can be prevented though! First and foremost, nothing other than liquids and toilet paper should be flushed down a toilet! Too many times people will flush paper towels, sanitary wipes or paper napkins down the toilet causing unnecessary and preventable clogs. Another unforeseen back-up arising from the city can also cause a sewer back-up. This can be avoided by installing a back water valve. This device will close when there is a rise of water coming from the opposite direction. This device can be installed in any home and can save you lots of frustration and money from unsuspected drain back-ups. These devices need regular maintenance, cleaning and inspection to make sure they are working properly.
I do not recommend the use of harsh chemicals being poured down a drain to clear blockages. These are harmful to the environment and can do damage to you piping system. It’s best to physically clear your drains with the proper equipment.
If you have any questions or concerns about your drains or find yourself in an emergency plumbing situation, please give TRUE PLUMBING a call (519-998-0930). It’s better to tend to clogs while there is still some flow, although greatly reduced. The longer this is delayed you risk finding yourself in an emergency situation.