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Clogged drains are among the most common plumbing problems experienced in residential homes in Albemarle, NC. Sometimes clogged drains are a result of unavoidable problems, but many cases can be prevented. Regular maintenance and good habits can keep plumbing infrastructure and drains functioning efficiently.
How Often Should Drains Be Cleaned?
Drains and pipes accumulate debris over months and years of constant use. Hair, food particles, soap residue, small pieces of dirt and debris, and other typical household detritus moves through a home’s plumbing infrastructure continuously.
Ongoing issues with slow draining or standing water in sinks, bathtubs, and drains usually mean it’s time for professional help. There is no universal recommendation regarding how often homeowners should seek drain cleaning services for routine maintenance. Most households benefit from scheduled cleaning every year, or even every other year. Large households with constant use of plumbing fixtures may benefit from more frequent cleaning.
The length of time between cleaning depends on how drains are used and overall plumbing maintenance. Sewer and basement drains may require cleaning more often than drains in other parts of a home. Older plumbing systems are not as efficient as modern systems and may develop clogs more frequently. Large root systems near sewer lines also contribute to clogs. A professional plumber can help homeowners identify problematic areas and drains that are prone to clogs so preventative maintenance focuses on those areas.
Risk Factors For Clogged Drains
A home’s plumbing system is meant to transport liquid and very limited types of solids. Sanitary products, disinfectant or cleansing wipes, packaging materials, and even cat litter are often flushed down toilet drains. These items will cause clogs and other problems eventually. Even flushable wipes and other sanitary products touted as safe for sewer lines and septic systems can cause problems. Carefully dispose of these items in the garbage instead of flushing them.
Pouring grease and fat down a drain will increase the frequency of clogs. It is best to entirely avoid putting grease, fats, and oils down the drain. These substances are generally liquids when they’re poured into a drain, but they quickly solidify into sticky gels or solids. Pour old grease into disposable containers to dispose of in the garbage instead. Use a paper towel to clean excess grease from pots and pans before washing them or placing them in a dishwasher.
Garbage disposals are also frequent culprits responsible for clogged drains. A garbage disposal adds more sludge and detritus to plumbing pipes than anything else in a home. Dispose of stringy, fibrous foods and skins, such as celery, carrots, pumpkin, or poultry skin, in a garbage can or compost pile instead of putting them through your garbage disposal. Homes with heavily used garbage disposals may want to consider drain cleaning services every 6 to 8 months.
Advantages of Professional Services
Professional drain cleaning service offers many benefits. Plumbers have appropriate equipment, products, and safety gear. Chemical drain cleaners and other products for household use can damage plumbing systems, especially with repeated use. They tend to be highly corrosive and eat away at pipes’ inner surfaces. This corrosion can cause breakdown of your home’s plumbing infrastructure years earlier than its expected lifetime.
Homeowners with septic tanks must be even more cautious because chemical drain cleaners can destroy or disrupt bacteria necessary to manage sewage in a septic system. Many chemical solutions are also potential health hazards if they are used incorrectly.
Homeowners may not recognize the true source of a drainage problem. Standing water or slow drainage in a specific fixture does not always mean the obstruction is near that fixture. Homeowners do not usually have the equipment necessary to remove obstructions deep within a home’s plumbing system. Some types of plumbing equipment are available to buy or rent, but these tools are generally not as powerful as those used by professionals. Rented equipment may pose additional hazards too. Attempts to use equipment or tools without proper training can lead to injuries or damaged fixtures.
Plumbers perform drain cleaning services with specialized tools. High-powered jet drain cleaners remove clogs and clean sewer lines. A hydro jet with a multidirectional sprayer head removes built-up waste inside drain pipes. Removing residue drastically lowers the risk of another clog. Other tools, such as motorized drain augers, are used to clean pipes that can not tolerate hydro jetting. Drain augers are frequently referred to as ‘snakes,’ and they are often used to clear a stubborn or heavily compacted obstruction before other drain cleaning services are completed.
Mobile cameras provide views of the pipe interiors to identify clogs and examine conditions. These cameras let plumbers evaluate conditions and fix problematic issues, such as thick residue on pipe walls or weakened areas that need to be repaired or replaced.
A typical drain cleaning service lasts between 1-2 hours. A drain cleaning machine clears sewage from clogged lines without contaminating the home’s interior. Several fixtures are turned on at once after cleaning is finished to make sure the procedure was successful. A follow-up camera inspection offers another opportunity to find broken or damaged lines.
Microbes and Odors
Drain cleaning service is beneficial even if there is no problem with clogged pipes and lines. Bacteria, mold, and mildew growing within drains and pipes produce foul odors. These odors emanate from drain openings and may even spread throughout the home. Old food and other waste clinging to pipe walls combined with the dark, humid atmosphere provide a perfect environment for microbes to thrive.
Spore-forming bacteria and mold colonies can also spread to other areas in the home or aggravate certain health conditions, such as asthma and allergies. Regularly scheduled drain cleaning services clear old waste from pipes and drastically reduce the volume of microbes present in a home’s plumbing system.
Call Pride Plumbing in Albemarle, NC, to schedule regular drain cleaning services. These professional plumbers can also fix drains that are already clogged and provide timely, efficient services to deal with other plumbing emergencies.