“Get the plunger! The toilet is overflowing!”. A homeowner’s worst nightmare has got to be those words and the awful plumbing stoppages. Seeing water levels slowly rise instead of going down, whether it is the toilet, sink, or shower, is a stressful and concerning sight. But don’t worry, in this article we are going to break down the following:
- What are plumbing stoppages?
- What is considered a plumbing emergency?
- Solutions to fix plumbing stoppages.
- Using the right snake.
- How to avoid plumbing stoppages.
- And when to call the plumbing masters.
To resolve the issues, we need to find out just what we are dealing with. That is where the experts at Flow Pros Plumbing come in very handy. We will diagnose the problem, repair it, and clean up, so you don’t have to.
What are Plumbing Stoppages?
Plumbing stoppages can come in all shapes and sizes. And there are many reasons for those stoppages. An investigation may be needed to determine the cause. But sometimes, you can see the buildup right there, and you can easily remove it. If so, you are lucky and may want to take steps to avoid future clogs. The following is a list of the common causes of plumbing stoppages in homes.
- Food waste, such as fruit peels, plate scraps, and oils.
- Bathroom waste like sanitary products, hair, diapers, facial wipes, and more.
These are just two categories of waste that will stop up a drain in a hurry. Educating your household on these things will help everyone get on the same plan to save the pipes in the home. To learn what not to put in your disposal, click here. And to remind yourself and others what not to flush, click here.
Invaders from the outside of the home can come in the form of tree roots. Yes, tree roots can make their way into your outside drains and black them. Then you may get leaves, dirt, mold, stick, and bugs in your pipelines. No one wants that.
When pipes are older or made from copper or galvanized steel, they can begin to break down over time. That leads to additional problems, including parts of lines causing the blockage and the invasion of dirt and the elements. For more information on aging pipes, click here.
What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?
The truth is, mainline stoppages need the assistance of a professional plumber. Each house, apartment, or unit has one main sewer line connecting the property to either a septic tank or the city water connection. When stoppages occur in this line, a serious problem considering this line controls the water for your whole home, office, and possibly the neighborhood.
One way to spot a mainline stoppage is to run your shower or sink water and see if the water from your toilet starts to fill or bubble. Another sign of a severe blockage is when water is being pushed out or leaking at the toilet base. If you notice this issue, stop all water usage in your home and contact a local plumber.
Solutions to Fix plumbing Stoppages
Now that we have defined the different types of stoppages let’s go over how to fix them and get your water flowing freely again.
- The excellent news about simple stoppages of hair/debris inside showers and sinks is that they can be self-fixed. We advise you to put on gloves, remove the pop-up or shower drain and pull out any debris that you can reach. If there is still debris left in the drain, take a plunger, and plunge the sink or shower drain to free up the remaining debris.
- Try to stay away from over-the-counter stoppage liquids! These can be hazardous to your health and your pipes in the long run.
- The serious stoppages will need the assistance of a plumbing professional. Plumbers will have more of the necessary tools like a sewer machine they can use to run cables through your pipes to clear out debris or repair the lines if necessary.
- If you are unsure about the stoppage, you are having, better to play it safe and call a plumbing professional about it. Flow Pros will gladly talk it over with you and find the best solution to your stoppage problem.
Using the Right Snake
On each fully equipped truck, plumbers carry several different snakes for different types of clogs. So, if you have a clogged sink, toilet, or shower, your plumber can clear it completely. You see, plungers work well for a surface clog, but if the clog is more profound, you will definitely want a snake to get the job done. Here are the typical snakes and their usages.
- Sewer machines like the Spartan 300 are for clearing main drains. This is the big one used for entire house clogs, clearing drains with root intrusion, and mainline drain cleanout. In this case, a professional plumber is needed, no doubt.
- For sinks, a snake-like the Spartan 100 is a 3/8” drain cleaning tool that will get the job done in a hurry. A drum encases its 75 feet of cable, so dirty water is not spread all over. As it spins, this snake clears stoppages and clogs through kitchen sinks.
- A Pistol Grip is a snake used to clear tub stoppage, bathroom sinks, and clogged shower drains. It has a ¼ inch cable capable of clearing out to 25 feet.
- The Closet Auger is the snake used for toilets. It is a manual auger that is hand-cranked. Its limitation is that it will only go 3 feet, but an extension can go an additional 2 feet.
The problem with homeowners using the wrong tools, the wrong one will tear up your pipes. Customers are best to turn this problem over to professionals.
Avoid Plumbing Stoppages
There are plenty of things you and your family can do to avoid those pesky stoppages. Read over each of the following suggestions, then let those living in your home what you have learned. That way, everyone is on the same page when it comes to plumbing safety.
Drain Cleaners: First things first, plumbers hate to hear when a customer has used chemical drain cleaners for years, and now, they just won’t work anymore. Likely, those customers have damaged their pipes beyond repair. In this case, replacement piping would be necessary. Avoid that mistake and call a plumber if you cannot remove a clog with a simple plunger.
Kitchen: Pipes are prone to getting fats and oils trapped and forming clogs. Use best practices for your sink and disposal by knowing what should and should not go down your disposal and sink drain. Avoid fats, oils, and sticky substances going down there and save yourself a big headache.
Bathroom Drains: Hair, oils, and lotions will form the perfect stoppage in your bathroom sink and shower drains if you are not careful. If you know you lose a lot of hair in the shower or over the sink, install a drain filter to catch it before it goes down the drain. You’ll be glad you did.
Toilets: Only toilet paper and human waste go in the toilet; we cannot state this truth enough. Anything else needs to go into the trash cans. And please ensure children know the dangers of throwing toys in the toilet. Retrieval is a messy experience, and the child will likely not want the toy anymore. Teach them early to avoid future issues.
When to Call the Plumbing Masters at Flow Pros
Our goal is to help all our clients keep water running fluidly throughout the home. But if you run across a plumbing problem, it is good to know whom to turn to for help. At Flow Pros Plumbing, we aim to please every time. With our excellent customer service ratings and our attention to quality work, we are the plumbers you can count on.
Also, when you have a plumbing emergency, our team will be right out. We are ready to help you get the water flowing again quickly and affordably.
Plumbing stoppage? Contact Flow Pros Plumbing today.