Want to Avoid an Emergency Plumber Visit? Read This!
When it comes to your plumbing system, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Your plumbing system is an intricate maze of pipes, fasteners, and faucets; and from time to time, it needs a little extra maintenance to ensure it stays the MVP of your home. We see an unfortunate pattern coming form many of our Santa Rosa homeowners. They ignore their drains until something goes catastrophically wrong and it’s time for an emergency plumber visit. To avoid this nightmare, there some preventative measures you can take.
Drain Maintenance Begins at the Sink
The best way you can care for your drains, and avoid an emergency plumber visit, is to mind what you put down the sink. Oftentimes, we see small backups turn into major blockages because of too much being put down the drain. This goes for both kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Please do not dump any of these down your kitchen sink:
- Cooking Oils, Fats, and Liquids – The thing about cooking oils, fats, and liquids is that when they’re warm, they act like almost like water. When they’re cold, they harden into large chunks. This goes for butter, olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats, and most other things used for cooking. Once they harden, this mass can stick to the walls of your plumbing system creating a massive clog.
- Paint – Paint won’t clog your drain, but we feel the need to put it in here. Dumping any pant, even fun craft pain, down the drain can have bad environmental effects.
- Coffee Grounds – One of the most common things our plumbers pull out of clogged drains is coffee grounds.
- Eggshells – There was an old wife’s tale floating around that claims grinding eggshells in your garbage disposal will help sharpen the blades. In truth, eggshells will dull your blades and add to any preexisting buildup in your pipes.
- Pasta and Rice – Pasta and rice expand when waterlogged. This will cause a big mess for your pipes and only aggravate any existing buildups.
There are a few differences between the bathroom and the kitchen sink. The biggest thing to be wary of in the bathroom is that many of the organic materials dumped down the drain are often put in there inadvertently.
When it comes to your bathroom sink, try to keep these out of your drain:
- Hair – A clogged sink’s best friend is hair. Hair clumps together when wet and easily sticks to any existing blockage.
- Medication – Like paint, medication won’t clog your sink, but we still need to advise you against dumping any down the drain. Medication can cause serious harm to the ecosystem once it enters the general waterway.
- Large Soap Chunks – As soap gets used and starts to flake off, large chunks can end up in the sink, which often leads them to the drain. When soap interacts with hard water—which is a problem in Santa Rosa—it creates soap scum which can line your plumbing and create clogs.
- Q-tips and Cotton Balls – Much like pasta and rice, cotton expands in water. If you drop a cotton ball or Q-tip down the drain it can lead to a blockage.
The best way to prevent anything solid from going down your drain, and an emergency plumber visit, is to get a drain protector. They can be made from silicone or wire, either way, as long as they protect your sink, it’s a worth investment.
Watch What you Flush
The same preventative maintenance theory listed above can also be applied to your toilet. The toilet may seem like a beast, ready to gobble anything in its way. While that may seem true, your toilet is closer to a hungry dog. It’s willing to eat anything put in front of it, even if what it’s eating can cause distress. When it comes to taking care of your toilet, the best thing to keep in mind is, “just because you can flush it, doesn’t mean you should.”
Here is a short list of things that should never be flushed down your toilet:
- Flushable Wipes – No matter what the packaging says, do not flush these down the toilet. When a wipe says it’s “flushable” it means the wipe can be flushed down the bowl, not through your plumbing system. While the wipe will leave with the toilet paper, it won’t break down in the same way, potentially leading to an unruly clog.
- Menstrual Products – Tampons and pads are made to absorb water. Additionally, they don’t break down in any septic systems. Flushing them can not only lead to a large backup, but also pollute the environment.
- Diapers – Just like the products mentioned above, diapers are made to absorb liquid, not break down in it. Diapers can get caught in your pipes and cause a huge clog.
- Paper Towels – Paper towels are also a member of the “expand when wet” club. Just like diapers they are not made to break down in water and can add to existing backups; despite how they feel, they are not made the same way as toilet paper.
- Kitty Litter – Of all the things to not dump down the drain, kitty litter is up there. Even if the box says it’s flushable, we say don’t so it. Kitty litter is made to expand to almost 60,000 times its original size. Meaning, if you dump even the smallest amount, it could lead to the largest of all backups.
Make Sure to Clean Your Drain
When it comes to preventative maintenance, one of the best ways to avoid an emergency plumber visit is to clean your drain. At Moore Home Services, we recommend cleaning your drain every month or so. The biggest thing we stress is do not use a chemical drain cleaner—they can cause extensive damage to your plumbing and health. Instead, we like the baking soda, vinegar, and water solution. What you need to do first is boil a pot of water. Pour that boiling water down the sink. After the water has cleared the sink, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a mixture of half a cup of water and half a cup of white vinegar. Stop the drain for 10 to 15 minutes and pour another pot of boiling water down the sink to wash everything away.
Need an Emergency Plumber? Call Moore Home Services
If you’re looking at your sink and watching the water fill the bowl, please give us a call. The plumbers are Moore Home Services are on hand and ready to help at a moment’s notice. Trust us when we say there’s nothing we haven’t seen. To make an appointment, call the number at the bottom of the screen, or click here to schedule online. Also, don’t forget, we serve your HVAC too!