At Griffin, one of the most common calls we get is to open up drains. These pesky problems always seem to pop up at the worst time, like during that dinner party you’ve planned all week or Monday night after a long day. That’s why today your friendly Lompoc plumbers are breaking down the most common drain clogging culprits and their cures. Know that our team at Griffin Plumbing is available to support you in your Lompoc plumbing needs. Whether your home requires a drastic renovation or a simple tip, we deliver the right fix the first time, anytime.
Garbage Disposal Clogs
Alas, the kitchen garbage disposal. It has caused you problems for years. It often fills up with water, or stops working entirely. Fortunately, this is an easy thing to prevent. Many people assume that having a garbage disposal means that they can shove anything down the drain and it will be chopped up and gone for good. We hate to break it to you, but this is not the case.
Garbage disposals are great for small bits of food and organic matter coming off a cleaned plate, but don’t do so great with foods like thick fruit, vegetable peels, eggshells and pastas. Avoid tossing these kinds of things down the drain, along with your coffee grounds and oily food scraps.
Rather than relying on your disposal to handle food, collect organic matter in a compost pail. You can easily empty it into your green waste bin at the end of the day, or use it in your garden.
Kitchen Sink Stink (Drains Without a Disposal)
Alright, you get it already. Always use a drain strainer in your sink; you know there isn’t a garbage disposal to handle tiny food scraps. You also know to avoid pouring leftover Sunday morning bacon grease down the drain; you already collect it in a nifty disposable container. So why is your drain still clogged and stinky? Oftentimes, oils in foods and liquids like salad dressings are overlooked clogging culprits.
Although they pour down the drain easily, they can eventually dry and harden and release an unpleasant stench in your kitchen. Once a week, it is helpful to pour boiling water down your drain to clean out the system and breakup any hardened grease wreaking havoc on your nostrils.
Low-flow Water System Clogs
Low-flow toilets and faucets are great for saving water, but not so great for clearing drains. If you have one of these systems in place in your home and find that your sinks and bathtubs are constantly clogging, try flushing these pipes with a large amount of water once a week to wash away debris. This will help clear your pipes to avoid future clogs.
Fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour it into toilet while simultaneously flushing to help clear the main drain line. Fill your sinks up with hot water, and do the same by pulling the stopper after they have filled.
Pro tip: Add baking soda to the water to soak up any smells that are building up in your pipes.
Pop-up Stopper Problems
If you find yourself in a sticky situation with your bathroom sink, oftentimes the hidden clogging culprit is your pop-up stopper. You already know to keep a mesh screen on your shower drain as a protective agent against hair and soap clogs, but it is easy to forget about your bathroom sink. Many people groom themselves over the sink, which makes it a hot spot for hair clogs.
Check your pop-up stopper for clumps, and use a mesh screen on this drain to avoid toothpaste, soap, and other debris from filling up your sink. If you have kids, mesh screens are important for all the drains in your house to avoid toys and precious family heirlooms from being washed into your pipes.
Washing Machine Drain
Washing machine woes? Don’t worry, our friendly Lompoc plumbing experts know just the trick to keep your machine running smoothly. Lint, bits of fabric, facial tissue and even the occasional scarf can weasel their way into your washer’s hose and cause trouble in the drain.
To avoid these kinds of clogs, it is important to install a lint trap at the end of your washer’s hose. These are sold in hardware stores and are a cheap trick to keep your drain clear. Be sure to check it frequently and pour it out when it gets full.
Although these DIY fixes are great for steering clear of clogs, make sure to call your local Lompoc plumbing expert for annual inspections to your home’s plumbing system. Here at Griffin, we specialize in peace of mind. When you are ready to take your plumbing prevention a step further contact us online to schedule regular preventative drain cleanings with your Lompoc plumbers to keep your pipes in top shape.