When a household drain becomes clogged, most people think that the products that you can find at the hardware store can quickly fix the problem. That is not always the case. The available products may clear minor clogs, but they may only temporarily fix a problem that is far worse. Not every drain issue can be solved with DIY products. When you first notice a clogged drain, you may want to consult a professional. Only a professional can successfully handle the worst drain issues.
Common Drain Issues
The most common issue associated with drains is clogging. A clogged drain may not seem like a difficult project, but it really depends on the nature of the clog. The most common household drain issues are as follows:
Kitchen Sink Clogs
Kitchen sink drains clog easily because most people use their garbage disposals often. There are certain items that should not be disposed of in the garbage disposal and can cause major problems if they are washed down the drain. Food residue is typically not an issue for most kitchen sinks, but it can be if the residue is greasy in nature. Cooking oil or grease should never be washed down the drain because it can solidify and cause major problems. Soap scum can also build up within the drain and contribute to a clog.
The most common clog in a bathroom is the tub drain. Loose strands of hair are usually to blame, but dried soap and other foreign objects can become lodged in your pipes. These clogs are harder to remove, because the normal hardware store products will only temporarily remedy the problem. Bathroom sink drains can also clog from hair strands and dried toothpaste. If you have ever seen dry toothpaste harden on the counter or in the sink, imagine what it can do to a pipe if it builds up.
Common Warning Signs
There are some common warning signs that you should look out for when you first notice a clog. If you notice any of the following signs, you will want to consult a professional as soon as possible.
Everyone knows that drains can sometimes have an odor. A smell coming from your drain may be due to any number of things, but the thing to look out for are odors that linger. If you put onion or garlic down your disposal, it is not unusual to notice a smell - but these odors typically don’t last longer than a day or two. If the odor persists, that is a sure sign that something else may be caught in the drain. A strong odor can also be caused by a broken or cracked pipe that requires repair or replacement. A professional will be able to help determine what the root cause of the odor is.
Slow Draining and Recurring Clogs
Slow drains are a common problem that can be linked to several causes. A slow drain may not seem like a big problem to most people, but there may be a larger underlying issue. In a bathroom, most people may think that the drain is clogged with hair. That may be only one contributing factor. Soap residue and dried toothpaste can also contribute to a drain blockage. These substances are harder to clear out on your own. The hardware store drain zips may temporarily relieve some of the build up by poking a hole in the clogged area, but it is nearly impossible to completely clear out the entire mass with such a tool.
Since it is hard to completely clear out drains without the help of a professional, you need to keep an eye out for recurring clogs. If the same drain gets clogged often and the chemical products and drain zips only temporarily fix the issue - you should call an expert.
Prevention is Key
The important takeaway is that not all drain issues can be solved on your own. Prevention is important because you can avoid the above issues if you take proper action. Having a professional routinely clean out your drains can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. It is better to get ahead of the problem before it is too late. If a clog is not addressed quickly, the pipes may end up bursting due to a buildup of water pressure - which can be costly.
It is also important to keep the upcoming seasons in mind when considering preventative steps. Springtime can be harder on pipes due to the rainy weather. Plant roots push further into the ground during this season and can cause potential blockages in your pipes. Winter is also a season to consider because you do not want anything blocking your pipes, in the event that they freeze over.