Nothing can ruin your day like a plumbing emergency, and blocked drains always seem to happen at the worst possible times.
Have you ever experienced a blocked shower drain in progress, when the water at your feet starts rising? It’s like a horror movie! How about a nasty blocked drain in your kitchen sink that backs up with smelly water just before your in-laws arrive for dinner?
Residential plumbing is a modern marvel that we take for granted until it stops working.
There are many reasons for blocked drains, including the most common ones:
Bathroom: Blocked drains in the bathroom and toilet are usually caused by hard-to-flush items like baby wipes, paper towels, sanitary products, and even hair.
Kitchen: A blockage in the kitchen sink can happen anytime you get a build-up of grease, food particles and other debris. It will affect your dishwasher as well, so a backed-up kitchen sink is a real cause for concern.
Exterior: An outdoor drain can be clogged by dead leaves and other outside debris that makes its way into your pipes.
When Should You Call The Pros?
You should call a professional plumber or plumbing contractor at the very first sign of trouble. Never ignore a sink that gurgles or a drain that clears very slowly because clogged drains and pipes never fix themselves.
There are many excellent household repair jobs for do-it-yourself enthusiasts, but plumbing is not one of them. Consult with a professional before the problem gets worse – and more expensive to fix.
Whichever drain is giving you problems, you can try a few pumps with a plunger, but don’t press too hard, or you may loosen the fittings.
Likewise, avoid using commercial drain cleaners which will damage your pipes and, at best, fix the symptoms but not the underlying problem.
It’s a good idea to do some research beforehand on reputable plumbers, find one that offers 24-hour service, and put that number in your list of cellphone contacts. You never when you’ll need a plumber on short notice, so be prepared.
Show Your Drains Some Love
Be kind to your pipes and drains because a blockage can lead to much more than an inconvenience; it can cause water damage to your walls and electric wiring. To avoid drain clogs in your kitchen, monitor everything that goes down the kitchen drain, and scrape plates thoroughly before placing in the sink. Never pour grease down the drain.
In the bathroom, keep drains clear by making sure small objects like hair clips and shaving razor caps don’t slither down into the pipes. Make-up wipes, tampons and cotton balls should never be flushed down the toilet. To keep your outside drains clog-free, sweep your yard frequently and build a compost heap for the leaves.