When is a clogged drain REALLY clogged? When you have to call a plumber for assistance.
And while Connor Plumbing is always here to lend a helping hand, we’re also happy to assist valued customers like you in doing more to fix the problem yourself before picking up the phone.
Take the very common and basic household plunger, for example. Did you know that there are three basic types and that each one is designed for a very specific purpose? By keeping the right drain cleaning tools handy, you’ll be able to unclog that many more sinks and toilets on your own. And that’s a great way to save some money.
Choosing the Right Plunger
Here are the three basic types of plungers:
- The classic wooden handled, red rubber bell plunger is most often called the cup plunger. It’s designed for use with flat drains like those in your tub, shower, or kitchen sink. It’s not terribly effective with toilets, however, since the large, flat opening makes it difficult to create a tight seal.
- For best results with your toilets, reach for your flange plunger, named for its narrow flange (or opening). In this case, smaller is better for creating a tight seal around a toilet bowl opening or other small drains with a curved surface.
- The less common bellows plunger has a spring-like head and multiple pleats – just like an accordion – to give it extra plunging power. It’s the plunger of choice when you have to work from an angle.
A few more tips for the wise:
- Never plunge after using a chemical drain cleaner that can splash back and injure you. At the same time, be sure to wear rubber gloves.
- The less water in the sink or bowl, the less mess you’ll create when plunging.
- The tighter the seal you form, the greater the plunging power due to increased water pressure.
Still, no matter how accomplished you might be at clearing a clogged drain or toilet, sooner or later you’re bound to need professional help. When that time comes – perhaps even now – we invite you to contact Connor Plumbing for all the help you need for clogged drain problems small and large.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, no doubt you’re busy with pre-holiday arrangements, especially if you’re hosting the main event.
To plumbers across the USA, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest drain cleaning day of the year. In fact, we call it Black Friday, and trust us, shopping is not part of our ritual.
What causes so many clogged drain problems in that special day? In a word, it’s called FOG. Actually, that’s three words, as FOG stands for “fats, oil, and grease.” And when you consider the typical Thanksgiving Day meal, it’s clear to see that FOG is in abundance.
So, from our table to yours, here are some timely tips to help prevent clogging your drain or garbage disposal on Thanksgiving or, for that matter, any time at all:
- Pour all leftover fat and grease into a disposable container.
- Thoroughly wipe your plates clean and dispose of what’s left in your trash bag or pail before rinsing and washing them – same goes for pots and pans.
- Don’t overload your disposal, it’s better to grind up small amounts of food at a time.
- Be careful what you place in your disposal, as it’s not built to grind up turkey bones, fibrous foods like lettuce and green beans, coffee grinds, pasta, or rice.
- If you or a guest should pour grease down the drain, thoroughly rinse it for at least 60 seconds with cold water to help prevent it from congealing and sticking to the insides of your pipes.
- Be careful not to grind too many potato peels as the starches can form a thick paste that can cause your blades to stick.
Still, mistakes are bound to happen. And should one of them take place in your kitchen – whether on Thanksgiving or any time at all – contact Connor Plumbing for timely and reliable drain cleaning results. In fact, we guarantee it.
The kitchen drain is capable of handling a lot, everything from soapy dishwater to spoiled milk and dinner scraps. Its appetite can be so voracious it can occasionally fool you into thinking it’s tough enough to handle whatever comes its way. Trust us, it’s not.
1. Toxic Substances – Paint, paint thinners, solvent-based cleaners, and even nail polish remover should never be poured down the drain. Instead, check with your town government on how best to dispose of these substances. Many hold “community clean up” days throughout the year where they will accept such substances for proper disposal.
2. Medications – When your medication expires, don’t throw it down the drain or flush it down the toilet. Instead, mix it with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw it in the trash or check with your local pharmacy to see if they offer “take-back” days.
3. Cooking Oil and Grease – Whether it’s butter, vegetable oil, or bacon fat, pouring oil and greasy substances down the drain can clog your pipes and result in costly repairs. To dispose of cooking fats, pour them into an empty glass jar or metal can, let it harden, and dispose of it in the trash.
4. Kitchen Waste – Even if you have a garbage disposal, there are certain things you should avoid putting down the drain. Fibrous fruit or vegetables and starchy foods like pasta and potato skins can gum up the inside of the drain, often too far down to easily break up the logjam. Instead, dump your kitchen scraps into the compost bin.
5. Automotive Products – The biggest no-no of the bunch is used motor oil. According to the EPA, one quart of motor oil can contaminate 2 million gallons of drinking water. Take all automotive products, such as motor oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid to a recycling center or service station for proper disposal.
Even if you’re careful with you pour or place in your drain, clogs can still happen. If that time is now, you can depend on Connor Plumbing to make short work of it and get your drain or garbage disposal flowing free and clear once again. Contact us now or any time for the service you need, when you need it.