Most homeowners don’t realize that their residential plumbing system is prone to clogging. In fact, clogged pipes cause over a billion dollars worth of damage every year. What causes these problems? And how can they be prevented?
Plumbing systems are complex devices that require regular maintenance. To prevent costly repairs, check out our guide to prevent clogged drains.
Plumbing issues often stem from improper installation or neglect. Clogs can also form due to drain blockages caused by hair, soap scum, grease, food particles, tree roots, etc. The most common clogs include pipe scale (a buildup of calcium carbonate), hair, soap scum and grease.
What are some common household clogged drains problems?
The kitchen sink is the first stop for many people when they have a clogged problem. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to pour too much dishwashing liquid down your drain into the pipe. This will cause the soap to harden on top of the pipe, forming a plug that prevents other items from passing through. You may need to get a plunger and use it to break up the hardened soap before trying again.
Another common clogged drain problem occurs when people put too many toilet paper towels down the toilet. It gets compacted together and forms a solid mass that blocked drains. A plunger won’t work because there isn’t enough space between the pieces to push them through. Instead, try using a snake — be sure to wear protective gear when doing this job!
If you find that the toilet has stopped flushing properly, the culprit could be an obstruction in the sewer line. A simple plunger should remove any debris that might be causing the problem.
How to Prevent Clogs?
Clogs can be prevented with proper care and maintenance of your home’s plumbing system. Here are some tips for keeping your pipes clear:
1) Keep the Drain Pipes Clean
The first step in preventing clogs is to keep your drains clean. This means cleaning them regularly, especially after each use. You should also ensure you have a good quality strainer on your kitchen sink so that any food scraps will not get stuck in the pipes.
2) Use an Anti-Blockage Device
If you notice that your toilet bowl is overflowing, it may be time to invest in an anti-blockage device. These devices work like a plunger but instead of pushing water back into the tank, they push air through the pipes. They’re available at hardware stores and online.
3) Check Your Sinks & Drains
If you notice that your sinks or toilets are draining slowly, this could indicate a problem with your pipes. It’s important to note that if there is no water running down your faucet, then there is likely a problem with your main line. Call a professional immediately!
4) Change Your Soap
Soaps contain chemicals that can build up inside your pipes and lead to clogs. If you want to avoid this issue, switch to natural soaps such as castile soap.
5) Install a Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are designed to grind up food scraps and other debris before it gets flushed away. However, if you leave the garbage disposal plugged in all day long, it can become clogged. Make sure to unplug your garbage disposal when you aren’t using it.
6) Don’t Overfill Your Bathtubs
Bathtub overflows happen because of excess water pressure. When you fill your tub too full, the water will force its way through the overflow hole. This can create a mess and cause flooding.
7) Avoid Using Greasy Products
Greases and oils can easily stick to your pipes and cause clogs. Try to avoid using greasy products such as cooking oils, motor oil and even baby lotion.
8) Be Careful With Tree Roots
Tree roots can grow deep into the ground and create serious problems for your home’s plumbing system, including clogs. If you see tree roots growing near your pipes, call a professional right away.
9) Consider Placing a Water Filter
Water filters remove harmful contaminants from your tap water. If you’ve noticed that your water tastes bad, consider installing a filter. Filters can help reduce the number of bacteria that builds up in your pipes.
10) Have Your Plumbing Repaired
Your pipes can develop cracks and leaks over time. If you notice any signs of damage, contact a professional plumber immediately.
11) Inspect Your Home’s Foundation
Your foundation plays an integral role in protecting your home’s plumbing system from potential damage. A cracked foundation can allow moisture to seep into your walls and floors, which can eventually lead to mould growth.
12) Fix Leaks Quickly
Leaks can quickly turn into major plumbing issues. If you spot a leak, try to fix it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk having more damage done to your property.
13) Keep Up With Maintenance
Regular maintenance helps ensure that your home’s plumbing system stays in top shape. For example, if you notice that your hot water system has stopped working properly, don’t wait until it breaks down completely. Contact a professional plumber immediately to get it fixed.
