It’s important to clean drains regularly to keep your plumbing in good condition. A large volume of water and waste make their way down each drain on a daily basis, including the drains in your bathroom sink, shower, toilet, kitchen sink, and elsewhere in the house. Debris like hair, food particles, grease, soap scum, and more stick inside your pipes where this matter eventually causes a clog.
Clogged drains create the need for drain cleaning service or else the problem could grow to form major clogs or even cause damage to the drain line. Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing explains how to clean your drains the correct way, when to do so, and when to call for help from a plumber, answering the important question of “how often should I clean my drains?”
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Drains?
Schedule professional drain cleaning as a maintenance service to clean your pipes each year or call for service from your plumber as needed when you notice drains moving slowly that cannot be resolved through your own cleaning efforts. When drains are professionally cleaned regularly each year, the pipes are kept in better condition as the debris within is limited, reducing the risk of clogs and damage. It’s best to schedule this service even if your drains seem to be flowing just fine – remember, drain cleanings are a maintenance service as well as a repair service.
To keep each drain line in your home draining correctly, maintain them weekly and monthly by performing some simple tasks. These activities reduce debris in pipes and keep drains clean so you avoid more serious issues.
Anytime you experience a slow drain, it’s possible there is a clog somewhere down the line. Whenever you notice this, drain cleaning should be your first course of action. You can first perform safe cleaning procedures yourself before you call to request a plumber visit and clean your drains.
How Can I Clean My Drains?
Cleaning a home’s drains can be fairly simple, especially when you’re doing so to maintain good drainage rather than clean out a clog. Whichever situation you face, it’s crucial that you know how to do so without damaging your drain pipes.
- A plunger can be used to raise pressure in the drain and force debris along the path. The categories of plungers you need to know about include a flanged plunger for toilets and a cup plunger for sinks.
- A snake or auger is a tool that allows you to reach down into the drain to break up clog debris and remove matter back through the opening.
- You pour hot water into the drain from a few feet above the opening – the heat from boiling water plus gravity help soften debris and force it through the drain.
- Adding baking soda and vinegar to the drain can work to bust up a clog in the pipe.
Don’t Do This:
- Do not pour drain cleaning chemicals into any drain in your home – though advertising will tell you the chemical cleaner is safe, it is not.
- Using chemicals can corrode pipes, leading to damage that will require the installation of a new drainpipe down the road.
- If your home has a septic tank, you definitely don’t want to use a chemical cleaning product as it will mess with the bacteria that manage matter inside the tank.
- Chemical cleaners are harmful to the environment, polluting water supplies and wildlife habitat. Packaging ends up in landfills, further polluting the land.
- Chemical cleaners aren’t reliable for treating all categories of clogs.
How to Maintain Drains
Completing drain maintenance on a regular basis such as weekly or monthly will help you avoid clogged drains.
- Practice safe garbage disposal use in the kitchen. Don’t put grease or inappropriate food material down the sink drain. Rinse with cold water as you run the unit, not hot water. Allow cool water to run for about half a minute once you shut off the garbage disposal to flush out the drain. Always run the garbage disposal with cool water weekly to keep it in good working order and prevent drain blockages.
- Use strainers on sink and shower drains to collect hair, soap, and other debris so they do not travel into the drain and cause an obstruction.
- Sprinkle baking soda down a drain each week or as often as necessary to eliminate smelly odors.
- Once per week, rinse them by pouring boiling water down the drain. Hold the pot of hot water a few feet higher than the drain then pour it in to flush the drain.
- Monthly, add a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda to the drains in your kitchen and bathroom. Leave the mixture to sit for a half hour then rinse with hot water to help clean them out between services by your plumbing company.
When You Should Call for Professional Drain Cleaning
Drain clogs are most commonly to blame when you have a slow or completely blocked drain. Despite maintaining drains on a regular basis, it may be necessary to call for a professional’s cleaning services should you face a tough situation.
- When drains clog over and over again, deeper clearing may be required to remove excess accumulation of debris like hair and grease from the dirty pipe walls.
- If water is backing up in one drain when another is in use, like the bathroom sink fills when the toilet flushes, there may be air in the pipes, and cleaning service could be the right solution to fix the issue.
- When none of the drains in your homework, professional services from a plumbing company are needed as the issue may be related to your sewer lines and the plumbing professional will need to search the sewer system for obstructions, damage, or a break-in the sewer pipe.
- If there is sewage coming back up through your kitchen or bathroom, this is an emergency that requires professional help immediately. Exposure to these toxic gases can create a health emergency as well.
Call to Have Your Louisville Drains Cleaned
Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing plumbers perform drain cleanings for customers throughout the Louisville service area. When you experience drains emptying slowly, contact us to schedule a cleaning at the first sign of trouble!