Clogged drains are probably the most common plumbing problem that homeowners experience. How do they occur? And how can you avoid them?
Here are some of the drain problems that you might experience and the steps that you can take to fix them before calling in a plumbing professional:
- Kitchen sinks: Most homeowners use their kitchen sinks to drain away cooking and food waste, and the residue from dish washing. Most commonly, grease, oil and fats in the drain pipes will cool and congeal in layers and eventually clog the drain system. Use a standard plunger with the rubber suction cup on the end to work sink clogs loose. Some commercially available drain-clearing chemicals may be helpful, but use them with caution. You also can try removing the J-bend under the sink, and clearing it and any pipes that you can reach. Prevent this problem by not pouring grease or similar substances down your drain.
- Bathroom sinks and tubs: Hair, dirt and soap residue are common sources of clogs in bathroom sinks and tubs. Block the waste and overflow plate with a cloth or your hand, and use a standard plunger to try to remove the clog. If necessary, insert a smaller-size wire or sink auger into the drain to break up the blockage.
- Toilets: Common causes of toilet clogs are trying to flush too much toilet tissue at one time, or flushing foreign items that are not toilet paper and waste, such as cigarettes, feminine hygiene products, or heavier-grade paper such as paper towels. A standard toilet plunger usually is enough to loosen clogs, but heavier blockages may require an auger, sometimes called a toilet snake. This is a length of wire with a cutting-style end that fits into the trap and drain. You crank or rotate the auger by hand, which breaks up the clog.
Roth Heating & Cooling has proudly served the heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical needs of customers in Portland, Bend, Salem, Canby and the surrounding Oregon communities for more than 36 years. Contact us today for more information on solving drain problems, and for more tips on what you can do to keep your plumbing system clog-free and working like it should. Ask about our preventive maintenance plans for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, too.