How To Unclog A Drain Pipe

Whether we like it or not, clogged drains are a certainty of life that we cannot avoid. On the bright side, most clogs are usually minor, and can be quickly remedied with a plunger or by using an over-the-counter drain cleaning solution. You can even look to use some common household products to loosen the blockage. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these methods to unclog a drain pipe. 

Using A Plunger

Usually, when you see a slight clog occurring in the kitchen and bathroom towards the mouth of the drain, it is an accumulation of debris such as food particles or a buildup of hair. It is important to handle these in a timely manner to avoid them becoming more serious as that would require professional assistance, or worse, having to endure a partial repiping. So, whether the drain is in your kitchen sink, shower, bathroom sink, or toilet, a simple plunger should do the trick. You will want to make sure that plunger fully covers the drain opening and is sealed on all sides because the goal is to create suction. By using the right amount of pressure, you will forcefully free and loosen any trapped debris to continue moving down the drain.

Chemical Drain Cleaners & Household Products

You can find most chemical drain cleaners at your local drugstore or grocery store and they are a great option for any hard to reach clogs that won’t budge with the help of a plunger. Keep in mind that depending on your plumbing system, you may want to consider using a chemical solution to flush your drains at least once or twice a year to prevent the buildup of gunk and debris. You should also be aware of the fact that chemical drain cleaners can be dangerous and should be used sparingly. They have toxic compounds which are comprised of oxidizing chemicals like lye, which is very caustic and should not be inhaled or used in any closed-door environment. So, be sure to have proper ventilation when using drain cleaners. 

A very important factor to remember is that drain cleaners such as Draino should never be used to unclog your toilet as their chemical composition can create intense heat that can crack porcelain and even soften PVC piping. This can be very expensive to repair which is why plungers remain the best way to remedy minor clogs in your toilet.

Now, if you are someone who is staunchly against harsh chemicals of any variety, you can use common household products to break up debris in your drains. A short list of these items include, baking soda with vinegar, baking soda with lemon juice, salt with sodium borate and vinegar, baking soda with salt, and baking soda with salt and cream of tartar.

If you notice that your clog is much more serious, and cannot be fixed by using one of the above methods then you will need to seek out professional assistance. If that happens to be the case, be sure to call All County Sewer & Drain today as they have the expertise and technology to remedy any clog, no matter how serious it may be. Give them a call today at 1 (800) 834-3102!

Grease Trap Maintenance Tips

One of the biggest annoyances that restaurants often face is the grease trap, especially when workers forget to clean them on a regular basis. When they are working properly, grease traps can be amazing tools to keep your establishment smelling great which is why it is critical to keep up with its maintenance. 

Most commercial grease traps are located outside of the main building. You might even find some near the walls by the dishwashing station in the kitchen. They tend to look similar to a manhole or a septic tank cover. If you have a commercial kitchen with a basement, you may also find the grease trap down there to keep it away from the frost. 

Best Ways To Clean The Grease Trap

There are a variety of ways to clean a grease trap on your own and this will depend on the size, location, and type of grease trap. You will want to set up a weekly grease trap maintenance schedule in order to ensure that your establishment runs safely and efficiently at all times. Before you begin cleaning the grease trap, you should make sure that the restaurant is closed for the day and all items are cleaned. You may even consider doing this early in the morning before beginning the opening procedures. Once you are ready to start cleaning, follow these steps:

  • First, remove the lid from the grease trap slowly and gently, so that you do not damage any gaskets on the lid
  • Then, stick a ruler into the grease trap and take note of how many inches of grease are in the trap. You will want to record this in a FOG report provided by the EPA.
  • Next, using another bucket, shovel, or some kind of heavy duty scopper, start scooping out the grease from the trap
  • Be sure to scrape the bottom, sides and lid in order to remove any excess grease. This will make sure you stop quick build ups from forming from the debris you knocked loose but haven’t removed.
  • Then, you should scrub the same parts of the grease trap and flush the screens out.
  • Finally, make sure to properly reinstall any removed parts and replace the lid

One of the questions you might be asking is, when is it time to replace the grease trap? One of the best ways of knowing it’s time to replace the grease trap is when a local municipality requests an inspection due to grease leaking into the local water system. Ideally, you will want to maintain the grease trap before it gets this bad. Another sign to replace the system is if it is backing up frequently and stops filtering grease out of the water. Regardless of what the case may be, All County Sewer & Drain has the tool necessary to provide high-quality professional assistance in this venture. Give them a call today at 1 (800) 834-3102!

How To Prepare for Drain Cleaning Service

One of the most valuable services for your plumbing system is drain cleaning. It can get rid of clogs that you may not have been aware of as well as help your plumbing equipment work more efficiently. However, one thing that most homeowners are not aware of is that for drain cleaning to work at its best, there are a few steps you should follow to get your system prepared. So, below we will discuss how to best prepare your plumbing system for drain cleaning services.

Create An Easy Access Point

First, you will want to clear a path between your front door and the drain to allow the plumber easier access to your system. Typically, you want to have at least three feet around the drain in question so that all the drain cleaning equipment can be brought in and out smoothly.

