Prevent Plumbing Nightmares – Halloween Plumbing Tips

What’s scarier than a spooky ghost this Halloween? Plumbing problems! Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent and treat clogs.

What Causes Clogs?

Clogs happen for a variety of reasons. In the plumbing inside the house, clogs occur because of buildups of hair, soap scum, grease, fats, and oils. Outside the house, clogs can occur when tree roots invade the main line, when the sewers collapse, or when a buildup of scum and oil collects in the pipes. Most of these problems are preventable.  

Clog Prevention Techniques

There are many things you can do to prevent clogs in your home’s drains.

  • Don’t flush hair down your drains. A lot of people flush hair down their drains when they’re cleaning, others simply allow hair to flow down the drains during showers and baths. Covering your drains with filters can help prevent this problem from occurring.
  • Dispose of fats and oils properly. Throw away your fats and oils instead of allowing them to run down the drains.
  • Avoid planting trees close to your main line or sewer line. When choosing trees for your yard, avoid silver maples and willows. These trees are known for having invasive surface-level roots.
  • Flush your drains with vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda are natural cleaning products that can clear out grease and dissolve organic material trapped in your pipes. To prevent clogs, sprinkle your pipes with baking soda. Then, chase the baking soda with vinegar. Let the mixture sit in the pipes for several hours. When you’re done, flush the pipes with hot water.  
  • Flush enzymes down your drains. Enzymes work a bit like baking soda and vinegar to keep your drains flowing smoothly. When using enzymes, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

DIY Clog Clearing Techniques

Unless the main line or sewer is clogged, clearing your drains is relatively easy. For most drain clearing projects, you’ll use a plumber’s auger. An auger is a stiff cable with a corkscrew tip. Push the cable down the drain and then turn the hand crank when the cable encounters a clog or a turn in the pipes. Continue to push the cable and turn the crank down the pipe until the clog is pierced.  retract the cable and flush out the pipes with hot water.

Identifying a Main Line or Sewer Clog

A main line, or sewer clog is a problem that should be addressed by a professional. You’ll be able to tell a main line or sewer problem by the number of drains that are clogged. When multiple plumbing fixtures are suddenly experiencing problems, this is an indication that a main line or sewer is clogged. When only one drain is experiencing a problem, this is an indication of a localized clog.

Contact Your Plumber For Help With Clogs This Halloween

At Terry’s Plumbing, we help Pittsburgh homeowners clear clogs and keep their sewer flowing smoothly. We answer our phone 24 hours a day, so you can call anytime with an emergency – even on Halloween night! contact us today at 412-364-9114.