You might think of clogged plumbing as a nuisance – something that slows down your drains or keeps you from being able to run your sinks as well as you’d like. In reality, they’re much more dangerous. A clog can certainly stop a drain. However, it can also breed bacteria that releases odor into your home and can contaminate the air and water. A stoppage also creates pressure inside your pipes, creating a strong possibility of a crack, leak, or even a pipe burst.
Clogs can happen anywhere – directly in a sink drain, in the pipes leaving your home, or even just before the wastewater line outside connects to the city sewage system. Some places are harder to detect, but they can all cause damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take on your own to avoid clogs and help your plumbing flow smoothly. Here are a few important tips!
Protect Your Drains
Most clogs begin in drains. Hair, debris, and even soap can come together and cause a problem in the pipes. An older home may be even more susceptible to stoppages because of the plumbing materials, structure, and the way the pipes run in the yard.
You can use an enzyme treatment in your drains to prevent clogs from forming. Simply warm the drain with hot water, pour the enzyme treatment in the drain, and let it sit overnight. In the morning run hot water down the drain again. When you do this once a month, you’ll have fewer problems. You should also take advantage of mesh drain covers that can keep debris from entering the drain. This can prevent clogs in your sinks and shower. Finally, don’t put clog-causing materials down your drain. Dispose of grease and coffee grounds outside your sink, even if you have a garbage disposal.
Treat Clogs in Drains
If your drain is starting to run slowly, don’t wait to take action. You want to clear the blockage while it’s small instead of giving it time to get worse. If you want to use a commercial drain cleaner, be sure to follow the directions carefully. The chemicals that break down clogs can also wear away at the pipes themselves, weakening them. This can cause leaks or even burst pipes. You may choose instead to use a plunger to try to force the clog down to clear the pipe or snake the sink out with a plumbing tool.
Handling Main Line Plumbing Pipes
Your main line plumbing carries water into and out of your home. Your drains connect to wastewater lines flowing out, while your water utility brings water into your home. A mainline clog is serious and can happen suddenly. It can affect multiple sinks and appliances. It’s vital to prevent these as much as possible and to treat them quickly when they happen.
Preventing Mainline Blockages
You can use enzymes in your main lines to help avoid the buildup of sludge. Be sure to only use toilet paper in your toilets – even products that claim to be “flushable” can cause significant problems. Never flush sanitary items or other products.
You also need to watch for debris from renovation and yard work that can affect your pipes. Digging can impact pipes and cause problems, and trees can grow roots that impact or even puncture your plumbing. You may need to remove trees, or you can put root killer down your toilets twice a year. This will kill the roots that are in the pipes without damaging the tree itself.
Older homes may also have unusual plumbing structures that cause unique problems with drainage and wastewater. One of the best things to do to detect these issues and prevent problems is to have one of the best plumbers in Toronto come check your sewer lines. They can scope your pipes to diagnose issues and clean or repair the concerns they find.
Treating Mainline Blockages
A mainline blockage may result in several sinks and appliances not working at once, or it can cause leaks or drainage in the yard that constitute an emergency. Mainline clogs are not a DIY project. You’ll need to contact a professional to have things done properly. Be sure to check reviews and don’t overlook local companies. If you have a unique situation, you might find a smaller company is more sympathetic than a large chain!
It Pays to Take Care of Clogs
Plumbing can be a bit “out of sight, out of mind.” Because the pipes are under sinks, behind walls, and underground, we don’t always think about them. However, a little treatment can go a long way toward preventing expensive problems with your plumbing. Take steps to prevent blockages in your drains and main lines. If you discover a problem, however, take action. From DIY to calling a plumber, you can fix an issue before it becomes an emergency!