The holidays are upon us! With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner kitchens in Charlotte are abuzz with activity, and for us plumbers, that means just one thing; drain clogs. Often, homeowners rely on a caustic (acidic) drain opener to get them flowing again.These materials can be very hazardous to your health and the health of your loved ones (just read the warning labels). They can also take a toll on your pipes. When a caustic drain opener goes into a pipe and hits organic material (squishy drain gunk) it begins a chemical reaction that produces excess heat and pressure inside the pipe. Not good for plastic piping! If you have an older home with steel or cast iron drains, this acid can (and does) eat through the metal over time until eventually the bottom of the pipe is gone. The acid of chemical drain openers can also eat away at the finish of your sink connections taking the chrome, brass or oil rubbed bronze finish off and leave the metal with a flat looking, dull finish (not to mention without its protective coating).
So what is a homeowner to do?
Well, if your clog is just below the surface of the drain opening such as in the bathroom lavatory or tub drain you can try to clean it with a simple plastic device like this one .
These little devices are cheap, safe and if the clog is near the surface, effective.
Another good method is to keep your drains treated with a good enzymatic drain cleaner. These won’t open clogged drains, but rather if applied regularly when the drain is open, will eat away at the sludge before it builds up and develops a clog. Bio Clean is a good product and many reputable plumbers carry and sell it.
If you do come across a clogged drain this holiday season it really is best to let the pros handle it. A licensed plumber should have all the tools necessary to open a clogged drain in your home without using any materials which are caustic and dangerous to your family and your piping. A rotary cable machine is the tool of choice for most plumbers because it is safe, effective and, unlike chemical drain cleaners which can only poke a small hole through the gunk it gets the pipe clean all the way around the inner circumference of the pipe, so the drain stays open longer.
Jetting is also a good option that a licensed plumber can offer. This tool uses pressured water to safely blast away the gunk on the inside of a pipe; especially handy for greasy drains!
Also, a good plumber will inspect your piping in the crawl space or basement and under the sink to see that they are plumbed with the appropriate amount of downward pitch. A wide open pipe won’t drain well if it is running uphill.
Often times as an older home settles the walls and foundation shift causing the pipes to level off or even start running uphill. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of to see homes built like this from day one either. A shoddy plumbing subcontractor can (and often does) bring a lot of trouble to a home even years after he finished plumbing it.
If you need us, Pathmaker Plumbing can help get your drains open this holiday season. Whether you would like for us to come out and do a preventative cleaning or you’re already in full holiday swing, you can trust us to get you flowing again.
Learn more about Charlotte NC plumbing services at Pathmaker Plumbing – 704-733-7507.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 ( No Comments )