Remove Unnecessary Items Around The Access Point

You will also need to remove the items around the access point where the plumber will be working. For example, if you keep the toiletries under the sink, or cleaning supplies near the kitchen drains, then you should remove these items to allow for maximum safety and efficiency.

Dispose of Sewage

Anytime sewage begins to bubble through your drains, it becomes evident that you will need your drains cleaned. However, before you can reach out for drain cleaning services, you need to contact your local waste removal company as it will be hard to identify drain issues if the access point is blocked by sewage.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are dangerous and can be very bad for your pipes, while even eroding your plumbing system over time. However, if you are considering cleaning your drain on your own, try using a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar. Then, block your drain with a stopper and after fifteen minutes wash it out with hot water. Keep in mind that this may not get rid of your clog completely, but it will make it easier for a professional to remove the rest of the obstruction.

Unfortunately, drain problems can sometimes hide bigger issues. It could be a damaged pipe or even a sewer line failure. Luckily, at All County Sewer and Drain, they have the equipment to pinpoint exactly what your issue is and where it is located. Their sewer cameras give them a clear view of what is going on in your pipes allowing them to provide the best course of action. If you have any further questions about their drain cleaning service, give them a call today at 1 (800) 834-3102!

Common Sewer & Drain Issues During The Winter

Most homeowners know how the winter season can wreak havoc on their plumbing system. This is a primary reason why it is essential to keep up with plumbing maintenance throughout the year because if you neglect doing so or shrug off any minor issues as “no big deal,” you will find that those same issues intensify during the winter months. With that said, let’s take a look at some of these common winter plumbing problems that should be met with immediate action.

Frozen Pipes

Anytime the weather drops to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, poorly insulated or exposed pipes become vulnerable to freezing, meaning they are now in danger of bursting. If this goes unaddressed, a burst pipe can cause costly water damage to your home, while also creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. So, when the weather starts to dip, you will want to check any pipes that could be at risk of freezing. Look out for layers of frost on the pipes as it may indicate there is a frozen block of water inside. Another potential sign of a frozen pipe includes faucets producing a weak stream of water or no water at all.

Clogged Drains

We all know better than to wash oil and grease down our drains, however, things happen. Pipes collect all kinds of debris such as hair, soap scum, or sludgy cooking substances and these things build up over time. So, when the cold weather hits, anything stuck in your pipes will solidify or combine with the frozen water leaving you with a fully stopped-up sink or shower. If you encounter any winter clogs, you may want to try pouring boiling water down the drain to thaw the obstruction. 

Water Heater Problems

Your water heater is hard at work throughout the year, but more so during the winter due to the increased demand for hot showers, and heavy loads of laundry and dishes. This increased wear and tear can cause a water heater to break down, especially if you have neglected to have regular maintenance on it for the past year. Lukewarm or chilly water could be a sign of an overworked or failing water heater. Additional signs to look out for are strange sounds coming from the water heater, or signs of leakage around the base of the appliance. If you notice any of these, then you will need to act fast because a busted water heater, like a burst pipe, can be very costly to deal with if left unaddressed.

The winter season can be brutal to your plumbing system and if you have not kept up with regular maintenance, now would be a great time to get started before some of these issues become even more costly down the line. Get in touch with All County Sewer and Drain today at 1 (800) 834-3102 to schedule an appointment with one of their professionals to come and take a look into your system.

Unfreezing The Drains In The Winter

As we are deep into the winter season, it is important to understand that your household drains are susceptible to freezing and thus making it difficult to unclog them while using traditional drain cleaning methods. You might be asking, which drains are at risk of freezing? The answer to this question would be drains that are more exposed to the elements, or ones that are along the outside walls of exposed basement walls. A few examples of these drains would be downspout discharge drains, shallow sewer lines, and shallow drains.

How To Prevent Freezing Drains

Now, it is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the freezing temperatures will not affect your drains. However, the following solutions can help to prevent a drain block:

  1. First, you should cover your pipes with insulation sleeves
  2. Insulate any unfinished basements or other areas where the pipes and drains are exposed to colder temperatures
  3. Turn up the heat in any area where your pipes and drains are exposed
  4. Be sure to carefully pour hot water down any used household drains that are used infrequently
  5. Make sure you remove any debris from the outdoor drains and keep them clear throughout the winter months.

What Happens If Your Drain Becomes Frozen

When it comes to clearing frozen drains and pipes, here are a few DIY approaches you might want to consider. First, if it is an outdoor drain, using hot saltwater or just hot water along with a deicing agent can help to clear a line, however, be prepared for some water to back up towards you until you have cleared the block. For indoor pipes, they may respond by exposing them to the heat from a hair dryer. You will want to be cautious not to expose the pipes to heat for too long as it can cause more damage. Now, while using the DIY approach might work, you might want to contact a drain cleaning professional like All County Sewer & Drain for safety reasons. All County Sewer & Drain uses their drain cleaning cameras to get deep into the drain and see exactly where an issue is. Doing so allows them to know exactly where they need to work and save you time and money.

So, if you happen to notice that your drain is freezing up or it already has become frozen and you are in need of professional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to All County Sewer & Drain today at (800) 834-3102!