From clearing out clogs to replacing your drains altogether, Wolcott is always happy to help with your drain needs. That being said, we also know that having to call us is kind of a drag. Here’s a little know-how that’ll save you lots of money and frustration for years to come.
1. IT’S NOT GOOD FOR STUFF TO GO DOWN ’EM
Food, grease, hair, other refuse — all bad for your drains. Yes, this includes coffee grounds, which, you may have noticed, don’t dissolve in water (sorry, French press folks). Any of this stuff is theoretically okay in small quantities, but over time, it will build up and create a blockage. A garbage disposal can help with this (and we can install one for you) but they can also become clogged or damaged, so don’t go throwing any peach pits, chicken bones, mac and cheese, or potato peels in there.
2. THAT ALL OF YOUR DRAINS ARE ULTIMATELY CONNECTED
Your drains are so low-tech that they’re high-tech. They’re all powered exclusively by gravity, which is, thankfully, an infinite “power” source. When you flush your toilet, run your washer machine, or brush your teeth, the water travels through pipes that are angled downward (through those traps that we talked about) and into a main waste pipe, eventually running into the sewer line, which brings all waste out of your home and into a municipal waste system or a septic system. Vent pipes are an important part of the system because they prevent suction and keep the water flowing. Anyway, when weird stuff goes down your drain, it all ends up in your sewer line and a clog in your sewer line can back up every drain in your house. If you think that you’ve got this kind of situation on your hands, give us a call ASAP.
3. HOW A DRAIN TRAP WORKS (AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT)
That little “U” in your pipe below your sink or behind your toilet is simply, yet ingeniously, designed to let water and waste leave your home while preventing sewer gasses from coming in by trapping a small amount of water in its way.
4. WHETHER YOU HAVE A CLEAN-OUT MATTERS
Many drain and sewer services (like hydro jetting) require an accessible clean-out, so knowing whether you have one can make all of our lives a little easier. Not sure whether you have one? Search along the exterior walls of your home, in your basement, bathroom, and utility area. You’re looking for a wide pipe that’s closed by a threaded plug. We can also help you find it if you’re not sure.
5. STEER CLEAR OF CHEMICAL DRAIN CLEANERS
Last, but most certainly not least, please don’t use chemical cleaners to clear your clogs. (Say that five times fast!) Seriously, though, these guys are not as harmless as they seem. Typically, they work by generating heat to break up your clog, which can soften PVC pipes. The caustic chemicals in these cleaners are often corrosive to metal and can cause some pretty severe damage if your pipes are of the older, metal variety. They can also leave behind residue that builds up over time, forming a whole new clog. Plus, they’re extremely toxic and must be used with caution. If you must go there, be sure to read (and follow) the directions carefully.