These days we’re all a lot busier between school, work, chores, and extracurricular activities. But nothing throws a wrench into your day like finding out you have a clogged drain. And while it may be tempting to ignore the problem given all of the other things in your schedule that require your attention, it should be dealt with immediately.
We get it, you’re not sitting around thinking about your home’s plumbing system. But a clogged drain, even if it’s working partially, should be a top priority. You may decide, “Hey, I’ll just grab a bottle of drain cleaner, and wah-lah, problem solved!” But what you may not realize is that using these products can make the clog worse and cause irreversible damage to your pipes over time. Not to mention, these cleaners are made of highly acidic chemicals that can be dangerous if they splash into your eyes or face.
Let’s face it, you and your family depend heavily on your plumbing system. You wash your hands, brush your teeth, and use the bathroom several times per day. Problems will inevitably arise and clog will happen. But you don’t have to live with dirty drains and only half of your fixtures working properly. Below are a few telltale signs of clogged drains. If any of the issues on the list look familiar, it is best to reach out to a professional plumber who can accurately diagnose and fix the problem at its source.
9 Signs of Clogged Drains:
- Slow Drainage: Usually the most obvious sign of a clogged pipe is that your water takes too long to drain. Pay close attention to your sinks, tubs, and washing machine. If you notice that water is taking longer than usual to work its way down, there may be buildup in your pipes.
- Unpleasant Odors: If you notice foul smells lingering in your home, it may be that your home has a plumbing issue. Those smells could be decomposing waste or sewer gases rotting your pipes. Once the buildup is removed by a professional drain cleaning, your home will be back to smelling fresh.
- Recurring and Frequent Clogs: Some clogs might be manageable enough for you to resolve on your own. But when multiple drains start backing up at the same time, it’s time to call in the professionals. Multiple clogs are a clear indication that there is a blockage in your plumbing system. The source may be your sewer line, which can be a messy and costly problem to resolve if not taken care of right away.
- Mysterious sounds: Gurgling noises when you flush your toilet or run the water in your sink or tub may be a sign that there is a problem with your drainage. Clogged drains can create a bubbling sound which is an indication that there is a blockage preventing water from flowing freely. You may even see bubbles in your sink, even when no soap is being used. This is abnormal and suggests there could be a concern with airflow.
- Standing Water: Water accumulation in your tub, shower, sinks, or washing machine is a sign that your pipes are malfunctioning. You may have started with a slow drainage issue, but standing water means a pipe has become completely blocked. If any of these areas in your home are often filled with water that isn’t draining, you should contact a plumber right away.
- Annoying Pests: Fruit flies love to consume food waste. If discarded food is accumulating in your pipes, this can attract more and more of these annoying pests. Taking care of the buildup in your drainage system will not only keep your system functioning properly, but it will also remove the food source for these pesky little insects.
- Clogged Sewer Line: If there is a major clog in your sewer line, this can cause contaminated water and sludge to get backed up in your pipes and come through your shower, toilets, and sinks. This can cause extensive damage to your home and be pretty expensive to fix. The other concern is that sewage in your home is a huge health hazard and can put the safety of you and your family at risk. Get a professional drain cleaning right away to remove the clog and avoid other issues in the future.
- Toilet Overflows: An overflowing toilet is a surprise that nobody wants. But when it keeps occurring with no real explanation as to why it is likely due to an issue related to your drainage lines. Bathroom tissue, “flushable” wipes, and waste can clog your pipes, which keep your toilet from draining the way that it should. A professional drain cleaning will clear the clog so that your toilet can function properly.
- Using Liquid Drain Cleaner Too Frequently: We don’t recommend store-bought liquid drain cleaners. But if you have been using one and find that it’s needed more frequently, this is a sign of a larger issue that should be handled by a professional. If you’re a homeowner in this situation, stop using the product on your drains, since the harsh chemicals can damage your pipes. Instead, contact a plumbing company that specializes in drain cleaning. A professional cleaning can rid your drains of debris without causing further damage to your pipes.
I Need the Plumber & Air Conditioning can service your drain cleaning needs. If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs in your home, give us a call today!
