We don’t often appreciate or even think about the things we don’t see. Such is the case with our plumbing systems. Since plumbing pipes are hidden in the walls, beneath the flooring, and in the ground, it’s easy to ignore them or assume they’re indestructible, thinking they’ll always work as they should.
But this mindset, which is common with many homeowners, is what leads to bad drain habits and plumbing abuse, and, consequently, numerous drainage problems. If you deal with frequent drain blockages, slow drains, or drains that routinely smell awful, chances are your plumbing issues are due to a few seemingly harmless habits, that in reality, aren’t harmless at all.
What kind of habits? Continue reading to learn about the daily actions you might be guilty of that are causing your drains to clog.
Flushing Foreign Objects Down the Toilet
We’ve all been taught (probably by our parents) that the only objects that belong in a toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Simple, right? Not so much. Plenty of folks mistakenly think that if they flush a thing or two here and a thing or two there, all of those little non-flushable things won’t add up to much. But that’s the thought process that leads to toilet problems.
If you’re flushing any of the following objects down your commode and your toilet frequently clogs, it’s time to stop:
● Feminine hygiene products
● Wet wipes — even the “flushable” kind
● Paper items
● Cotton swabs and Q-Tips
● Old food
These items can get stuck in the toilet and in the pipes. It can also take months or years for them to fully break down in the septic system. For this reason, you should refrain from flushing them down the toilet.
Even food items that are largely composed of liquid can contain lots of oils and fats that never belong in your plumbing system. Over time, these substances can create a thick, sludgy mess inside your pipes and may even cause issues with your main sewer line.
Putting Anything and Everything in the Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are more powerful than ever. They also have tough blades that can chew almost anything not made of metal. Yet, they were never designed to grind items other than certain types of foods and liquids.
Furthermore, the real problem occurs after an object makes it past the blades. Certain types of foods and fibrous materials will turn to paste or gather and wrap around the blades once they are cut up. Other materials will harden, creating a thick, sludgy, sticky coating along the interior of your drain.
If you’re shoving any of the following foods down your disposal, it’s time to start tossing them in the trash instead:
● Food grease, oil, or fat
● Nuts, seeds, and their shells
● Coffee grounds
● Animal bones
● Rice, pasta, or bread
● Fibrous fruits and vegetables
Doing Any Activity Over the Sink
There are various activities that homeowners engage in while standing over their kitchen or bathroom sink that cause the drains to clog up. These activities often include — whether it’s accidental or purposeful — dropping or pouring items into the drain.
What kind of activities are we getting at? Some of the most common ones include:
● Brushing hair
● Using cosmetics
● Food preparation
● Grooming pets
● Rinsing out paintbrushes
● Cleaning auto parts
All of these and other activities can cause buildup to harden in the sink and eventually block the pipes and limit the water flow.
Neglecting Your Drains
How often do you get your drains professionally cleaned? If it’s not often (or ever), it’s time to start being more mindful of your drains’ routine cleaning needs. That’s especially true if you have hard water and your plumbing may be prone to mineral buildup (also known as scale).
Over time, the minerals that are naturally present in hard water can form calcified deposits along the interior of your pipes. Those deposits can slow water flow through the plumbing system and can also trap larger pieces of debris that may accidentally end up in your drains. Ultimately, mineral buildup can contribute to moderate to severe drain blockages and even pipe deterioration.
Ideally, you should have your household drains cleaned annually to keep them in good working condition. If you own or manage a commercial building, the frequency with which your drains see use and the type of use they see will determine how often you should schedule drain cleaning service.
For more information on drain-cleaning timetables, check out:
● Household Drain Cleaning: How Often Should You Have It Done?
● How Often Is Commercial Drain Cleaning Necessary?
● How Often Is Commercial Sewer Cleaning Necessary?
Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning Services in Minneapolis
If you’re dealing with slow drains or a complete drain blockage, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning. We offer a wide range of plumbing services for home and business owners in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities suburbs.
To get started or learn more about our services, call us today at 763-913-8719 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll contact you with more information.