Clogged drains can be a frustrating nuisance, but having a dirty drain during the holidays could mean bursting pipes in your home. The winter season already puts enough strain on your plumbing, freezing your pipes and wearing down your water heater. No homeowner wants a home flooded from a burst pipe, which is why it’s important to keep your drains clear this holiday season.
When You Should Clean Your Drains
- Water starts to back up. When using the faucet, bathtub, or shower, the water should always drain. Water should never go up your drains, but if you notice after flushing a toilet or running the faucet that water starts to back up versus drain down, it could be a clogged drain.
- Foul odors. One of the most unpleasant warning signs of a clogged drain is the foul odor of sewage. A drain that’s clogged accumulates all the waste that’s flushed down the drains until the odors come back out the drains. Kitchens with garbage disposal can also be notorious for foul sewage odors, especially when enough food particles build up inside your drains.
- Odd sounds. Listen carefully to your drains. When a drain is blocked, water is then forced through small spaces or to change course which can result in bubbling or gurgling sounds. If you start to hear odd gurgling sounds from your drain, it’s time to clean your drains.
- Frequent clogs. Clogs can be a common plumbing problem, but if they happen often enough, it could be caused by a clogged drain. Some clogs can be resolved with a plunger or drain cleaner, but if you notice the same fixture keeps clogging regardless, you’ll need a plumber to professionally clean your drains.
- Multiple clogs at the same time. Not all clogs require calling in a plumber, but multiple clogs at once are problematic. If you notice multiple different fixtures have clogged all at once, it means there is a clog deeper inside your sewer line and requires a professional drain cleaning.
- Slow drains. A slow drain is one of the most common signs of a clogged drain, as no water fixture should have a slow drain. Watch your sinks and water appliances. If you notice it takes more time than usual to drain the sink or your washer or dishwasher is still full after the cycle, it’s time to clean your drains.
- Fruit or drain flies. Any buildup of food or waste inside your drains will attract flies. Tiny fruit flies are more than just an annoying pest; they can become a health risk, and are usually attracted to the scent of a clogged drain. Drains flies are another pest to watch out for, as they like to breed in drains and sewer lines. If your home has some clogged drains, you might start to notice drain flies buzzing in your bathroom.
How to Clean Your Drains and Keep Them Clogged Free
Knowing when to clean your drains is a good place to start, but it’s best to start habits that keep your drains clean and prevent future clogs. A clogged drain left untreated can result in costly plumbing problems, but luckily they can be avoided with proper care and cleaning practices. Here’s what you can do to keep your drains clean this holiday season.
- Avoid chemical drain cleaners. Although chemical drain cleaners can be an easy and instant fix for some clogs, they’re incredibly toxic and eat at your pipes over time. There are several non-toxic drain cleaners available such as vinegar and baking soda, which work naturally well to eliminate odors and flush down any stuck waste.
- Avoid flushing down food waste. Garbage disposals are great if you have them, but contrary to what you might think, it’s to flush down as little food waste as possible. Most foods will clog your drains and break down the blades. Kitchen sinks without a garbage disposal are even less equipped to handle any food waste that goes down the drain. Do your best to avoid flushing food down by scraping and rinsing your plates. Avoid flushing down fats, greases, and oils, as well as starchy foods.
- Use drain strainers. It’s not just food waste that clogs your drains, but hair, soap scum, and other random debris, which is why it helps to place drain strainers on top of your drains. Make sure to periodically clean out your drain strainers so that your drains can drain properly.
If you need drain cleaning services this holiday season, call Rebmann!