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Spring 2015

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The Causes of Blocked Drains and Why You Need to Call a Plumber

From toilets and showers to kitchen sinks and dishwashers, the plumbing system in your home gets so much use every single day that an eventual clog becomes inevitable. So what are some of the causes of these clogs? We’ve put together a quick explanation of some of the most common things.

  • Food waste. Clogs commonly occur in kitchen sinks, due to all the large food waste that they have to deal with. Many homeowners assume that their garbage disposal is virtually indestructible, which often leads them to put many types of waste down it that shouldn’t go there. Animal bones, melted fat, grease and fruit pits are all examples of things that shouldn’t go in your garbage disposal.
  • Hair. Whether they come from shaving your face or brushing your hair, strands of hair can form impenetrable clogs in the drains of your bathroom fixtures that often require a drain auger to remove.
  • Hard water and soap scum. Hard water means that the water from your plumbing has excess minerals in it. These minerals often get deposited throughout your plumbing system in the form of limescale, which can be harmful to your plumbing. Also, when mixed with soaps from showering or washing your hands, hard water minerals can form soap scum. Both limescale and soap scum can completely clog your drains and require the services of a professional plumber to fix.
  • Pressure. Your plumbing system uses a delicate balance of pressure in order to operate. As water flows through your pipes it pushes air ahead of it and creates a vacuum behind it. In order to accommodate this, your plumbing system uses vent stacks to allow air to enter and escape. If the pressure in your pipes becomes imbalanced, it will prevent waste water from flowing properly and could cause a clog or create gurgling sounds in your pipes.

Whenever you’re having any problems with your plumbing system, whether it’s clogs or leaks, make sure that you call your local plumber. Your plumbing system is too valuable to neglect.


Common Plumbing Problems to Look for in Your Home

There are probably very few tasks that you perform in your home that don’t require you to utilize your plumbing system. From cleaning and showering to laundry and eating, your plumbing system safely and efficiently disposes of your waste water and provides you with potable drinking water. That can cause a number of different problems, and we wanted to share a few of the most common ones with you. Keep a close eye and ear out for these signs and then call for repair immediately—waiting will only make the problem worse.

  • Leaks. Water is one of the most destructive things on the planet: just look at the damage that floods do in just a short amount of time. Because your plumbing system handles so much water, leaks are inevitable. Things like water spots on the ground or dripping water from your faucets are both obvious signs that you have a leak. But there are a couple less noticeable ones to watch for. If none of your appliances or fixtures are running but you hear the sound of running water, it could signal that you have a slow water leak somewhere.
  • Clogs. Another very common problem is clogs. Waste water from your kitchen and bathrooms can often form clogs in the drain lines as well as in your sewer main. Watch for multiple drains clogging simultaneously: this can indicate a clog deep in the sewer line. If some of your drains just can’t keep up anymore, it could indicate a slowly developing clog. Tree roots are actually one of the most common causes of clogs in sewer mains so if you have trees on your property, be prepared for this.
  • Corrosion. Corrosion can happen between different metals and between your pipes and the water or soil. It is the small exchange of electrons that causes your pipes to start to break down. If you’ve recently replaced sections of your old steel pipes with new, copper pipes, you may start to notice some corrosion because of the difference between the two metals.

When you notice any problems with your plumbing system, make sure that you call a professional for repair immediately. Your plumbing system doesn’t have an "auto–fix" button and any problems that you see will likely just get more serious and costly with time.

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