Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
Blocked pipes can lead to overflowing sinks or even a backflow of sewage into your home. By knowing what can cause a clog, you may be able to avoid the problem.
1: Flushable Wipes
Generally, if it isn't toilet paper, then you need to ignore the word "flushable" on the box. Wipes, feminine hygiene products, and even items like flushable cat litter aren't really designed for home drainage systems regardless of the advertising copy. These items can collect inside your sewer line, where they then capture other waste as it passes through. Eventually, you end up with a large, compacted clog that requires professional help to clear.
2: Stringy Items
Stringy items include things like floss, string, and hair. Bathroom sinks, tubs, and shower drains should all be equipped with a screen or hair catcher so that hair and floss don't get down into the pipes. Stringy items tend to clump up in the drain. Then, they collect soap scum and get stuck in the drain, becoming a larger and larger clog until the drain is completely blocked.
3: Fats and Oils
Whether it's the bacon grease leftover from breakfast, motor oil, and the excess oil from deep frying, the drain is no place for it. Often referred to as FOG (fats, oil, and grease) by plumbers, it is the one category of items that is responsible for most kitchen sink clogs. FOGs can even gum up garbage disposals. It takes a lot of hot water and soap to break down the fats and oils so they flow through the drain, and this rarely happens. Instead, a drain clog forms.
Never pour leftover paint down the drain. The paint won't simply flow out and into the sewer system. Instead, it will coat the inside of the pipe and eventually dry in place. If the paint comes in contact with other items in the drain, such as hairballs, it will dry in large clumps that can create a stubborn clog in the drain pipe. Chemicals likely won't break through a paint clog, either, so professional drain cleaning will be necessary.
Putting a handful of rice or some leftover pasta down the drain may not seem like a big deal, especially if you are running it through the garbage disposal first. Unfortunately, grains can cause major blockages. Even when ground up as finely as flour, grains can swell and become pasty inside the drain. They act as a glue, sticking to the side of the pipe and forming a clump that catches everything else that flows by. Eventually, a large clog will form.
Contact a drain cleaning company to learn more.