11 Common Causes for Clogged Drains
If you know what may be the source of your clogged drain you should share this information with your plumber. This will make it easier to determine the best approach for resolving the issue. Here are some of the common reasons for your drainage system is not functioning properly:
- Grease in your Plumbing System: Cooking grease should never be poured down your kitchen sink. This is because grease hardens inside of your pipes and makes it more difficult for water to pass through. If you’re cooking a meal that uses grease, it is best to dispose of the leftover grease in a ziplock bag before tossing it in the trash.
- Improperly Discarded Toiletries: Improper disposal of toiletries is another main cause of clogged toilets. Though seemingly harmless, items like cotton swabs, baby wipes, and dental floss can cause major issues with your plumbing system. These items should be put in the trash, not your toilet. Otherwise, they can form a clog that causes your toilet to overflow, which can leave a huge mess for both you and the plumber.
- Food waste: Your garbage disposal is designed to chop up small food items that end up in your drain. It is not designed to chop whole food items or large pieces of food. Whole vegetables, grains, fruit, and bones will not only cause severe damage to your disposal. They will also clog your pipes and create a backup in your system. It’s best to use a drain strainer to catch larger food waste so that you can properly dispose of it in the garbage.
- Buildup from dish soap: If the soap that you use to clean your dishes has a thick consistency, it can harden over time and begin to accumulate in your pipes. Eventually, this can lead to a clogged drain.
- Hair: Hair from people and pets is a common contributor to clogged drains. It has a nasty tendency to mix with grease, soap, and other substances as it attaches to the inside of your pipes.
- Cat Litter: Don’t ever put this down your drain. Cat litter is made of clay, sand, and silica which can wreak havoc on your plumbing. It’s also designed to absorb moisture and form clumps, so it will literally expand and create a large blockage in your pipes when you turn on the faucet.
- Paper Towels: Paper towels and napkins are not made to come apart easily like bathroom tissue. These items should never be flushed since they are too thick to travel through your pipes and can cause your system to back up.
- Tampons and Pads: Feminine products like tampons and pads are designed to expand when they come in contact with moisture. When flushed down your toilet, this can clog your system. If this happens, you should contact a plumber immediately so that no further damage is done to your pipes.
- Makeup: While your beauty regime may make you look good, cosmetic debris in your pipes can create an ugly mess in your drainage system. Powders, blushes, and other products will buildup in your pipes when washed down the drain. You can avoid washing these products down your sinks by wiping out your basin before turning on your water.
- Toilet paper: While bathroom tissue is designed to disintegrate after being flushed, using too much of it can make it difficult for it to travel through your drainage system. This can result in an overflowing toilet, leaving you with a huge mess to clean up. You should use just enough to get the job done and avoid these issues. Doing so will be better for both you and the environment.
- Toothpaste Residue: Overtime, toothpaste residue can accumulate and clog up your bathroom sinks. Make sure that you use plenty of water to completely rinse your toothpaste down the drain.
If you haven’t had your drain cleaned recently, there is no better time than right now to schedule an appointment. A lot of people neglect to perform regular maintenance on their plumbing and don’t realize how much damage can be caused by clogged pipes. There are several advantages to hiring a professional drain cleaning service for routine plumbing maintenance, including:
- Avoid Drain Blockages: Having regular maintenance performed on your plumbing system helps prevent clogs. Servicing your pipes removes buildup to help prevent clogs from forming and disrupting the operation of your system.
- Reduce Bacteria: Decomposing food waste leftover in your drains creates bacteria that can generate unpleasant odors. Blockages that cause sewage to back up into your home can be harmful to you and your family.
- Minimize Repair Costs: A clogged drain won’t just clear up on its own and the longer you let the problem remain unresolved, the faster your plumbing system will deteriorate. This can cause flooding and water damage that results in having to cover expensive repair costs. In some cases, the plumbing issue can be so bad that the homeowner is required to temporarily evacuate. Getting regular maintenance performed on your system is the best way to avoid these concerns.
- Eliminate the Worry: A backed-up plumbing system can cause you to lose sleep at night. Rather than continuing to stress about the issue, hire a professional to help you get your clogged drain issues taken care of. A DIY fix isn’t always an option. However, a professional drain cleaning can get your issue resolved right the first time.
Need help with a clogged drain? You can trust the experts at I Need the Plumber & Air Conditioning. Call us today to schedule your appointment.