When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

Clogged drains are a normal occurrence in most homes. In the bathroom, the sink, shower and tub drains are commonly clogged with a combination of hair and soap residue that can slowly plug up the drain pipe. In the kitchen, food is the culprit, especially fats and grease that cling inside the pipe and trapped large food particles to fill the drain line. Many of these clogs can be removed or cleaned without professional help, but when should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?

Reoccurring Clogs

Are you constantly removing a clog, just to have it reappear in a week or two down the road? You may be only removing the top of the clog and leaving the majority of the problem in the pipe. Try using a snake or auger to clear out the entire clog. If it still comes back, call in a plumber to clear out your drain for good.

Multiple Slow Drains

If you have several drains that are slow, it is most likely a major pipe that is clogged, even a sewer pipe. This is not something you can usually fix with a plunger or auger. You may have a broken sewer line, or a sewer pipe that is clogged under the ground outside your home. A plumber with sewer line experience should be called to find and fix the problem

Foul Odors

Is there a foul odor coming out of your clogged drains? There could be some sort of sewer backup occurring. Whether you are on a city sewer or septic system, you should have a plumber come inspect your pipes and get to the root of the issue.

Most clogs can be removed with a handy plunger and a little elbow grease. However, for those bigger clogged drain problems, call in a plumber for professional assistance.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Three Strange Sink Sounds Which May Be Signs of Trouble

Normally, your sink is a relatively quiet fixture. Except for the whooshing sound of water going down the drain and the occasionally hum of the garbage disposal, it mostly remains silent. However, if your sink does start speaking up, it’s usually is a sign something’s amiss. Here are three strange sinks sounds that should get your attention:

Gurgling Sounds While Draining

A gurgling sink usually means there’s air trapped in your pipes. The cause can be debris from your garbage disposal which has created a clog that’s trapping air behind the blockage, or you may just need a vent added to your pipes. Either way, a gurgling sound is a good reason to call a plumber.

Whining Faucet

If your sink’s faucet makes a whining noise when it is turned on, there are a few different reasons for this noise. It may be something as simple as a loose washer or air in the pipes. It could also be a problem with the valves located under your sink.

Clinking or Thumping

A clinking noise when you turn on the water in your sink can be an easy fix. Most of the time, a loose washer which can easily be tightened or replaced is the culprit. However, if this isn’t the issue, it’s best to call a plumber to inspect your faucet and pipes.

If your sink is talking to you with any of these or other sounds, listen to what it’s saying and call your local plumber. Most issues can be quickly and inexpensively remedied, provided they’re caught before they become major problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA
(703) 435-4441

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

Preventing Bathroom Drain Clogs

Bathroom drains seem to be the most prone to clogs, from the toilet to the shower. Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in any house, which means that plumbing fixtures get their fair share of use, too. While some clogged drains cannot be prevented, there are ways to reduce the chance of encountering a clogged drain in your bathroom.

Bathroom Sink

From sticky toothpaste and shaving cream to the leftover hair trimmings after a shave, the bathroom sink is often the most common victim when it comes to a bathroom drain clog. Having a drain cover which can catch any longer hairs and debris is one way to reduce the amount of clogs. Since even stubble is still hair, it can gum up your drains. Try shaving over a container and throwing away this hair instead of washing it down the drain every day.

Toilets

A clogged toilet is something that no one wants to deal with, especially if it overflows. While some clogs cannot be prevented, there are items that do not need to be flushed. Excess toilet paper and feminine hygiene items can clog up a toilet on their own, or make an existing situation worse. Try throwing away any items which do not need to be flushed, or flushing twice for larger tasks.

Shower

The main culprit behind clogs in the shower or bathtub drain is hair. Each person loses about 100 hairs a day, many of them in the shower. Hair combined with oils, grease, soap and other products can easily clog up drains. The best way to prevent these common clogs is to use a properly fitted drain cover to catch the hair, then physically remove it after each use.

Even with prevention methods, bathroom clogs can and will occur. When you have a tough clog, call your local plumber to get it completely removed by a professional.

Posted on behalf of Seagraves Plumbing Septic and Sewer

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

Professional Tools For Removing Drain Clogs

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems any household can have. Grease, hair, food and other items can build up in your pipes, causing a slow draining sink or a clogged toilet. Often, homeowners will try to handle clogs on their own by buying commercially available liquid drain cleaner. Though these may work in some cases, they can also be harmful to your plumbing fixtures or only temporarily fix the issue. It’s always better to call in a professional plumber who has the right tools for the drain cleaning job.

Professional Clog Removal Tools

Your local plumbing company has powerful tools at their disposal which can safely and effectively remove even the toughest clog. These tools, which are not ideally suited to use by amateurs, can make quick work of damaging drain clogs.

