What Causes Sewer and Drain Clogs

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What Causes Sewer and Drain Clogs

Since All Clear Plumbing opened in 2012, we’ve not only offered the best plumbing repair in the Upstate, but also the best sewer and drain cleaning services.

Sewer and drain cleaning is done any time we use a piece of equipment to clear a blockage in a drain. Whether it’s a small sink or your main line, we have the best equipment and best plumbers to clean drains of all sizes.

Drain Cleaning Machine

How drains get clogged

Drains are some of the hardest working and regularly used fixtures in your home.

In the kitchen sink, drains can be clogged partially or completely with everything from food particles and grease. In the shower, hair strands and soap residue commonly build up over time in the drain. Other odds and ends and slip down any drain, settle in pipes and create a potential for a serious clog.

If a clog builds inside or moves to your sewer line, raw sewage can back up out of your drains or leak, undetected, under your home. So while drain maintenance may be easy to overlook, it’s vitally important to keep your home’s plumbing system in excellent working condition.

Most sewer and drain clogs occur because of basic human nature that can unintentionally lead to buildup over time. Examples of things that are easy to do that should never be done include:

  • Flushing things down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed such as paper towels. You know “flushable” wet wipes? Well they are “flushable,” but that doesn’t mean they should be. Let’s just say “flushable” wipes provide a lot of business for plumbers.
  • Pouring grease down your kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Hot grease is easy to pour down a drain, but when it cools off it solidifies and creates a big mess.
  • Allowing hair to slip down into drains. It’s a good idea to wipe up any loose hairs from your sink after shaving or your shower or tub after bathing.

Neglect of drain maintenance can lead to blocked pipes, leaks, and an under-performing system, not to mention emergency repairs, which is why we recommend routine sewer and drain cleaning services by the All Clear Plumbing team of qualified plumbing professionals.

If you take all the preventative measures you can and still have sewer and drain problems, don’t take it personally. Bad drain lines can cause ongoing problems even with the best of human behavior.

If there isn’t enough “fall” in the line (slope) then gravity can’t do it’s job and water can become stagnant making it very hard for any solid matter to get pushed through the pipe. That is typically an installation problem but can take a long time to come to a head.

You can also have breaks, spurs or intrusion into the line from something like tree roots that cause solid items such as toilet paper or fibrous food scraps to get caught in the line and create a clog.

Kitchen plumbing repair drain cleaning

How to – and how not to – maintain sewer and drain lines

Aside from regular plumbing line maintenance, a common question we get at All Clear is how to keep lines clear. In the case of your home’s plumbing system, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. We have a few recommendations which can cut down on clogs:

  • Use a kitchen sink drain catcher to prevent food particles from going down the drain. These are available at any home improvement store for only a few dollars.
  • Make sure your shower drain has a cover and utilize your sink/bathtub drain stopper. These will help hair from falling into the drain. If you or anyone in your family has long hair, you know how much of a headache a drain clogged can be. Try brushing your hair before showering to remove any dead strands.
  • Instead of pouring grease or oil down a sink drain, pour them into a resealable container and throw it away instead. You can also allow grease to solidify a bit in a pan then wipe it out with a paper towel.

Perhaps our best piece of advice for drain maintenance is to resist the urge to drive to the nearest grocery store and spend a few bucks on drain cleaning products. These products promise to clear your drain and restore functionality, but they can be hazardous to your family and pets and are harmful to your pipes.

The best drain opener for a clogged drain HTML view Note

Based on the what we have seen of the effects these products have over time, we very strongly recommend not using them. In fact, if you’ve tried using these products before calling All Clear we’d appreciate you letting our plumbers know for their safety.

How sewer and drain lines cleaned

All Clear professionals use superior commercial-grade tools and equipment that you won’t be able to find at home improvement stores, and we have the expertise in using them that comes from years of practice.

We have a lot of different tools for cleaning clogs. If you want to try a do-it-yourself method before calling All Clear, the best tool we recommend for clearing a clog is an auger. These are relatively inexpensive, can be found at home improvement stores, and can get most minor clogs. We always recommend an auger over any liquid drain-cleaning solution.

If an auger doesn’t work we have mechanical snake machines both big and small that can clear more serious clogs or ones that are further down the line.

Drain Cleaning Service in Greenville SC

For an outside cleanout, we have a big drain cleaning machine we prefer to use. If your house is backing up it is good to know where your cleanout is because it will allow sewage to back up into your yard rather than your house. It is relatively minor to get a cleanout installed if you don’t have one. If you don’t have a cleanout and your main line backs up, we have to go from a toilet and that costs extra.

At All Clear, we pride ourselves in being a plumbing company your grandfather would recognize. Our plumbers have an average experience of more than 25 years in the industry and our equipment is top of the line.

We can come check out your clogged drained, give you a price estimate and stick with it. Our plumbers receive hourly pay – not commission, so every job is treated with equal importance. While our plumbing crews will never seek out more work other than what you’ve called for, we will be happy to check out anything else you’d like us to take a look at if there’s time left in the hour after we’ve completed the drain cleaning.

For the best sewer and drain cleaning service in the Upstate call All Clear Plumbing at 864-979-7059.

Article Author: Anja Smith

Managing Partner

Anja Smith is the author behind the All Clear Plumbing blog. She also writes regularly for Plumber Magazine, TradeBizToolbox.com, and on Medium