Indoor plumbing is an incredible achievement that’s easy to take for granted because we’re just so used to having water everywhere on command. But the second we see that sink draining slowly or the toilet begin to clog, we get stressed — it’s a reminder that the plumbing system we rely on is not invulnerable.
Sewer Squad is your experts in unclogging drains when the blockage remains even after plunging, as well as other vital plumbing services like drain cleaning, drain repair, camera inspections and more.
But before you call us, there are a few common clogs you may encounter that you can fix yourself if you just know how. Read on to learn more.
Freeing up the Kitchen Sink
It’s important when washing dishes not to let certain food particles go down the drain, as the build-up from different ingredients can get stuck to the pipes one particle at a time, and gradually coagulate. You’ll know there’s a problem when you rinse the dishes and the water stays put in the sink basin.
Even if it does lower little by little over time, there’s a problem with the drainage that need to be addressed. Place the cup of a clean plunger over the drain so a good seal forms, then with applied pressure move the plunger up and down until the water in the basin drains properly.
If the clog isn’t fixed or the problem comes back in short time, call a professional plumber. This is why it’s important to put discarded food in the compost or use a drain catcher when rinsing dishes to prevent certain foods from getting stuck in your pipes.
If there’s one thing you don’t want down your pipes, it’s cooking grease: while grease is a liquid when it’s hot, it cools down and sticks to your pipes, in turn having other food stick to it.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of other food you mustn’t let go down your sink:
- Potato peels
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves
Sewer Squad offers drain cleaning in Toronto and the GTA that will come to your home the same day you call, so you can get back to using your kitchen in a hurry. If you’d like, we also offer a maintenance program where we treat your drain on a monthly basis. This ensures your pipes are always in good working order, plus we’ll use environmentally friendly products that are way better for your plumbing system than the abrasive chemicals you can buy in stores.
For good measure, you can pour boiling water down your pipes every once in a while as an easy and inexpensive way to improve their health. But take some care not to put the wrong things down it in the first place.
A clog in the kitchen sink isn’t good, but the stakes are higher in the washroom! If you flush the toilet and the contents refuse to go down the drain, you know you have a problem.
The water in the bowl may even rise higher and threaten to spill over. You may be tempted to flush again, as you want the toilet’s content to vanish, but don’t do it! You may make the problem worse by having the toilet actually overflow.
Locate the toilet’s water valve behind the fixture. Turn it off in order to reduce the possibility of dirty water soiling the floor. Next, get your toilet plunger to form a tight seal over the toilet trap and quickly plunge it up and down.
Just as with the sink, if the toilet is still clogged or the problem returns soon, call in the professionals. Toilets usually clog because people flush what they aren’t supposed to. Even items that don’t seem cumbersome can be a problem, such as dental floss, which isn’t biodegradable and can get snagged on a pipe and tangled up with whatever comes down the pipe next.
Menstrual products can wreak havoc on a home’s plumbing system. A list of such items not to flush include:
- Sanitary napkins
- Panty liners
Anything made of cotton expands in water, and the last place you want these to grow is when they’re inside your pipes. One way how to prevent a sewer backup is to keep all such products out of your plumbing system altogether, even when the company claims that their tampons are flushable.
If you’re wondering when to call for professional drain cleaning then it’s probably already past time: call Sewer Squad right away if you have any questions or concerns. Our expect technicians will remove the clog with a drain snake in no time, and plus they’ll always use a drop sheet so they don’t leave any trace of a mess.
Clogged Shower Drain
Loose hair is the bane of shower drains: as with dental floss, it might seem non-threatening because it’s so thin and flexible, but strands of hair get snagged on a pipe, and get jumbled together to form a stubborn problem for drains.
More loose hair goes down the drain, until a blockage occurs and no water can pass through. If water begins to pool at your feel during showers or the water takes an extra long time to drain out, it could very well be that hair is stuck somewhere in your pipe.
Professional plumbers will lower a drain snake into the opening to clear whatever is obstructing the pipe, more often than not loose hair. This problem can be avoided if you take care to use a shower drain catcher, so the strands don’t go through the plumbing system when you’re shampooing or conditioning your hair — throw the collected hair into the garbage, where it can do no harm.
Does it ever feel like several fixtures in your home aren’t working properly at the same time? Maybe your toilet makes a funny sound when you flush. The sink drains too slowly. There’s a distinctly foul smell near the floor drain in the basement.
The problem here isn’t likely to be a single clog caused by hair or grease build-ups. More likely, there’s a clog directly in the main sewer line. A blockage here will affect every drain in your home because the main sewer line is connected to all of them.
You may not think of it right away, but the culprit could be the tree in front of your home; when a pipe in your sewer line begins to leak, the underground tree roots crave the moisture, and make their way towards the pipe and even push themselves inside. Unsurprisingly, this can form a substantial clog.
Numerous news reports describe problems just like this, in one case where a city-owned tree snaked its way so deep inside the pipes of a home that tree roots came out of the drain! A dispute arose as to who was on the hook for a $10,000 repair since the tree belonged to the city of Toronto, not to the homeowners, but one thing is for sure: if you have a problem with tree roots infiltrating your pipes, call Sewer Squad.
We have high definition video cameras we can send in the pipes to see exactly what’s blocking them, and pinpoint its location. If there’s a disputed case like the one above, having a camera will determine the precise blockage, which will strengthen your case when you tell the city that they should bear the cost of the repair. Either way, contact Toronto Water about the problem, and submit a service request.
Understanding how to recognize and fix the different kind of clogs is part of being a responsible home owner, but it’s also important to know your limits. Take care not to send the wrong things into your pipes, and call Sewer Squad if you’re wondering where to find a drain cleaning company that can solve all your plumbing issues quickly and cleanly.