14) Replace Old Pipes
Old pipes can break and cause serious damage to your home. If you have old pipes in your basement, attic or crawlspace, replace them with newer models.
15) Clean Out Your Gutters
Gutters collect leaves and other debris throughout the year. If you haven’t cleaned out your gutters recently, they may be filled with debris that could potentially cause a clog. Call a professional plumber to clear out your gutters.
Where do most leaks happen in plumbing systems?
Leaks in plumbing systems are a common problem. They can be caused by clogged pipes or faulty connections. If left unattended, they can cause serious damage to property and even pose health risks. How do you identify where leaks occur?
Leaks from piping systems can be dangerous because water can enter into buildings through cracks, joints or other openings. Water damage can also result in mould growth and structural instability.
Leak detection methods include visual inspections, pressure testing, ultrasonic scanning, video inspection, infrared thermography and ground penetrating radar (GPR). These techniques can detect leaks in various locations such as around valves, under sinks, behind walls and beneath floors.
If you suspect that there is a leak in your home, call a professional immediately. You should never attempt to repair a leaking pipe on your own. Doing so could result in injury or death.
Where do toilets and sinks usually get clogged up?
Toilets and sinks are two of the most commonly used appliances in homes. However, they are also one of the most prone to clogging and malfunctioning.
Clogs often form when food waste becomes trapped inside the trapway. This can happen when toilet tissue gets stuck in the bowl, or when people flush items like cotton balls or hair that aren’t meant to go down the toilet.
Other times, clogs occur due to improper flushing. Flushing too hard can force solid objects deeper into the trapway, causing them to jam. Also, not cleaning out the trapway regularly can leave a residue that causes clogs.
Sinks are another popular appliance that gets clogged. The tramway can become blocked when soap scum builds up over time. It also happens when people pour too much liquid soap directly onto the trapway; this can overflow and create suds that plug the opening.
What causes hair and soap scum to build up in sinks?
Hair and soap scum build-up when the water becomes stagnant. When this occurs, bacteria grow and multiply in the water. Eventually, the buildup will begin to smell and look gross.
Another reason for hair and soap scum build-up is when people use antibacterial hand sanitisers. Hand sanitiser contains alcohol which kills bacteria but does not remove grease or dirt. Instead, it just changes the surface texture of the sink. Over time, this can lead to an increase in bacteria and the formation of hair and soap scum.
How can I prevent hair and soap scum from building up in my sinks?
You can easily prevent hair and soap scum from forming in your sinks by keeping the area clean. Wash dishes before using the sink and wash hands after using the bathroom. Clean the sink with a brush and keep it dry at all times.
Also, don’t use antibacterial products near the sink. Antibacterial soaps contain triclosan which has been linked to birth defects. Instead, choose natural alternatives like baking soda or vinegar.
What is the difference between an under the sink and a kitchen sink drain?
An under-the-sink drain is located underneath the countertop where the sink is installed. Kitchen sink drains are typically placed at the bottom of the sink or slightly above the drainpipe.
Under-the-sink drains are more common because they are easier to install than kitchen sink drains. They tend to be less expensive, too.
Kitchen sink drains have several advantages. For example, they are easy to access and clean. Also, they are positioned lower than under the sink drains. This means they won’t collect as many things as their counterparts.
Kitchen sink drains are also more durable. If something falls into the drain, it doesn’t get wedged in a place like it would if it fell into an under-the-sink drain.
However, kitchen sink drains are more difficult to maintain. Because they are closer to the ground, they are harder to see. And since they are lower on the wall, they are harder to clean.
Why should I avoid putting food down the garbage disposal?
Putting food down the garbage disposal can cause serious damage. Garbage disposals work best with small particles. Larger pieces could cause jams.
If you put large pieces of food down the garbage disposal, the blades may tear apart the material. This can result in dangerous splatterings inside the unit.
The blades also need to be sharp enough to chop through food. Sharp blades are able to cut meat, bones, and other materials without damaging them. A dull blade is unable to properly cut through these items.
If you want to know what type of drainpipe is best for your home, contact residential plumbing services today! We offer free estimates and top-quality service.