Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blocked Drains and What You Can Do To Prevent Them

If you would run a survey with homeowners on nuisances that arise in a home, I would venture to say that plumbing and sewage problems are probably among the top. There is nothing worse than these types of problems and I know this from experience. Just 3 weeks after purchasing our new home, our sewage suddenly started backing up into the sump in our basement. After many tries on our own, we eventually had to call a professional to come out and while they were not able to tell us exactly what caused the backup, they were able to fix it pretty effortlessly with the help of a drain auger.  You can probably imagine our horror when it happened again just a month later while we were on vacation. We came back and for some unknown reason, the same thing had occurred and we again had to call the plumbers back to unblock our drains. We started researching possible issues and started making small changes that have kept our drains free and clear ever since. Take a look below for some tips and tricks from James Ford Drain Unblocking on how you can keep your drains clear and what to do if the inevitable happens and you get a clog. 

Drain Clogging Prevention:

*Pour a strong salt water solution down kitchen drains a few times a week, especially after washing greasy dishes. This will help eliminate odors and will prevent grease from building up.   

*Install mesh screens in the kitchen sinks to block debris from going down into the drains 

*Beware of what you flush. We have a strict rule that only toilet paper can be flushed in our house.  Baby wipes and feminine products are among the top things that are flushed that will cause your sewage to be backed up. 

*Remove hair and soap particles from the bathtub after each use. There is nothing worse than having your bathroom sinks clogged up with hair. My daughter and I both have long, thick hair and it's so easy for the drains to get clogged this way without you even realizing it. You can actually purchase a hair catching brush that goes down into the drain and retrieves hair! 

Things You Can Try at Home To Fix Clogs 

*A plunger. If your sink or toilet is backed up, you can try a plunger. They are inexpensive and usually take care of minor blockages. 

*Vinegar and Baking Soda are great at clearing small clogs. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Allow this to sit for around 20 minutes and follow with 2 cups of boiling hot water.  This is a safe way to unclog drains without damaging your pipes. 

* If a plunger doesn't do the job and you don't have any luck with the vinegar and baking soda, you can try purchasing a drain cleaner but be aware. Repeated treatments of these types of chemical products can eventually damage your plumbing. I personally avoid these types of products because if they don't get the drain unclogged, the solution stays in the drain and then whoever has to work on the drain is exposed to the chemicals. 

*If you aren't having any luck, most hardware stores rent out augers (mechanical snakes) to help rid your drains of clogs. The only problem is that most rentals are not long enough to go all the way from the house to the street so if the clog is closer to the road, it might not be long enough.

*When all else fails, call a professional. They are trained with these types of issues and will be able to get the drains unblocked quickly and effortlessly with their special equipment. 

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