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Drain Cleaning: We are here to help!

We want to help you clear drain clogs, but we also can help you prevent them. Read on to understand what is clogging your drain, and what you can do to clear and prevent blockages in your drains. 

Plumber with Drain Camera, in Alberta

Clogged drains are inconvenient, but we are here to help. 

Read on to find out the difference between a clogged bathtub drain, clogged shower drain or clogged sink drain compared to a main drain clog.

Why should my drains be cleaned?

Prevent drain clogs with a routine drain clean to ensure organic matter and build-up from regular use are cleared away. Many things that are commonly washed down the drain can cause sewer clogs. Hair, grease, food bits, soap build-up, and hard water are common contributors to drain clogs. Organic matter will build up over time. A bacterial drain cleaner, or a drain maintainer, will help break down the buildup in your drain organically.

How Do I know if my drain is clogged?

Common symptoms of a drain clog include slow-draining sinks, bathtubs, or showers. Appliances that are slow draining, or that don’t drain at all such as a washing machine or dishwasher could be a sign of a clog.  A bad odour, or gurgling noises in a sink, bathtub, or shower may also be signs of a clogged drain.

Calgary Drain Cleaning, symptoms of a drain clog

A clog in a drain pipe is limited to the pipe near the drain area. For example, a clog in the shower that slows or inhibits water from draining in the shower would not impact the kitchen sink drain. 

Calgary Sewer Line Backup Drain Cleaning

In contrast, a clog in the main drain,(add a link to sewer pipe camera inspection) or the main sewer line will inhibit waste to flow to the city sewer lines. The clog will impact every drain in the home, starting with the drains in the lowest point of the house. 

 

If the clog is severe enough that nothing can pass through, wastewater will return to the home and enter the lowest drain. For example, if a sewer backup occurred, most likely waste would return through a basement floor drain or a basement shower or bathtub.

What are the causes of drain clogs?

Drain clogs are often clogged by everyday use, and sometimes pouring or flushing the wrong things. Here is a breakdown of the various common causes of drain clogs by room.

Drain Clogs Causes

What could be blocking my sink drain?

Kitchen sinks are notorious for getting clogs because of food bits and grease. Consider how the following substances can contribute to clogs.

Oil and Grease

Oil and grease often go down the drain as a liquid. As they cool they solidify and often coat the drain pipe. Oil and grease will collect on an existing clog, making it bigger. Prolong habits of pouring grease and oil down the drain will cause issues not just in the drain pipe, but possibly in the main sewer line too. Use the garbage, not the drain to dispose of grease. The best way is to pour grease into a disposable container and toss it in the garbage.

Food Bits

Food bits are commonly put down the drain, and more commonly when a garburator is installed. Pasta, rice, and grains can swell and become more problematic as they expand inside the drain. We recommend never putting pasta, rice, and grains down the drain.

Don't Put Down Garbage Disposal Calgary

Peels, Bones, and Egg Shells

Even if you have a garburator, peels, bones, and eggshells should not be put down the drain. Garburators with strong horsepower may be able to grind through them, but the problem lies beyond the garburator. As the food solids move through the drain they can collect and form a clog. If a clog is already forming the solids with catch and collect and make the clog bigger.

Soaps

Soap drains similarly to grease. It probably seems counterintuitive that soap can add to the grimy buildup in your drain. When soap mixes with hard water the minerals in the soap create a residue we call soap scum. If a clog exists soap scum can contribute to the clog.

What is clogging my shower and bathtub drain?

Bathtubs and shower drains can clog over time with everyday use.

Hair

Is one of the biggest culprits of shower and bathtub drain clogs. Unfortunately, hair acts as a net and collects anything else that could get flushed down the drain.

Soap Scum

Soap scum is especially common in Calgary because we have hard water. Hard water is water with a higher concentration of minerals dissolved in the water. When hard water comes in contact with soap, shampoo, or body wash it creates soap scum. 

Soap usually contains salt from stearic acid. Soap scum is created when the dissolved minerals of calcium and magnesium bind to the sodium in the soap. Soap usually contains salt from stearic acid.  

Soap scum becomes a bigger problem when a collection of hair, dental floss, or something is building a clog. The soap scum sticks to the hair or clogs giving form to the scum. The combination of the two creates a bigger clog.

Will a drain unclog on its own?

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Plumbing | Heating | Electrical

An auger or a snake is a great way to clear a clog in your drain. 

 

The best way to maintain your drains, keeping them clear of organic clogs, is by introducing bacteria to the drain. An active bacteria works by breaking down waste, scum, and organic matter.

 

A bacterial solution will maintain your drains, preventing clogs and buildup. A bacterial solution, like BioOne, is safe to use on all drain pipes and is not harmful to the environment. 

 

Caustic chemical drain cleaners can be harmful to your drain pipes and will kill the bacteria that help break down waste residue in your drain pipes.  

Organic Drain Cleaner

How do I clear a blocked drain?

Do not pour a liquid-draining agent, like Drano down your pipes. 

Caustic liquid drain cleaners are intended to break down the clog but may also cause damage to your drain pipes. 

If you have introduced a bacterial cleaner into your plumbing system, the liquid plumbing agent will destroy the helpful bacteria.

If possible, the best way to remove a clog is done manually, not with a chemical drain cleaner. If the clog can be reached after removing the drain, this might be the easiest and safest way. If the drain clog isn’t accessible, a snake may be able to remove the clog. 

Does a plumber need to clean my drains?

It is possible to damage your drain pipes by snaking or using a close hanger to remove the clog. So if the stubborn clog isn’t accessible consider calling a plumbing technician to help. They will be able to assess the situation and help you decide the best course of action. 

A plumbing technician may even be able to put a camera scope down the drain to ensure the clog is cleared. (A camera can inspect the drain as long as the pipe is wide enough and there aren’t too many joints.) 

A plumber can use other tools, including an auger to clear the drain clog. An auger unblocks the drain by drilling through the clog.

 A plumber can assess your drains and decide what the best solution is. If the drain pipes are in poor condition, an auger is not a safe solution.

How often should I clean my drains?

If you have a drain that clogs on a regular basis, consider inviting a plumber to clear the drain each year. 

Adding a bacteria cleaner to the problematic drain most likely will maintain your drains and require less maintenance. 

If a drain clog is forming more frequent application of the bacteria cleaner is recommended. As the bacteria grows and establishes itself in the drain, less frequent applications are needed. 

Consider changing some of your habits if they cause drain clogs. If you are accustomed to washing oil and food bits down your sink drain, train your household to be more discriminant about what has washed down the drain. 

Perhaps consider adding a strainer to your drains that are commonly clogged.  

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