How Often Do Indianapolis Homeowners Need to Clean Their Drains?

How often should you clean your drain?

The drains throughout your home see major use every day. Your shower drain, bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and drain pipes handle household waste and water from household cleaning tasks from bathing to washing dirty dishes. Over time, the food particles, grease, hair, soap scum, and other related matter you rinse down drains can build up in the line to form clogs, causing the need for drain cleaning service.

Clogged drains should never be ignored. The plumbing team of Williams Comfort Air share how often to schedule professional drain cleaning service to keep your plumbing system working at its best. Learn how to clean your drains the right way and how to perform drain maintenance on a regular basis to prevent drainage issues and serious clogs in your sewer pipes.

How Often Should Drains be Cleaned?

Professional drain cleaning is a service that should be performed by a licensed plumber once per year at minimum. Homeowners should schedule this service annually as a matter of maintenance, to maintain clean lines and remove debris in the pipes that will eventually lead to clogs. Even if your drains seem to function just fine, have drains cleaned to ensure they continue to work as they’re supposed to.

If the drain in your kitchen or bathroom sink is draining slowly, it’s a sign that a clog has formed and it could grow further without attention. You should clean the drains whenever you notice this symptom to remove clogs while they are still small and avoid a major clog in the future.

Outside of your annual professional service and targeted cleaning when you notice a problem, practicing drain maintenance on a regular basis will help keep your drains clean and free of debris buildup so your risk of clogs is minimized.

How to Clean Your Drains

Whenever you notice slow drainage, it’s time for the drain to be cleaned. It’s important to use proper cleaning methods whenever you attempt to remove a drain obstruction, as you could risk damage to the plumbing system like a break in a drain line.

What Not to Use

  • While cleaning chemicals are commercially available and advertised as safe for cleaning them, do not use chemical cleaners to remove clogs or improve drainage.
  • Chemical cleaners cause corrosion to your pipes and eventually will cause them to break, requiring replacement.
  • Chemical cleaners shouldn’t be used in homes with septic systems. The chemicals impact the bacterial processes that break down debris, and your septic tank won’t be able to handle this matter as efficiently.
  • Chemical drain cleaners are toxic and not environmentally friendly. The chemical cleaner can make its way into the water supply, where it is damaging to wildlife and their habitats. Packaging from these products further pollutes the environment, ending up in landfills.
  • Using these cleaning products to treat a clog isn’t always effective. These cleaners will not work against all types of pipe blockages.

Safe Drain Cleaning Methods

Drains in your kitchen, bathroom, shower, and sinks can be safely cleaned using the following methods to remove a blockage:

  • Use a plunger to increase pressure in the pipe and move matter through the line. There are different categories of plungers – use a cup or sink plunger to clear drains in sinks or a shower and a toilet or flange plunger is used to remove a toilet blockage.
  • A plumber’s snake or auger is a tool that is threaded down the drain to bust through and remove debris.
  • Flush the drain with hot water – pour boiling water into the drain from a few feet above so gravity can help move the clog along.
  • A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can clean a drain and help bust through a clog.

Maintaining Your Drains

By performing maintenance regularly on a weekly and monthly basis, you can often keep your drains healthy and lower the likelihood of encountering a blockage.

  • Use your garbage disposal properly – keep grease and other improper food matter out of the kitchen sink drain. Use cold water instead of hot water when running the garbage disposal, and leave it running for about 30 seconds once you turn off the disposal. Run the garbage disposal weekly to keep it in good shape and prevent obstructions in the drain.
  • Install strainers on shower drains to keep hair, soap pieces, and large debris out of the pipes.
  • Add baking soda to a kitchen sink drain weekly or as needed to absorb odors.
  • Each week, rinse drains in the kitchen and bathroom. Pour a pot of boiling water down each drain from a few feet above.
  • Monthly, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into each drain to help keep them clean between a plumber’s cleanings. Let the solution sit for at least a half hour and then rinse it through with hot water.

How to Tell When You Need Professional Drain Cleaning

Blockages are the most common reason for stopped up drains, especially if the issue affects only one drain or drains in a single area of the home, like in the kitchen only or the bathroom toilet and sink. Even if you regularly clean and care for your drains on a weekly or monthly basis, a clogged drain cannot always be prevented. Here are the signs that tell you when you should call a plumbing company to have a plumber clean your drains.

  • If your drains clog repeatedly, it’s best to call a plumber for assistance so that the underlying cause of this recurring problem can be corrected.
  • If water backs up in the showers or a sink drain when the toilet is flushed or another fixture is used, this is a sign of air in the pipes which means drain cleaning is needed.
  • If all the drains in your house are slow or stopped up entirely, this is a sign of a possible crack in your sewer pipe which will require service from a plumber to repair.
  • If sewage backs up through drains in your home, this is a plumbing emergency and you need to call for emergency services as exposure to sewage and sewer gases can be harmful to your family’s health.
  • Pooling water in your yard is a sign of a clog within or damage to buried sewer lines. Call a plumbing company to determine the problem and perform drain cleanings or repairs as needed.

Keeping Central Indiana Drains Clean

Despite your best efforts each week, grease, hair, and other debris can make their way down drain fixtures and form obstructions that impact a home’s plumbing. Keep each drain in your home open and working properly with help from a trusted plumbing pro. Contact Williams Comfort Air today to schedule service when you experience a clogged drainage pipe.

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