3 Things You Shouldn’t Dump Down Your Drain

Many plumbing problems could be avoided through simply choosing not to allow certain items to go down your drain. It may convenient to dispose of almost any liquid or food item down your drains, but it may not be the best option. Just because something can go down your drain does not necessarily mean it should. In the long run, it can cost you more in time and money if you dump these three things down your drain.

Grease

It may be easy to rinse those greasy pans out with hot water and watch the fat go down your kitchen sink drain, but it can be a big mistake. Shortening, butter and animal fats congeal when they become colder, often sticking to the inside of your pipes. This fatty substance grabs onto debris and can eventually cause a stubborn clog in your drain.

Chemicals

You should be careful of the chemicals you put down your drain. While some household cleaners are perfectly safe, chemicals like turpentine, paint, solvent-based cleaners and automobile fluids should not be allowed to go down the drain. They can be harmful to the environment and may damage your plumbing or septic system.

Foods

You may have a garbage disposal, but that does not mean all food should go down the drain. Even chopped up, hard produce peels, potatoes, egg shells and coffee grounds can all produce nasty clogs in your drain. Some starches like potatoes like create a glue-like substance that grabs ahold of other debris and makes a solid, stubborn clog in your plumbing.

Avoiding putting these three things down the drain can protect your plumbing. However, if you do get a clog, call your local plumber to help you clear your drain the right way.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Four Common Items That Cause Drain Clogs

What goes in, must come out, can be a key phrase to many things in life, including your drain plumbing. That is why you need to be careful what goes in your drain, because it many not make it out so easily! Here are four regularly disposed of items that should NOT go down your drains:

  1. Grease. Grease may slide down your drain quite well, especially when it’s warm. The problem is that it can cool quickly and make a mess in your pipes, making it much easier for clogs to begin.
  2. If you have anyone with long hair in your home, you may know about hair clogs. Sure hair can make it down the drain, but it won’t get too far before catching on something. Then it will accumulate quickly, as will your draining problems.
  3. It may be tempting just to scrape those last little crumbs from dinner down your sink drain, but you will soon find out that it is a big no-no. Food can get caught in your drains, cause a clog, or start to rot. That would stink!
  4. Cotton. Many people believe that if they use it in the bathroom and its a cotton disposable, it can be flushed. Not much is meant to fit down your toilet drain. Most packaging will let you know whether or not something can be flushed.

Have you made the mistake of flushing one of these common items down your drain? Don’t be embarrassed! We all learn from our mistakes. In the meantime, you can rely on a professional plumber to get your drains and plumbing clog free, so that you can be worry free.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Leaky Sinks Can Lead to Bigger Problems

We’ve all dealt with a leaky sink at one point or another. Either the faucet gasket stops working, or a small drip appears under the sink. It may not seem like a major concern, yet if left unfixed, it could lead to bigger and more expensive problems. If you have a leaking sink, consider the possible damage that can result from procrastinating about repairs.

Damage Caused by Leaky Sinks

The most common leak problem in sinks is often a dripping faucet. While this may be annoying and waste water, it rarely causes any other problems. The dripping water just goes down the sink and is drained safely away from other areas of your kitchen or bathroom. It’s when the leak is located around the base of the faucet or under the sink that real damage can occur. This excess water can cause extensive damage, including:

  • Water damaged vanity or counter. The dripping or leaking water can destroy wood or particle board, which is commonly used in vanities or counters, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
  • Water damaged floors, walls or ceilings. A dripping pipe under your sink could cause water to pool on your flooring, ruining the subfloor, the attached walls and even the ceiling below if in a second story room.
  • Mold damage. Even a small amount of water can attract mold growth. Mold can be hazardous to your family’s health, plus cause damage to the surfaces upon which it grows.

If you have a leaky sink, don’t wait to have it repaired. Your local plumber can quickly get the issue resolved, saving you from larger problems in the future.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Preventing Bathroom Plumbing Problems

Bathrooms are one of the most common areas for plumbing problems, especially clogged drains. You may be taking a shower one day and notice that your shower is quickly becoming a bath as the water collects in your tub. You may notice after brushing your teeth that the water in your sink is still slowly draining several minutes later. Even worse, a toilet may suddenly overflow. Although some plumbing problems cannot be helped, there are ways to prevent many of these bathroom clog issues.

  • Use drain covers. In bathrooms, the biggest culprit clogging drains is hair. In both the shower and sink, make sure to use a drain cover to collect as much hair as possible before it goes down the drain. Make sure to physically remove collected hair and throw it away.
  • Don’t flush plastic. Anyone on a septic system should know not to flush anything plastic or non-biodegradable down the toilet. This should also be adhered to in homes on city sewer systems. Wrappers, feminine hygiene components and other items can quickly clog a toilet, causing it to back-up.
  • Avoid chemical de-clogging products. As tempting as it is to use chemical clog removers, avoid these products. Instead, use a plunger or other clog removing devices. These chemicals rarely remove the entire clog and can be harmful to your plumbing, possibly causing bigger problems down the road.

