Plumbing is often the most used and abused system in your home. Resulting from a myriad of incidentals and plain bad choices (hair, food, grease), clogs are an occasional issue that every homeowner faces. With pipes primarily being under the house or underground, nightmarish scenarios may require clogged drain repair. For homeowners, simple maintenance and monitoring can help your plumbing system function properly, saving you time and money.
Several steps can be taken by homeowners to detect and remedy clogged drains, but for an emergency Dial One Johnson is the trusted source for professional plumbers in Waxahachie, Texas and the greater South Dallas Area.
3 Signs Your Drain is Clogged
Clogs can occur anywhere within your plumbing system, most of which is not visible, making it hard to pinpoint exactly where the issue is located. Knowing how water flows through your system will help you find the root cause of any issues that arise.
Plumbing is often called a tree, with the main line as the trunk and other pipes as the branches. Clogs that are in the main line will affect the entire tree. Those that are isolated to a single drain, or branch, will be a more localized issue. Keep this structure in mind as you work to identify the source when faced with a clogged drain repair.
1. Water Backing Up
While this might be the most recognizable sign, water backing up is regularly the last in a long line of signs that your system needs attention. If water is backing up in multiple sinks, the toilet and bathtub, your clog is somewhere in the main line. If isolated to one drain, your problem is more localized.
2. Slow Draining
Restrictions in your piping will cause water to flow more slowly, including drains in your bathroom or kitchen. Standing water while you are showering is often a clear sign that an obstruction has occurred. Test multiple drains to see if the issue is throughout the system or a localized problem.
3. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure can be frustrating but often points to bigger issues that need to be addressed for the health of your plumbing system. Due to a wide range of possible culprits, should your water pressure suddenly drop, consult with a licensed plumber. They will be able to more quickly determine the cause and address the situation.
How to Fix a Clogged Drain
We could easily write an entire article on the types of things that we have pulled out of clogged drains, but for now we will stick to common items that are likely to cause an issue.
Tree roots are often cited as the #1 issue that causes water to back up in underground pipes. As a living organism, the root systems grow in search of water and have the ability to cause major damage. Because they are more likely to enter your plumbing outside the home, on the main line, they regularly affect the attached system.
Equipment, such as drain snakes, do little against the harder material. In many cases it is best to contact your local, licensed plumber as they will have commercial grade augers that can chew through the root system and clear the blockage. Additionally, the pipe may need to be replaced depending on the damage caused.
Food and Grease
Food poses a clogging threat primarily to your kitchen sink, although it should be said that food should never be poured down any drains in your home. With the potential to cause clogs anywhere along the line they can quickly progress from the minor inconvenience of a slow draining sink to an emergency situation should water start to back up.
For homeowners that have a garbage disposal, understand that not all food materials are safe to process and pass into your plumbing system. Harder to break down foods, such as eggs, fruit rinds, and meat, should never be put into your disposal.
Grease regularly accompanies food, and should never be poured down the drain. As grease cools, it solidifies and can quickly build up to cause a blockage.
When facing this type of clogged drain repair, avoid using harsh chemical agents as they can degrade pipes, leading to a host of other issues. Rather, first try a pressurized approach. Filling your sink with hot (or boiling) water and draining will help build up pressure and can help remove the clog.
In the event that the clog remains, pour a half box of baking soda into your drain along with a half cup of vinegar. This will cause the volcano effect that we know from elementary school science. Wait 30 minutes and fill your sink again to repeat the process. Please note that boiling water is often recommended, but should not be used if you have PVC pipes, as it can cause the connections and joints to loosen.
For tougher clogs, try using a drain snake or checking the P-Trap, which is the u-shaped bend in your pipe directly under your sink. If the clog persists, contact a licensed plumber.
Humans shed and lose hair each day and for many of us, those strands of hair find their way into our bathtub drain. For some, the problem is greater than others, quickly leading to a clogged drain as the hair wraps itself around any and everything in the pipe.
Preventative maintenance can be inexpensive and include items such as a hair trap from your local hardware store. But should the issue progress, a drain snake will be your next option. The coiling action and spring of the snake are ideal for removing the clog.
Non-Biodegradable Products and Objects
Sewage backup can range from an inconvenience to health and safety concern and should be acted upon immediately. Items such as feminine hygiene products and diapers should never be thrown into the toilet. Remember that these types of products are made with a cotton-like material that does not break down quickly and gets caught very easily.
Although your first thought may be to use a plunger in this situation, you are more likely to simply push the clog further down the line. Even if you are able to get the obstruction through your main line, these items must be dealt with later at sewer treatment facilities.
In this scenario, your best bet is contact your local plumbing experts. They will be equipped to extract any debris that is in your system so that the materials can be disposed of properly.
Proper maintenance and good habits will go a long way to keep your plumbing system running smoothly. Allowing you to avoid the headache, and cost, of an emergency call to a licensed plumber.
Find Local Plumbers – Waxahachie, TX
Being armed with an understanding of the signs and causes that result in clogged drain repair is a great first step. Having a trusted team to back you up for more technical plumbing maintenance or in the event of an emergency is the next.
Dial One Johnson is the #1 choice for homeowners in search of plumbers in Waxahachie, Texas, serving the residents of Ellis County and the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex for over 50 years. With offices in Midlothian and Cedar Hill, and 24-hour service options, you can count on our team of professional, licensed plumbers to get the job done right the first time. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.