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If you are a homeowner, at some point in your life you can guarantee that you will be calling a Richmond, VA plumber for help with a clogged drain. It is simply a fact of life that eventually every drain will get clogged. Although cogs are normal plumbing issues, you should not clogs every few months.
If you are dealing with repeated clogs and have been attempting to fix them on your own, then it is time to seek out help from a professional before the clog turns into something worse. This is a sign that there is an obstruction or possible broken sewage piping that is causing repetitive clogs. If you don’t address the issue, eventually the clog will escalate and cause massive damage in your home or to your yard.
Spring, unfortunately, is a prime time for clogs given the increase in rains and growing tree roots. This spring, in particular, is probably going to be problematic for most homes because more people are home than ever. Most modern homes only have residents during the evenings, but due to the stay at home orders issued across the United States, entire families are home using their plumbing systems from sunrise to sunset. The result is a lot of pressure on systems that might not always be properly maintained.
Here are some helpful tips of things you shouldn’t put down your drains this spring, or ever. While we are happy to come out and help you troubleshoot a clog, you can help reduce the chances of having a clog in the first place by taking a look at these tips. It’s even possible that your bad habit could be the reason you are dealing with repeat clogs.
Avoid Dumping Oil and Grease
For obvious reasons, it is easy to dispose of your oil and grease down the kitchen sink, but this is the last thing you want to be doing unless you enjoy calling the plumber. It is better to scrape any residual oil or grease leftover from cooking into a disposable container that you can then toss in the garbage. Many people use old coffee cans or butter containers. The problem is grease and oils harden up in the pipes the same way they do if you leave them in the pan for a significant amount of time. Over time the hardened grease ads up until you eventually have a clog. This semi-hard sticky state also attracts tons of debris on its way down your pipes adding to the overall problem. While a professional can easily fix the clog, it’s better if the clog never forms in the first place.
Buy Drain Screens
If you are prone to clogs in your home it may be a good idea to invest in drain screens. Drain screens are generally inexpensive screens that go over your drain to filter out debris before it heads down your pipes. They can easily catch dirt, hair, soap, and other debris so that you can scoop it out and properly throw it away. After a few weeks with a drain screen in place, you will likely be stunned by the amount of junk that otherwise would have ended up in your pipes.
Proper Garbage Disposal Use
Plumbers often get calls about broken garbage disposals and clogged pipes that stem from the misuse of garbage disposals. Knowing a few general tips can help you avoid replacing your unit or snaking your drains. For instance, you should only run cold water for at least ten seconds before and ten minutes afterward. Cold water is the best way to flush out any leftover debris and allowing it to run afterward helps it pick up some particles.
You also need to be aware that just because the appliance is labeled a garbage disposal it cannot handle all kitchen wastes. Nothing but food should ever go down your garbage disposal, and some food debris should be avoided as well. Eggshells, fruit peels, vegetable skins, and pasta noodles should never be flushed down the garbage disposal. These are all very dense food items, and they expand when water hits them which creates a high risk of clogs. Any plumber will tell you to use your garbage disposal sparingly and not rely on it as your second kitchen garbage can.
Only Toilet Paper Goes Down the Toilet
We are aware that toilet paper is in short supply these days, but even if you have to use other materials to clean up your wastes they can’t go down the toilet. The only thing that should ever go down a toilet is toilet paper. Even flushable wipes are not safe despite their name. Flushable wipes are highly hated by most plumbers because every plumber has at least one story if not dozens about pulling them out of clogged drains or ruined septic systems. Regardless of what you need to use to clean up, the absolute only thing that can ever go down the toilet is toilet paper.
The best way to avoid a clogged drain or pipe and avoid calling a plumber for emergency service is by booking an annual drain cleaning service. These services are recommended at least annually, and every six months for homes where clogging appears to be constant. Proactive cleaning can help you stay ahead of a clog so you can avoid massive flood damage, foul odors, and being forced to stop using water in your home until a plumber gets there. Give bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA a call today to find out how you can keep your home drains clean this spring.