Of course, there are some other plumbing issues which will occur, such as a leaky faucet, toilet or shower. Your local plumber can help get these issues resolved quickly and will also be there to remove tough clogs that just will not budge.

Posted on behalf of Metro Septic and Plumbing

Reoccurring Slow Drains

Once again, your kitchen or bathroom sink is draining slowly. You have tried to use a plunger or snake to clear the drain, maybe with some success. However, after a few weeks or months, the same old problem is back again. There are a few things which may be happening down in your pipes that need altering to get that clogged drain clear for good.

What Is The Problem?

In most reoccurring slow drains, there is a good reason that it keeps becoming clogged. Either you did not completely clear the clog in your previous attempts, or there are new clogs being formed each time. If these are new clogs each time, it is probably due to something you or one of your family members are putting down the drain.

  • Kitchen sinks. The most common issue in kitchen sink clogs is grease and food particles. Make sure your family members aren’t putting any oil, fat or grease down the drain of your sink. Clean out pans and dishes before rinsing, wiping them out with a paper towel, rather than washing fats and oils down the drain.
  • Bathroom drains. Hair and soap are the common drain cloggers in bathroom drains. Make sure you have a drain cover on your sink and shower, removing any collected hair or soap particles after each use.

While these preventative measures can stop clogs from forming, they’re not effective in addressing existing issues. The best solution may be a professional drain cleaning to remove any residual clogs. While your attempts to remove the clog may have been partially effective, there may be residue on the lining of the pipes still remaining. This residue can collect any debris which comes down the pipe, resulting in another clog. Your local plumber has professional equipment capable of clearing your pipes to get those clogs which are causing your slow drains gone for good.

Posted on behalf of Shawn Bynum, Bynum Plumbing

Google

Is Your Dishwasher Leaving Your Dishes Dirty?

If your dishes are coming out of your dishwasher with film or scum on them instead of sparkling clean, it may be time to check your dishwasher’s interior for problems. Even dishwashers can become dirty, or get clogged, due to accumulation of grease and food debris. Periodically performing routine maintenance on this appliance can help improve the cleaning performance, plus help reduce any foul odors from old food trapped in the washer.

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

To clean your dishwasher, start by getting a container of warm water with detergent, such as dish soap or all-purpose cleaner. Use a soft brush to clean the gaskets and rubber seals around the door, as well as the top and bottom racks. After scrubbing the ceiling of the dishwasher, pull out the bottom rack and scrub down the bottom, walls and around the drain. Check to make sure nothing is clogged in the drain; remove any debris which is stuck around the drain.

Once the entire inside has been scrubbed down with soapy water, fill a coffee cup or small glass with white vinegar. Run the dishwasher with only the vinegar cup inside for a full wash. The vinegar will help rinse any leftover residue and eliminate bad odors. You can also reduce odors by sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher between cleanings and running the rinse cycle.

If after cleaning your dishwasher your dishes are still not coming out clean, you may have a partially clogged drain, or problems within the dishwasher’s mechanisms. To explore the problem further, call your local plumber to inspect both the drain and your washer for other possible problems.

Posted on behalf of Metro Septic and Plumbing

Tips For Maintaining Your Kitchen Plumbing

One of the most common places for plumbing problems is in the kitchen. While bathrooms are also a common source of plumbing issues, kitchens have their own unique problems. Most kitchens have a sink, dishwasher and even refrigerators which all need a water supply and drain, each of which can cause problems if not maintained correctly. By following these simple maintenance tips, you can reduce the chance of plumbing problems in your kitchen.

  • Prevent clogged drains. Food waste is often the culprit of a clogged drain. Oil and grease are one of the main offenders; pour out oil and grease from pans and then wipe them with a paper towel before rinsing in the sink or putting in the dishwasher. Keep fibrous items like produce peels out of the garbage disposal, and avoid other hard items such as coffee grounds and egg shells. For dishwasher drains, make sure all food is scraped off into the garbage then dishes are rinsed before putting them into the dishwasher.
  • Help your garbage disposal. Run water down the drain for 15 seconds before and after you use the garbage disposal. To keep away bad odors, pour a small amount of dish soap in while running the disposal. Never reach your hand into a garbage disposal; call a plumber if there is a problem!
  • Clean your ice maker. Your ice maker water dispenser and drain can get clogged with mildew and mold, which is unhealthy for your family and damaging to the refrigerator. Follow your refrigerator’s scheduled maintenance recommendations for cleaning.
  • Watch for sink leaks. Your kitchen sink has many connections which can become worn and need of replacement. At the first sign of leaks on your faucets, aerator or pipes, make sure to call your plumber to have them repaired before water damage occurs.

