When your drains become clogged, it can be an inconvenience and possibly even a health concern. But a clogged drain doesn’t always mean you need to call Plumber Woodland Hills.
Hair, soap scum, fats and oils, paper products (including “flushable” wipes and tampons), and mineral buildup are the most common causes of clogged drains. There are many easy ways to fix them.
Toilets are often the first plumbing fixture to show signs of a drain problem. Since they’re the lowest fixtures in your home, they usually have the directest path to your main sewer line where waste flows into your sewage treatment system or septic tank. This makes them the most likely to experience backups and other problems that could spread throughout your home.
If you find yourself repeatedly dealing with clogged toilets, it’s time to call in the professionals. A licensed plumber can perform a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing to determine the source of the issue, whether it’s a blockage in your toilet, an outflow valve or other part of your drain system.
Many toilet clogs can be easily resolved with a standard plunger. Start by ensuring that the flange is fully sealed over the drain opening, then push down quickly and vigorously. This will create a seal that forces water up and over the clog, dislodging it and breaking it apart. If your clog is more stubborn, try mixing equal parts baking soda and white vinegar and pouring it directly down the drain. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour before flushing.
Other common clog culprits include paper towels, cotton balls and other non-flushable items. If you find yourself constantly dealing with this type of clog, make sure to invest in a drain stopper or other means of blocking non-flushable items from entering your home’s plumbing system.
Another sign that it’s time to call a professional is if you notice slow draining in multiple toilets or other fixtures throughout your home. These are usually a result of a clog in your home’s main sewer line, which can cause back-ups all over the house. In this case, it’s important to call a licensed plumber to have the clog removed and the entire sewer line repaired or replaced as needed.
Alternatively, you can use an extendable drain snake or auger to break up and remove the clog yourself. These tools are typically available at most hardware stores and are relatively easy to operate. Simply insert the device into your drain, then begin cranking to break up and remove the clog.
Whether they’re kitchen, bathroom or laundry drains, sinks take a beating from food scraps, hair and other debris that’s flushed down them. While this is a normal part of a home’s plumbing, it can result in serious clogs. For example, a small amount of cooking grease dripping down a sink drain can solidify over time and block the pipe entirely. For this reason, it’s essential to dispose of fats and oils properly with a metal container or the garbage.
Typically, simple sink clogs can be remedied with a plunger and chemical cleaner. However, more serious clogs are often caused by dumping substances down the drain that don’t dissolve well. This includes items like baby wipes, sanitary products and cotton balls. These materials build up on pipes walls and stick to other debris, which ultimately blocks the drain.
A simple way to prevent these clogs is to place a waste basket in the bathroom and position it close to the toilet. This will help to ensure that sanitary items, cotton pads, face wipes and other items are placed in the waste basket rather than being flushed down the toilet. Similarly, it’s important to make sure that children’s toys and other stray objects don’t end up in your sink or bathtub drains.
Another common cause of clogged sinks is mineral build-up, which can result from using hard water in your home. Adding a water softener to your home can help prevent this issue.
Many people use the old standby of baking soda and vinegar to unclog their sinks. By pouring equal parts of these substances down the drain, letting them sit for 20-30 minutes, and then following with hot water, the chemical reaction causes a clog to break apart and clear the pipe.
For more serious clogs, you may need to remove the drain trap. To do so, loosen the fasteners that hold it in place and place a bucket below to catch any water that drips. Then, remove the trap and clean it thoroughly. You can also try a plumber’s snake, which, via a manual crank, sends a tough line of wire into the pipes to push down a stubborn clog.
Garbage disposals are hard-working appliances that can handle a lot of food waste. But if you stuff too much of the wrong kind in, or grind up hard objects like bones or eggshells, you may end up with a clogged drain. The problem may begin in the disposal’s blades, inside the sink drain, or within the construction of the disposal itself.
It’s important to use your disposal regularly to prevent clogs. Turning it on for a short period every few days keeps it running smoothly and helps to prevent the rust that can cause parts to seize. It’s also a good idea to run water through it for a few seconds every time you use it. The water helps to lubricate the motor and keep it moving properly, and it also helps to flush away food residue.
You can further prevent clogs by taking care not to put certain items in the disposal. A little bit of eggshell or coffee grounds is fine, but they can collect in pipes and lead to clogs. Likewise, potato peels and stringy banana peels can wrap around the blades and make them harder to move. You should also avoid dropping ice cubes into the disposal. This can cause the blades to get stuck and can even bind them together.
If you do happen to get a clogged disposal, first shut it off and unplug the power. Next, use a sink plunger to clear standing water in the disposal. If the disposal still won’t work, shine a flashlight down the drain opening and into the garbage disposal cannister to look for an obvious clog. You should also examine the trap arm (the pipe that connects the P-trap to the branch drainpipe that goes into your wall) for blockages.
If you find that the clog is in the P-trap, place a bucket beneath it and disconnect the slip-nut fittings with channel-lock pliers. The bucket will catch the dirty water that pours out as you disconnect the trap. Once you’ve removed the clog, you can clean and reassemble the trap and discharge drain line, then restore power and run water to test your disposal.
Clogged shower drains are often caused by hair, lint, and residue from bath products that build up over time. They can also be due to hard water that causes mineral buildup, or even a larger problem like tree roots growing into the pipes. Whatever the cause, it’s always a big pain to have water that won’t drain from your shower.
Thankfully, there are usually several things you can do to get it fixed quickly and easily. Most clogs are due to hair and soap scum, which can be dissolved with the help of baking soda and vinegar. You can also use a drain snake to clear out the most stubborn clogs.
When using baking soda and vinegar to unclog your shower drain, it’s important that you do so in a heat-resistant cup or pan. This is because the chemical reaction can create a mess if it comes into contact with your skin or other metals. After pouring the solution down your drain, wait an hour before flushing it with hot water. This should get your clog clear in no time.
Another way to help prevent clogs from occurring in your shower is to install a hair catcher, which can catch all of that annoying lint and hair before it goes down the drain. If you’ve tried these methods and still have a clogged drain, it could be an indication that you have a bigger issue. If the clog is caused by a backed-up sewer system, this can be extremely dangerous and will require a professional to handle.
If your clog seems to keep coming back no matter what you do, it’s probably best to call in a plumber for professional assistance. A professional can determine the source of the clog and recommend the best course of action to fix it permanently. They can also recommend ways to help prevent the clog from occurring in the future. This may include installing a water softener, which can help reduce the buildup of minerals in your pipes. Contact us if you need help with your clogged drain.