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Can you think of five different ways that a simple flush of your toilet can go wrong? There are plenty more than that, and it’s a great example of why drains are a lot more complicated than most homeowners think. At Peach Plumbing & Drain in Atlanta, GA, our plumbers know that not every drain issue is a simple plastic dinosaur in the toilet or shampoo cap down the shower drain, and it can take some ingenuity to find and correct the real cause. We also have a number of recommendations about things you might have thought were flushable or could go down the garbage disposal, but more often than you’d expect are the reason for our plumbing professionals to make a visit. Since a blocked drain is a hassle, and a drain backup is an expensive mess, it’s good to be well-informed about the outgoing side of your plumbing system.
About the Toilet Question
Your toilet can have trouble with its internal jets, often caused by mineral deposits; material can get stuck in the internal trap; there can be trouble with the plumbing vent preventing drain flow; a clog down the line can be preventing your flush from going down the drain; flushing with insufficient water can cause trouble, and that’s just a few of the issues our plumbers can uncover and resolve. How many of those can be fixed with a basic plunger? Only a couple. That’s why you call us, to get the right fix and avoid the mess.
Using Your Shutoff Valves Wisely
In your home or nearby there’s the main water shutoff that you should know about. Occasionally, it’s some distance away in the neighborhood, and it’s possible it might need a long-handled tool to reach it. That’s fairly rare, but it’s why it’s best to be prepared. If something goes wrong with your water, such as a stuck toilet that’s about to overflow, the main shutoff is one option, the one that covers the whole house’s water supply. Hopefully, you’ve got a shutoff under the toilet as well, that turns off the water to just that fixture. Every sink should have one, too. If any are missing or some are not easy to turn, our plumber can quickly install new ones or get them working properly. It’s great insurance, and very helpful when it comes time to make a faucet repair.
Hair Clogs, the Curse of Your Sink and Shower
Assuming some of your family have hair, you’re going to have plenty of it in your shower or tub drain, and some in your sink as well. It may accumulate over months, or just a week or two, and eventually you’ll have a slow drain, probably gummed up with soap or other material as well. For sinks and tubs with automatic plugs, the mechanism often traps a lot of hair and it’s fairly easy for our plumber to untangle and remove. In other cases, the hair goes further in and hangs off other parts of your drain, building up until the water can’t flow through. This can take an auger or other tool to grab it and pull it out, and the quantity can be amazing, a handful or more. In the sink, it’s usually less, but it’s still a problem. A quick fix for tub hair problems is a simple strainer that fits over the drain, collects the hair, and is easily removable to dispose of the hair.
To Flush or Not to Flush
The basic plumber rule of thumb is simple: toilet tissue and human waste only in the toilet. It’s amazing what else goes down there, by accident or simply because the toilet looks like a nice, big drain opening. It’s not, of course, it has the loops and twists that other drains have, inside the toilet fixture. Some objects get stuck, like that plastic dinosaur, while others may or may not, like cotton balls and cosmetic wipes. Flushable wipes are turning out to be less flushable in many home plumbing systems than people thought, and even things like dental floss can become part of tangles downstream that never dissolve and just keep building until they’re removed. The toilet isn’t a great alternative to the garbage disposal, either, and kitty litter, especially the clumping kind that’s designed to make clog-like blocks, is a definite no-go.
About Drain Chemicals
You’ve probably heard that drain chemicals can complicate clearing your drains if they don’t do the job, so it’s a risky choice. Now that you know there are many ways a drain can get blocked, and only a few that chemicals or plungers can address, there’s even more reason to call a plumber first. Another big reason is the way drains back up through other pipes and otherwise can be unpredictable, sending caustic chemicals to unknown places. Two big reasons not to subject the plumber to chemicals: when they use the plunger, it splashes, and when they use the high-pressure hydro jet device, that’s a big risk too.
The Mother of All Clogs: Sewer Line Clogs
If you’re getting multiple backups, it may be time for our plumber to scope the sewer and look for trouble. Often, it’s just a matter of significant amounts of material building up and reducing the sewer line flow from your house. Hydro jetting is usually a good solution for that if the rest of the pipe is in good shape. Thanks to video, we can tell and if there are other issues, we can identify and locate them. Often, we can patch and reline as appropriate without a lot of digging.
Keep Your Drains Clear in Atlanta, GA with Peach Plumbing & Drain
We’re Peach Plumbing & Drain of Atlanta, GA, a local business serving the metro area with friendly, professional service. Our plumbers can handle your drain and leak detection issues, plumbing repairs and upgrades, and other plumbing services. Give us a call 24/7 and let us know how we can help!