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing 

Keeping Drains Healthy

Slow moving drains are almost always an inconvenience, but they can also be an indicator of a fairly serious plumbing issue. More commonly, however, clogged drains are a common household problem caused largely by misuse and a lack of maintenance. Preventing clogs and pipe obstructions isn’t always possible, as some situations can arise despite your best efforts, but there are some things you can do to keep your drains healthy and in peak operating condition.

Bathroom Drains

Sinks, showers and bathtub drains can become clogged with a variety of substances, but the most common culprits are hair and soap build-up. To prevent clogs in tub and shower drains, consider the use of a simple screen which is designed to trap hair before it flows down the drain. These products will act as a physical barrier, which you can then clean out to prevent shower and tub drain clogs.

Kitchen Drains

Cooking grease, coffee grounds and food waste are notorious sources of slow-moving drains and clogs in kitchen sinks. Avoid pouring anything oily, especially cooking greases and fats which will solidify, down the drain of your kitchen sink. Use drain grates to prevent food waste and scraps from falling into the drain, and never wash coffee grounds down the sink.

There are times when, despite your efforts to prevent clogs, drains may run slowly or become obstructed. While there are commercially-available products on the market designed to combat these clogs, it’s wise to think twice about using them to remove clogs. The primary ingredient in many of these products is lye or another corrosive chemical, which can wreak havoc with the structural integrity of your pipes. When you’re confronted with a clog, contact a licensed, professional plumber in your area to make an appointment for safe and appropriate treatment of the problem.

Posted on behalf of Shawn Bynum, Bynum Plumbing

Google

Drain Clog: When to Call a Plumber?

Nothing can be more frustrating than a clogged drain, whether it’s in the kitchen sink or bathroom toilet. Of course, this always happens at the most inconvenient time. How do you know when your clog requires the expertise of a plumber? If only a single fixture is clogged and the rest of your drains seem to be draining well, then the clog is close to the clogged fixture and you may be able to unclog it yourself.   Avoid caustic drain cleaners – these can damage your pipes, cause chemical burns, and if the clog does not respond, you will be left with a sink or toilet full of caustic chemicals.   Some clogs will quickly loosen with the use of a plunger or a household drain snake. If all of your efforts fail to unstop the clog, call a plumber.

If more than one fixture in your home is clogged, you may be experiencing a main sewer line clog. The main sewer line is the line through which all of your plumbing exits your home, either to the city’s municipal sewer system or your private septic system. If you are seeing dirty water backing up from more than one fixture at the same time, this is a clear indication of a main line clog. For instance, when the water drains out of your washing machine, it may back up into a sink or toilet. In the lowest level of your home, a floor drain may back up when an interior toilet is flushed.

If these types of “system-wide” backups are occurring, you should call a reputable local plumber to have the problem repaired.  Your plumber will be equipped with commercial grade sewer snakes, high pressure hydro-jetting equipment, and other professional drain cleaning equipment.  They can clear the clog without damaging your system and may also be able to advise you on how to prevent future problems.

Is PVC Pipe Better Than Cast Iron Pipe?

One of the most common questions many people have when building a new home, building an addition or remodeling is if they should use PVC or cast iron pipe for their drain lines.  The answer depends upon many things, as each pipe type has both advantages, as well as disadvantages.  In addition, budget also pays a role in the decision.

In general, PVC drain lines are more economical and because of the materials used, grease and other buildups within the pipe are generally eliminated.  However, PVC wastewater drain systems are typically “noisier” than cast iron systems, meaning that the residents of the home will hear water running in the pipes when toilets are flushed and water is drained from tubs or sinks.  This is particularly true when on the first floor of two story home.  The drawbacks to cast iron drain lines is the potential for grease and other buildup in the pipe over time.  While more expensive, it is significantly “quieter” than PVC pipe.  In general, it is used in higher end residential applications, as well as in many condominium projects, where the reduction of “noise” is critical.

In many cases, the two products can be used together to provide an economical alternative, as well as a “quiet” plumbing solution.  The best mix is to use PVC under the slab and then transition to cast iron on the main vertical drain as well as the horizontal branch drains to the fixtures.   PVC is then used again on the vents.

A qualified plumbing contractor will be able to recommend the best solution for your project, as well as your budget.  Talk to your plumbing contractor about cast iron and PVC and see what they think!