Clogged Drains: How to Deal With the Unwanted Issue
A clogged drain is never ideal, but you know it will happen eventually. As a homeowner, you’re likely no stranger to a clogged toilet, bathtub, or kitchen sink. In fact, you may find yourself becoming quite adept with the plunger in response. It’s all part of being a homeowner, however, some clogs are persistent. They are smelly, messy, and downright troublesome. Some may cost you quite a bit of money in the long run. Here’s how to deal with the unwanted issue of clogged drains.
Hazardous Standing Water
A clog in the bathroom can become quite severe. If the one you’re dealing with has standing water for hours, or even days, then it may pose a health hazard.
- Standing water often leads to mold or mildew; a breathing hazard in modern households.
- Standing water is a breeding ground for insects, including mosquitoes, flies, and dragonflies that become a nuisance as they reach adulthood and begin to breed.
- Mosquitoes and some species of flies carry a variety of diseases, harmful to both humans and pets. Such insects also play host to heartworms or tapeworms.
Tools to Have Nearby
As a homeowner, taking precautionary steps for any potential plumbing issues is a smart move. Many of us gather tools over time. However, if you are working with a clean slate, you may wish to visit a local hardware store and keep a few items in the house. The following tools can help a persistent clog, thereby preventing damage and standing water.
- Rubber Gloves
- Plumbing Snake
Not all clogs are a DIY project, of course, so don’t hesitate to contact a professional for a severe or persistent clog.
Prevent Sewer Backups
First and foremost, to help prevent sewer backups, you must pay attention to objects flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, especially as a busy parent. Still, watching something whisked away down the toilet or sink seems like an easy disposal, when in reality, it can lead to a sewer backup, which is an extreme form of a clog.
The key to preventing a sewer backup is being proactive. Do not flush:
- Large quantities of cereal, rice, or corn – these swell with water and expand in your pipes.
- Fats, oil, or grease – these form a wax-like buildup that slow water flow in the drain.
- Scouring pads or sponges – These items expand when combined with water, blocking the pipes.
- Bathroom wipes – Unlike toilet paper, bathroom wipes do not decompose once flushed into the sewer system. They buildup.
- Dental floss – Floss becomes tangled and forms a mass that blocks the flow of water.
If you have a severe clog or backup and standing water has begun to accumulate, you need to act promptly. For a minor clog, a plunger typically works well enough, though the true source of the problem may remain deeper in the drainage line.
One solution, which has gained immense popularity lately, is known as hydro-jetting. A powerful burst of water is set into the pipe, removing any buildup in the system and cleaning the interior walls at the same time.