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AllTech Services, Inc. Blog

How to Prevent Drain Clogs


Does your tub, shower, or sink drain too slowly? Slow drains can eventually lead to a complete clog. And if you’ve ever had a sudden plumbing problem occur in your home, you know how unpleasant they can be … especially when they happen at the worst possible time, like a holiday weekend, or when you have houseguests. The best way to keep your pipes draining properly and avoid the need for emergency measures is to have your drains cleaned regularly by trustworthy northern Virginia plumbing professionals.

Why call a professional? 

Many people use liquid drain cleaner, but please don’t be one of those people. These “cleaners” are toxic and acidic and cause much more harm to drains than almost anything else you can put down them. The health risks to the user are significant, and they can cause corrosion in your pipes. Used repeatedly, chemical cleaners shorten the lifespan of plumbing and lead to expensive replacements being required. 

How do plumbers clean drains safely?

Instead of using caustic chemicals, a professional will use their expertise to determine the cause and location of the problem. Then, with specialized tools, they remove blockages and buildup. One approach is hydro jetting: water, pressurized by a hydro jetting machine, breaks apart and washes away everything that should not be filling your pipes, leaving them clean and wide-open to drain freely.

How can this problem be prevented in the future?

Regular professional cleaning will prevent any buildup from becoming a serious clog. But you can also reduce the buildup by being aware of substances that lead to it. 

  • FOG: This stands for Fat, Oil, and Grease. They may be liquid while they are still warm, but when a pan is emptied into the kitchen sink, fats cool and solidify inside your plumbing. Even with a garbage disposal, FOG and other organic matter can cause buildup.
  • Hair: This might be the most obvious culprit. To reduce the amount of hair that builds up in your plumbing, use a drain cover that allows water through but catches the hair, and clean it out frequently. 
  • Soap scum: We all know what it’s like to scrub this unpleasant substance off shower walls and shelves. It cakes on and sticks with a vengeance! Well, it does the same thing inside your piping. And because of the ingredients in soap, chemical reactions can damage the pipes themselves. Soap scum develops more quickly in hard water, so a water softener can help.
  • Hard water: Not only will hard water increase the soap scum problem, it causes buildup all by itself. When we describe water as “hard,” we mean that it contains dissolved minerals. Iron, calcium, and magnesium may be important nutrients for the human body, but not for your plumbing. Where this mineral-rich water passes through, traces of the minerals are deposited as limescale. This is how stalactites grow in caves—and you know you don’t want those in your pipes! In addition to removing the existing limescale, you may want to consider installing a water-softening system in your home. 

AllTech Services, Inc. is your trusted resource for quality Northern Virginia Plumbing Services. Contact us today!

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