Drain problems are one of those common annoyances homeowners in the Haverhill area face too often. Sometimes, these problems show themselves in a sink where the water won’t drain quickly after washing the dishes. Other times, they take the form of a pool of water collecting around the shower drain when getting ready for work.

When confronted with these unexpected problems, most people grab a bottle of chemical drain cleaner, dump it down the clogged drain and hope for the best. While modern chemistry has developed powerful clog busters, the long-term impact on your pipes can be dangerous. Other people just put up with a slow drain, waiting until the problem progresses and creates a plumbing emergency. This could mean an expensive, inconvenient visit from a professional plumber to deal with a dire situation.

Not every drain issue requires a visit from a professional plumber, but there are a few ways to recognize growing drain issues in your home. With your new knowledge, you’ll can take action before problems with your pipes get out of hand and you have to call in the pros at Andrew DiPeitro’s Climate Zone.

Why do drains clog?
It seems like a question with a basic answer: drains get clogged because things like food, hair or grease get stuck in them. While you might think running more water through a drain would prevent build up, frequently used drains also collect more things that clog them.

A bathroom used by many family members might include a sink where everyone brushes their hair. That hair can fall into the sink and clog the drain over time. The same could be said of a kitchen sink in a home where a lot of plates are washed after each meal.

Older pipes need more attention
While a newly-built home offers modern, wider pipes, older homes might have outdated, narrow pipes that can more easily collect debris and result in a clog more quickly. Keeping an eye on the cleanliness of your drains will not only keep pipes of all ages running efficiently but also save you from having to replace pipes that develop leaks, or even burst, due to clogs that have been ignored over the years.

Easy steps for clean drains
Daily upkeep for home sinks and drains can be as easy as a couple of small changes to your routine. Placing a grate or filter over a sink drain can make an immediate impact in preventing clogs. Filters make it harder for large clumps of hair, food or grease to fall down the drain and start to clog pipes. Just make sure to clean the grate as part of washing the sink after use.

If your kitchen sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal attached, you can cut down likelihood of clogs if you avoid leaving excess food on your plate when washing the dishes. Brushing extra food into the garbage before washing plates will keep it out of your drains.

When is it time to call the pros?
While a great deal of drain maintenance and unclogging can be done on your own, it’s a good idea to have drains professionally cleaned once every two years as a preventative measure, especially for high-usage drains. Not only will a professional be able to more thoroughly clean the pipes and areas that other cleansers might not reach, they’ll be able to identify any developing issues in your pipes before they grow into an expensive problem.

While a slow-draining sink or bath might be easy to identify and treat, there are other signs of pipe problems that might indicate it is time to bring in the pros:

Recurring clogs: Are you dealing with stubborn clogs–the kind that keep coming back no matter how many times you clear them? In bathtubs and showers where hair often gets washed down the drain, frequent clogs might mean you’re removing the entire clog. An expert drain cleaning company can use professional tools to eliminate clogs deep in the pipe and solve the problem for good.

Clogged drains in different rooms: Drain issues in the shower and the kitchen sink at the same time could mean you’re dealing with a clog somewhere in your main drain system rather than the individual fixture drains. Rather than deal with the symptoms of the problem as they pop up, a professional drain cleaning can dig deep into your system and get things flowing again.

Drains with a foul odor: Standing water isn’t the only sign of a clogged pipe. Persistent chemical or sewer smells can mean a build-up of material in your pipes or a larger drainage issue—even the early signs of a pipe leak or break. Getting rid of drain odors can be as easy as a drain cleaning but may require looking at pipe replacement. When you call a professional plumbing service, you’ll get an expert who will look at the problem, offer an honest assessment of the situation and give advice on how to proceed.

Sewage Backup: Often associated with foul odor, a sewage backup around a basement or floor drain is another indicator there are drain problems affecting your pipes. Water may have slowly drained, leaving behind a small amount of sewage near your drain after it flooded earlier. When this happens, it may just be a matter of time before the drain stops working completely and you end up with contaminated water all over your floor. Call a professional plumbing service as soon as possible to help prevent the situation from becoming an expensive cleanup.

Keeping your drains clean can be as easy as regular maintenance. Ignoring the signs of drain problems can lead to catastrophic and expensive plumbing problems down the road. Take the time to contact the pros at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone to talk about drain cleaning services to keep your pipes flowing easily and give you peace of mind.