Clogged drains can be an issue for any type of residential wastewater treatment system, but especially so for homes with septic systems.
While drains are mostly hidden from view, they play an important role in the proper functioning of the household. Over time, however, drains can become clogged with debris, hair, soap scum, and other materials. This build-up can become so thick that it impedes the flow of water. In some cases, clogs can also be caused by objects that have been flushed down the drain, such as grease or coffee grounds, or foreign objects that get stuck. This can lead to water backup, slow drainage, and eventually complete blockage.
If you have ever dealt with a blocked drain, you know how frustrating it can be. Water backs up, drains slow down, and eventually, the blockage can become so bad that your drain is completely unusable.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent clogged drains in your home. By following these tips, you can keep your drains flowing freely for years to come.
First, it is important to be aware of what should and should not go down the drain, especially if your home has a septic system. Here are a few guidelines for minimizing the likelihood of clogged drains:
Be Cautious About What Gets Flushed
Food items are one of the most common sources of clogs. Since it is generally recommended that homes with septic systems not use (or limit the use of) garbage disposals, it is very important to dispose of food properly. Put scraps and leftovers in the trash or compost them. You can purchase a drain strainer to prevent scraps from falling into the drain as you are working.
Grease and oil, even in liquid form, can solidify in drains and lead to clogs. It is always best to dispose of grease by pouring it into a container until it cools, and then throwing it in the trash or having it recycled.
In bathrooms, hair and soap scum are primary culprits in creating clogged drains. Purchase a mesh or perforated shower or tub drain hair catcher to collect hair and prevent it from entering the drain. Brushing your hair before showering or bathing can remove loose hair.
Remember that toilets are designed to process human waste and toilet paper – and nothing else. This is especially true in homes with septic systems, since even items that make it through the pipes can lead to problems in the septic tank or septic drain field. Never flush wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, cat litter, or other items that are not water-soluble.
Install a lint catcher on your washing machine drain. Over time, lint and small pieces of fabric can get into the drain, causing a clog that will prevent proper drainage and potentially result in an overflow. Mesh lint traps can be installed on the washing machine’s discharge hose.
Never rinse joint compound, cement, or grout down the drain. These items are sometimes hardened by water, so they can quickly cause a complete blockage.
Measures to Prevent Clogged Drains
Clean the pop-up stopper on bathroom sinks regularly. Everything from hair to dental floss can get caught in the stopper, which can eventually cause the drains to slow down.
Regular DIY cleaning can help keep drains clear. This can be done with a plunger, snake, or chemical cleaner. However, it is important that homeowners with septic systems understand that chemicals can disrupt the functioning of the bacteria in the septic tank. While they might prevent clogs in drains, they could cause even more serious issues with the septic system.
How to Unclog a Drain
Clogged drains can often be fixed quickly and easily by homeowners, though more serious problems might require assistance from a plumber or septic company.
Here are a few tips to try if your drains are draining slowly or not draining at all:
- One easy fix to try is pouring hot water down the drain. If the culprit is grease or fat that has solidified, the hot water could melt the clog. Adding some grease-removing dish soap to the water can also help. Be sure to flush more water down the drain if this breaks up the blockage.
- Try using a plunger. There are plungers designed specifically for sinks, tubs, or showers that may be effective at forcing the clog out through the pipes. SImply add an inch or so of water to the sink, then plug vigorously.
- Baking soda and a little white vinegar can be combined with boiling water for an effective natural cleaner that removes grease.
- Drain snakes are specifically designed to unclog drains. They work by rotating a long snake-like metal rod into the drain. This can help break up a clog.
When To Call A Professional To Unclog A Drain
While many clogs can be cleared by homeowners themselves, sometimes professional help is needed.
Drain cleaning experts have the tools and expertise necessary to thoroughly clean your drains and remove any build-up that has accumulated over time. In most cases, a simple drain cleaning will suffice. However, in some cases, more extensive work may be required. For example, if tree roots have infiltrated your sewer line, hydrojetting may be necessary to remove the blockage.
Hydrojetting is a process whereby high-pressure water is used to blast through blockages and debris. This is an extremely effective way to remove stubborn clogs and is often used in commercial and industrial applications. However, it is also increasingly being used in residential settings as well.
By following these tips, you can prevent clogged drains and the headaches that come with them. So, do not wait until your drain is already backed up; take action now to keep your drains flowing freely.
Your Septic Company In & Near Lakeland
Septic and Drainfield Depot provides the best septic service in & near Lakeland. Our experienced septic technicians have hundreds of hours of hands-on training, and are always ready to help resolve any problems you have quickly and efficiently.
Contact us today for a free estimate. Call us at 863-563-3639!