Most homeowners know very little about their drains, but that’s why drain cleaning companies exist. At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we get a lot of questions about household drains, and we’re always more than happy to help educate homeowners. Below, we’ve listed a few of our most frequently asked questions to help you better understand how drain clogs happen, what you can do about them, and how you can help prevent them from occurring in the first place.  


Is It Okay to Use Liquid Drain Cleaner on a Slow Drain?

Though a variety of liquid drain cleaners are readily available, chemical-based cleaners can do some significant damage to your pipes with frequent use. And if you own an older home with antiquated plumbing, using chemical drain cleaners — even infrequently — can cause corrosion, which inevitably leads to pipe leaks.


If you’re really in a pinch, enzymatic drain cleaners are a safer alternative than the chemical variety, but if the drain clog is severe, liquid drain cleaners usually won’t solve the problem anyway. 


What Causes a Smelly Garbage Disposal? Can I Get Rid of the Odor?

Off-putting garbage disposal odors occur when food particles and residue build up inside the drain, and that buildup almost always results from improper use of the apparatus. You can attempt to eliminate the odor using a few different methods:


●        Grind up ice cubes. Put a few ice cubes down the disposal and run it for at least 30 seconds. Ice can help scrape away debris from blades and the interior of the drain, which will help lessen the odor. When the ice is completely gone, flush the disposal with tap water.

●        Baking soda and vinegar. Pour a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz for 10-15 minutes before flushing the drain with hot water for at least 30 seconds.

●        Hot water and dish soap. Insert a stopper into the garbage disposal drain. Fill your sink with very hot water and add a few squirts of dish soap. Remove the stop from the drain and run the garbage disposal until the water is gone. Just as hot water and soap clean your dishes, they can also help wash away residue from within the disposal.


If DIY cleaning methods fail to eliminate the odor coming from the garbage disposal, you’ll need to contact a drain cleaning specialist to get rid of the smell. 


Why Does My Sink Gurgle When I Flush the Toilet?

If your bathroom sink makes a gurgling noise whenever you flush the toilet, a plumbing ventilation issue may be what’s causing the sound. A gurgling sink drain can also occur when a mainline sewer clog is present, but determining the culprit behind the noise is difficult without a pipe inspection.


If, however, you notice water bubbling up through your shower drain or basement floor drain, you definitely have a clog somewhere in your mainline. To prevent a potentially disastrous plumbing issue, contact a drain cleaning professional for a camera drain inspection at your earliest convenience.


Is There Anything I Can Do to Help Prevent Drain Clogs?

Absolutely! There are a variety of routine maintenance actions you can take to help reduce your risk of developing drain clogs. Here are a few simple ways you can help keep your drains free from debris:


●        Garbage disposal. There are plenty of foods that never belong in your garbage disposal as they can contribute to the formation of drain clogs. Fats, oils, grease, starchy foods, nuts, fibrous veggies, coffee grounds, shells, and bones are the worst offenders.

●        Shower drain. Installing a drain strainer is super simple and can prevent excessive amounts of hair from traveling flowing into your shower drain.

●        Toilets. The only items that ever belong in your toilet are human waste and toilet paper, nothing else — ever. Even “flushable” wipes aren’t actually flushable, and with frequent use, they can quickly cause a toilet drain clog. 


How Does a Mainline Sewer Clog Happen?

Mainline sewer clogs occur for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are tree root intrusions and debris accumulation. If you think you have a mainline sewer clog (you’ll notice water bubbling through a floor drain or shower drain), it’s important to have the drain inspected and cleaned immediately. Because it’s often difficult to detect the cause of a mainline sewer clog without an inspection of the pipe’s interior, make sure you opt for a drain cleaning company that offers camera drain inspections. 


When Is It Necessary to Hire a Drain Cleaning Company?

If you aren’t familiar with plumbing or drains, it’s always a smart idea to hire a drain cleaning company to take care of slow or clogged drains. Though you can often dislodge minor clogs with a simple plunging, moderate and severe clogs typically require snaking or water jetting, and both cleaning procedures require professional expertise.


One thing to note: Because drains require routine maintenance to maintain proper flow, it’s also beneficial to schedule annual drain cleaning appointments to ensure your plumbing remains in good shape.


Got Drain Clogs? Contact Drain Blaster Bill

At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we inspect, clean, and maintain household drains throughout the Twin Cities metro. We specialize in a variety of advanced drain cleaning techniques, including water jetting and camera drain inspections, and we’re available for same-day service for your convenience. To schedule an appointment or request a free estimate, call our team today at 763-913-8719 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you promptly.