Fixing household leaks can do wonders for a household. The average household’s leaks account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year, roughly the amount needed to wash 270 laundry loads. The leaks in the average house are everywhere too. A leaky faucet wastes more than 3,000 gallons of water per year and 20 to 35 percent of household toilets leak to some degree according to research studies.
To reduce water waste and to optimize a household plumbing system, drain cleaning is important. Drains may get clogged with debris over a period of time and can lead to many problems including flooding, leaking and smells.
There are many signs of a clogged drain and it’s important to stay on the lookout for potential hazards. Ignoring a clogged drain can lead to future problems and repairs that will likely require a plumbing service.
Identifying the Problem
Signs of a clogged drain include:
- Slow Drainage: A sink full of water is often a sure sign of a clogged drain and it’s important to watch all drains to see if they are draining properly.
- Bad Smells: Odors, especially unwanted ones, are usually a dead giveaway to a plumbing problem. Waste builds up in pipes and the accumulation of bacteria and mildew can do quite a bit of damage to pipes.
- Rust: Rust is another strong indicator of a problem and the formation of rust around a metal drain is a bad sign. Rust usually occurs when iron is exposed to air and water.
Caring For Your Drains
Now that a clogged drain has been discovered, how do you go about fixing it?
The importance of draining cleaning can’t be understated and it’s important to know proper methods of drain cleaning for the different types of drains in your house.
- Kitchen Sink Drains: Too often there’s the temptation to push food scraps into the drain and that’s an easy path to a clogged pipe and a costly plumbing repair. The only substances that are good for a drain are soap and water. Avoid disposing of grease and other food waste.
- Toilet Drains: Much like a kitchen sink, the only things flushed down a toilet should be waste and toilet paper. Many other products are advertised as flushable, but those products are one of the leading causes of clogged toilets and many a plumbing repair. When it comes to drain cleaning and the toilet, avoid flushing large amounts of toilet paper and food as well or you might be placing a call to a plumbing service.
- Shower Drains: A clogged shower drain can leave you with a disgusting feeling, especially as water puddles up around your feet. When it comes to drain cleaning and your shower, a strainer is a good tool for catching soap chunks and hair and other debris.
DIY Drain Cleaning Tips
There are many things you can try yourself if you don’t want to hire a professional plumbing service for a repair. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there should be an uptick in the hiring of plumbers by 2022, but there are many “home remedies” available for DIY drain cleaning.
- Plungers: Plungers can be a quick fix to a clogged drain. It’s a fast method, but must be done properly. Place the plunger head against the drain to create a seal so that no air gets through. Push on the plunger 5-10 times until the head inverts and the water begins to drain.
- Snake Augers: This allows you to clean deep into a pipe to prevent clogging. Insert the auger and rotate the handle clockwise. Once the problem area is encountered, try to break it up. When the process is finished, run hot water through the drain.
- Chemical Cleaners: Fast-acting chemical cleaners like Drano contain acid and lye, which can break up debris. Be sure to read labels on cleaners for a specific problem or ask plumbing services to double check.
Regular drain cleaning can keep a home’s plumbing functioning at its best. It’s important to pay attention for signs of clogging and address them immediately, especially with appliances like a sump pump. Whether you’re looking for DIY options or a professional plumbing service, the options for drain cleaning are numerous and can help stop leaks and clogs fast, rather than causing bigger problems in the long run.