September 18, 2019

Bathroom, Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry, & Sewer Clogs: Do You Know When to Call in the Plumber?

When you’re a homeowner,  tackling small repairs yourself may seem like the best solution but not calling in a plumber can cost you in the long run. Take our quiz below to see how much you know about clogs. 

Home Plumbing Clog True or False: 

  1. You can pour oils, fats, and grease down your kitchen sink if you run the hot water while you do it. 
  2. If you’re covered in dirt,  you should always wash off outside before taking a shower and shake out any clothes or fabrics covered in dirt before throwing them in the washer. 
  3. You should never flush feminine products,  cotton swabs, condoms or other non-biodegradable products down the toilet. 
  4. Pouring drain cleaner down your pipes will get rid of your clog. 
  5. Teaching your children not to flush small objects down the toilet will save you a call to the plumber. 
  6. An expert plumber will always try to unclog sewer lines before doing a camera investigation of your sewer lines. 
  7. You can flush kitty litter down the toilet. 
  8. Getting a water softener is enough to stop mineral deposit clogs. 
  9. If all the sinks and toilets are backing up in my house,  I have a larger issue. 
  10. Being on a regular maintenance schedule with my plumber is a great way to save money in the long run. 
Close-up Photo Of Flooded Floor In Kitchen From Water Leak

Plumbing Answers: 

  1. FALSE: Fats,  grease, and oils should never be dumped down your kitchen sink. Eventually,  when the fat, grease or oil cools, it will solidify and cause a deeper clogs in your pipes. A better solution is to dump the hot fat,  oil, or grease into a can or container, let it solidify, and then throw it away. If you find yourself with a grease clogs in your sink,  try plunging or using a drain cleaner if you can use a drain cleaner on your pipes. If you can’t use a drain cleaner, call you plumber before the clog gets worse and affects other appliances such as the dishwasher as the kitchen sink and dishwasher lines are usually connected. 
  2. TRUE: Dirt can gather in your pipes just like anything else,  especially when combined with hair and soap scum. To prevent this from happening,  try to remove as much dirt as possible by hosing off outside or shaking out clothing before washing in the sink,  shower or washing machine. 
  3. TRUE: Only human waste and reasonable amounts of toilet paper should be flushed. This counts for wipes and diapers as well. If you find yourself with a clog of this nature and plugging doesn’t work,  you will need to call in a plumber to snake out the clog. 
  4. FALSE: Although drain cleaners can be a temporary fix,  sometimes they can do more harm than good. If it is a clog that is caused by a mixture of hair,  soap scum and dirt, you’ll need to snake the clog. Depending on how deep the clog is, your best bet is to call in an expert plumber. Also,  if you have copper or iron gradient pipes, a drain cleaner will remove the rust on the inside of the pipe, causing the walls of the pipe to thin and like or even burst. Before you have a bigger, more expensive issue on your hands, get a plumber to handle the problem when it’s small clog and not an emergency flood. 
  5.  TRUE: Flushing the big potty can be fun, but  you can save yourself an emergency visit if you ensure that nothing foreign will be flushed down the toilet by your little ones. 
  6. TRUE: Some plumbers seek a problem instead of finding a quick solution. If the problem is still present after using a snake,  a camera scope will be a great way to find tricky tree roots blocking your sewer lines, but only as a last resort. 
  7. FALSE: Kitty litter is designed to clump. If you flush it,  you’ll cause a nasty clog faster than you can Google your plumber’s number. Always bag and throw away your kitty litter. 
  8. FALSE: If you do have a high mineral content in your water and it’s causing clogs,  a water softener will help prevent future clogs, but you’ll need to call a plumber to safely snake and remove the mineral build up to clear your pipes before the water softener can do its job. 
  9. TRUE: If everything is backing up,  more than likely you have a larger issue at play. Often times,  tree roots can clog outside sewer lines. Emergencies happen, but at the first sign of multiple clogs or slow drainage,  be sure to call your plumber. 
  10. TRUE: If you’re on a regular maintenance schedule,  you can potentially avoid emergency calls. Catching as many issues as you can while they’re still small can help you to avoid huge plumbing repairs. For more information on this,  see our blog on plumbing maintenance.

It’s never too soon to call the plumber. If you’re getting frequent clogs in the same sink,  tub or toilet or if multiple pipes are backing up at once, it’s time to bring in the plumber to do some repairs. Find a plumbing company who caters to regular maintenance and who you will be able to trust if an inevitable plumbing emergency occurs is necessary for any smart homeowner.