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Drain Cleaning Can Solve All of These Worrying Problems

Once in a while, you wipe the dust and streaks off of your windows, scrub the dirt from your floors, sanitize the stained shelves of your refrigerator and even empty the burnt crumbs sitting at the bottom of the toaster. You know you have to give these appliances and home features a thorough clean on occasion, or else the house would be a complete mess.

The same rule applies to your plumbing system. When you don’t periodically clean your drains and run maintenance, you run the risk of dealing with a messy and malfunctioning plumbing system. If you spot the following problems, you will need to get your drains cleaned up by a professional.

Stubborn Clogs

Whenever you wash the dishes for the night, you notice that the water filling the sink takes half an hour to make its way down, even though there’s no plug sitting in the drain. When you take showers, your feet soak in a puddle of water and soap bubbles. When you use the toilet, the contents refuse to be flushed until you grab a plunger and force them down.

An occasional clog shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, but you need to call drain cleaning experts in Toronto when you are dealing with struggling drains all of the time. Trained plumbers can help you get rid of relentless clogs in areas around the house, including your bathtubs, showers, sinks, toilets and floor drains.

Ignoring clogs is never a wise idea. If you keep using the drain, the blockage will build up over time and become more difficult to dislodge. You can also set yourself up for water damage and flooding. Clogged toilets can overflow, sending filthy water spilling onto the floor. When a fixture overflows in the basement, you hope that the floor drain will stop the spilling water from pooling on the ground. If that floor drain is also blocked, the additional safety precaution will be useless.

Other than calling a plumber, the best way to stop clogs is to practice prevention. If you’re not sure where to start, go to our blog filled with everyday tips for keeping your drains clean and taking care of your plumbing for years to come.

For instance, if you don’t want to deal with toilet trouble in the future, don’t flush anything that isn’t human waste or toilet paper down the drain. Everything else should be placed in a garbage can or compost bin. Even items that describe themselves as “flushable,” like tampons or wet wipes, should not be deposited in the toilet. These can form clogs in home plumbing systems and cause problems for the city’s wastewater treatment system.

Another good habit is to be careful about what goes down the kitchen sink. Putting in a drain catcher to trap any falling food scraps is not enough, because there are liquid items that shouldn’t go down the drain that can make their way through the screen. One common problem is pouring grease down the sink in order to get rid of it right after cooking — this is usually done because it is a liquid when it is hot. Unfortunately, grease becomes a solid when it cools down and makes for some hard-to-get-rid-of clogs.

Bad Smell

Your nose catches a whiff of something awful when you’re standing in the kitchen. You decide to empty out your compost bin and give it a quick rinse to get rid of the strong smell of rotting food. The smell persists, so you empty out the garbage can, in case there is something disgusting sitting at the bottom. You open up a window and spray air freshener around the entire room, but your kitchen is still bothering your nose.

When this happens, you need to investigate your sink drain. A build-up of organic matter can sit inside of your pipes and collect bacteria, which lets off a horrible odour over time. This is what happens when you allow inappropriate food items to make their way down the drain, instead of gathering them in a drain catcher or emptying them in the garbage.

The same problem can happen with your bathtub or shower. Over time, strands of hair and residue from bath products will compile inside of the drain and give off a terrible smell. Just like using a drain catcher to stop food scraps in the kitchen sink, you should use one in the bathroom to trap loose hair.

You can try to eradicate the smell by performing a DIY drain clean using simple items that will be readily available in your kitchen, like white vinegar, baking soda and water. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Do not turn on the tap or pour anything else down there for fifteen minutes. When the time is up, boil a kettle and pour the hot water directly down the drain. The technique should flush away the build-up and cleanse the drain of bacteria.

If the odour continues after your natural rinse, don’t buy a liquid drain cleaner. Drain cleaners that you can pick up at the store tend to have hydrochloric acid — it is a very corrosive chemical that will eat away at metal pipes and enamelled fixtures. If you use these products on a regular basis, you could really damage your plumbing.

These are some other downsides to commercial drain cleaners:

  • They are bad for the environment
  • They emit fumes that are harmful to your health
  • They are safety hazards for children and pets
  • They don’t always work

If your natural rinse doesn’t do the trick, you should call up Sewer Squad to complete the job. Explore the website to learn about our drain cleaning services like the drain maintenance program using environmentally-friendly products to treat your stubborn and smelly drains. We can also snake your bathroom drain to pull out hair tangles that are contributing to the unpleasant odour.

Sewage Odour

This category is a little different from the one before. The organic waste build-up will smell like compost, grime or musty water. If you smell rotten eggs, you have sewer gas escaping into your house.

The smell of rotten eggs comes from the chemical gas hydrogen sulphide, which is one of the main components of sewer gas — other components include methane and carbon monoxide. It may be unfortunate to breathe in, but you’ll be thankful that it’s warning you that there’s an issue with your plumbing.

One of the reasons you could have sewer gas sneaking into your household is that you have a sewage backup in your pipe system. A tenacious clog in the main line can send sewage back through multiple exits, reaching the drains on the lowest level first. Sometimes the sludge-like backup will come up through the drains, spilling out of basement floor drains or showing up in the toilet bowls. Since the obstruction is sitting in the main line, you won’t be able to dislodge the clog with a plunger or a store-bought drain snake.

It’s possible that this isn’t a clog made by food build-up, flushable wipes or sanitary products. A crack or leak in your main line could be creating your sewage backup problem. Many older homes in Toronto and the GTA were built with clay pipes, which are known to collapse over time. Roots from nearby trees can also sneak into small fissures in the pipe wall and create a massive obstruction that a regular drain cleaning can’t fix.

Call Sewer Squad to run a video inspection, so you can see if the backed-up drains are happening because of a broken pipe or a collection of tree roots. The inspection will also show if the problem area is located on your property or if it’s coming from the city’s side of the sewer service pipe. In cases where the breaks and clogs sit on the city side, they have to send Toronto Water staff to investigate and take care of the major plumbing repair.

If it happens to be on your side of the main-line, you can also use us for our repiping and drain replacement services — we can upgrade your drains with strong crack-proof pipes, so the problem doesn’t happen again. The new pipes will be resistant to tree root intrusion and won’t break down quickly. In fact, we offer a 25-year warranty with our pipe installations.

It’s possible for your main line inspection to reveal no signs of breaks, intrusions or clogs, even though you’re smelling sewer gas. In this case, the gas could be released into the house because of the following plumbing issues:

  • Damaged vents
  • Cracked or worn-out wax seals
  • Dried out P-traps

You use your home’s plumbing system every single day. It’s necessary for essential tasks like taking your morning shower, preparing a meal for dinner or brushing your teeth before turning in for the night. Since you depend on the system, you need the drains to stay efficient and reliable. Getting a plumber to run a routine cleaning is the quick maintenance you need to keep your system in great condition.

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