  • Motorized drain snakes. For major clog removal, drain snakes are used to clear pipes by extending long coils of wire down the drain, into the clog. While you can buy a manual drain snake from a hardware store, motorized snakes used by plumbers are much more effective for serious clog removal.
  • Video inspection. You know your pipes are clogged, but do you know where? Plumbers can use video cameras designed to look inside your pipes to see what type of clog they need to remove. This allows them to choose the right tool to remove the clog quickly and safely.
  • Hydro-jetting. In some cases, your plumber may use water to remove the clog. Hydro-jetting uses high pressured water to push out clogs and clean the interior of pipes. This is very effective for serious clogs in sewer pipes.

If you have a drain that constantly becomes clogged again and again, it is time to call in a professional plumber with the right tools for the job.

Posted on behalf of Shawn Bynum, Bynum Plumbing

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Is Your Bathroom Sink Draining Slowly?

Slow moving bathroom drains are a common plumbing complaint, and can usually be attributed to clogs or build-up. Usually the culprit is that funny-shaped pipe below your sink. Almost all sinks have a U-shaped pipe which, to a layman, may seem counter-productive to draining. In your bathroom sink, hair, toothpaste and other items can get trapped in this U bend, causing the slow draining of the sink. So if this is such a common problem, why is this U bend even put in pipes in the first place?

Why You Have A “U” In Your Pipes

There is a simple and solid reason that your bathroom sink has a U bend. The bend is designed to allow water from your sink to collect in the U shape, creating a seal between the drain opening and the below sewer pipes. Essentially what this does is keep the gases from the sewer lines below from rising up through your pipes and filling your bathroom. While it can contribute to clogged drains, it is the best way to keep the smell of the sewer water from entering your home.

The best solution is to be very careful about what is put down your bathroom sink. Wipe out hair, beard trimmings and excess hygiene products such as toothpaste and hair gel that land in your sink instead of just washing them down the drain. This will reduce the amount of debris that can get caught in that U bend and cam limit the number of clogs you will get in the future.

To get your bathroom drain flowing again, call your plumber to remove the clog and clean out the U bend in your bathroom plumbing. Once clear, regulate what is allowed to go down your bathroom drain to keep your U bend clean and functioning as it should.

Posted on behalf of Citywide 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

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Confused About Remedies for Clogged Drains or Blocked Sewer Pipes?

There are several remedies available today to help you with your clogged drain or blocked sewer pipe, but which one should you use? Of course, a drain cleaner would be a first choice for the average homeowner. However, that could be anything from a chemical compound to a handheld auger, from a home remedy to an airburst cleaner, from an electric drain cleaner to a high-pressure water sewer jetter, or, finally, an enzymatic drain cleaner.

Consumer product drain cleaners are chemical compounds that are either alkaline (in solid or liquid form) or acidic (liquid) in composition. Their main function is to open drain clogs of either hair or grease that typically lie close to the drain opening. They are less effective for clogs that are farther down the line, such as that which occurs in toilets or main sewer drains. Augers, manual or electric, are often used for those more problematic clogs, but the estimated distance of the clog and the augers potential damage to ceramic surfaces can be a concern.

Airburst cleaners can also break up clogs that are farther from the drain opening and are faster acting than typical chemicals; however, they work best in “standing water” situations and are ineffective on main sewer drains. High-pressure hydro-jetting is effective for most large clogs in drains and sewer lines and can be done by a professional plumber.  Enzymatic drain cleaners are used to maintain clear drains, since they consist of bacteria and enzymes that react to dissolve forming residue.

If you have concerns about your plumbing drainage system that go beyond the quick and easy, consumer product solution, it is always best to have your local plumbing professional inspect your system to ensure that all is in good working condition.

Is the Plumbing for Mobile Homes Different?

Many of today’s mobile homes look exactly like site built homes, especially modular units, so one would expect the same in plumbing techniques, however, such is not the case. Because mobile homes are “manufactured,” that method results in a significant difference in the plumbing systems. Furthermore, mobile homes fall under different regulations since they are not built to the same standards as site built homes. People are drawn to mobile homes because they are affordable; therefore, many of the materials used in their manufacture are traditionally lower in cost and sometimes quality. Fortunately, the quality used today in new mobile homes is far better than those built prior to the 1980’s. However, when it comes to types of plumbing materials used or the types of plumbing systems, there remain some major differences.

One major noticeable difference is in the type of piping material used. Instead of copper water pipes, newer mobile homes are piped with CPVC or PEX, which lasts as long or longer than copper. Another major difference in plumbing system design is in how the pipes actually enter the house. Mobile home piping comes up through the floor instead of out from the walls; meaning, there is a difference in how the connections are made for different applications. Some mobile homes do not have venting of drain pipes nor clean-outs. Since these are used to clear clogged pipes, clogged drain repairs and other plumbing maintenance can be more difficult and costly.

Overall, mobile home plumbing is usually easy to work on and often less expensive than site built homes. In addition to standard maintenance or repair, your local plumbing professional can help you with upgrading your water or drain lines should it seem advantageous.