Nothing can disrupt your day like a clogged pipe. At Benjamin Franklin, we’ve seen it all, from simple shower drain clogs to complete sewer line backups (yikes). We’ve rounded up some of the most common household clogs — and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Toilet Clogs
We’ve all been here. An excess of toilet paper and, ahem, biological matter can clog pipes, especially in older plumbing systems. But sometimes, the clog culprit isn’t in the toilet bowl but further down in the pipes or sewer line. Clogged toilets are often a symptom of a bigger problem: clogged pipes or blocked sewer lines.
In a clogged pipe or a clogged sewer line, matter blocks the pipe. That blockage prevents the pipe or sewer line from transporting waste into the sewer system. The result? A sewer line backup that sends sewage backup through your drains. Unexplained toilet clogs are the first sign you might have a problem.
If toilet clogs are happening more frequently or you can’t pinpoint the cause of your clog, contact Benjamin Franklin. We can find and destroy trouble before it strikes — and in the case of a sewer line backup, you might not get a second warning.
2. Kitchen Sink Clogs
An overworked kitchen sink or garbage disposal are among the most common plumbing problems. Pay attention to these Kitchen sink clogging culprits:
- Pouring cooking oil, grease, or fat down the drain
- Putting poultry skins (turkey, chicken) down the drain
- Putting starchy peels and grains (potato peels, rice) down the drain
- Putting stringy vegetables (celery, citrus fruits) down the drain
- Discarding fibrous material (coffee grinds, corn husks) down the drain
- Accidentally dropping small flatware and cooking utensils down the drain
Before you reach for liquid drain cleaners – which are often acidic and damaging to disposal lines – try these tips:
- Always have sink water running when you use the disposal.
- Before you bust out the drain cleaner, snaking a drain is the most effective solution to clearing a clog.
- Pour boiling water down your kitchen drain twice a month. This helps break down food waste.
- A combination of baking soda and hot water can add more oomph to your drain-clearing efforts.
- Don’t let clogs sit for days. Food waste will rot and eventually smell, leaving you with a stinky situation.
3. Shower Drain Clogs
It’s no surprise that shower drain clogs make the list. Soap buildup frequently occurs in bath and shower drains (but keep an eye on sink and laundry drains too). As the soap is carried down the drain, it slowly accumulates on the walls of the pipe. Although this happens slowly, the water can back up very suddenly as the drain pipe is reduced in diameter by the buildup. On top of that, many bath products – such as salts and shower gels — are not water soluble.
Another common culprit? Hair. Your long locks can easily accumulate while showering or grooming directly over a sink. Drain plugs will help reduce the amount of hair making its way into drains, which can cut back on troublesome clogs.
Stop Clogs in Their Tracks
What happens when a clog just won’t unstick, even with a plunger? Rather than reaching for caustic cleaners, call Benjamin Franklin for clogs that are too tricky to clear on your own.
Composed of either a strong base or acid, liquid drain cleaner can actually damage your pipes. Drain cleaner erodes PVC pipes and metal pipes in particular. Don’t turn a small problem like a clogged drain into a total drainage system replacement.
Ben Franklin offers emergency drain clog cleaning as well as preventative maintenance like hydro jetting, a high-pressure steam cleaning technique that forces clogs out for good. For ultimate peace of mind, consider a plumbing Protection Plan. These plans include annual inspections to keep toilet, kitchen, and bathroom sink drains clear and clog-free.
Benjamin Franklin said it himself: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!