Here are a few friendly reminders about how to prevent clogs in your drains:
You should never flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper. This means you should not flush any feminine products or even wipes. Don’t even flush “flushable” wipes. Yes they will flush but they will clog your line.
Make sure not to put food or even food scraps down your garbage disposal. Throw them away instead. They can cause your disposal to jam or break.
It’s also a good idea to brush your hair before you shower or bathe so all that hair does not go down the drain and cause a blockage.
There are a number of things that can cause a clog in your drain. Cooking grease, coffee grounds, hair, soap scum, and leftover food are a few common culprits.
Save cooking grease in a container such as an old coffee can and just throw it away.
Coffee grounds can be thrown away or you can put them in your mulch pile if you have one.
For hair and soap scum, use a screen (or drain-grate) to cover the drain opening. You can also brush your hair before you bathe or shower. That will help keep the loose hair from getting into the drain. If you bathe your dog in the tub, put a washcloth over the drain to keep the hair from going down it.
Put leftover food in the trash, NOT the garbage disposal.
Regular Cleaning Maintenance:
Run hot water down the sink after each use. Hot water will keep the oils from food products running down the drain instead of building up inside the surface of the pipes. You can also put a handful of baking soda into the drain first and then follow it with hot water. Baking soda is great to clean with and it also helps absorb bad odors.
A month ago, we were called out to repair a sewer line. Usually in our line of work, that’s pretty common. What was uncommon about this project, was that we had to bring the sewer across a ravine, at the bottom of which, there was a creek.
This was something that was definitely going to be a challenge. Even a little daunting. But hey! We’re Cain’s, and we were ready to tackle it. It’s what we do! Even the City of Concord employee didn’t doubt us.
As you can see, we completed this project excellently. It took some planning and teamwork, but we are really happy with the results and so were our customers. On to the next one!
Call us here at Cain’s Able Plumbing, for any of your plumbing needs!
There is no such thing as a “FLUSHABLE” wipe. Manufacturers of baby wipes will often indicate on the packaging that the product is “flushable.” Plumbing experts say there’s no such thing as a flushable wipe. Because wipes don’t break down in water, they can clog up plumbing systems in a home, and damage pipes and machinery at wastewater treatment plants.
With the Covid-19 outbreak and the shortage of toilet paper, consumers have turned to sanitary wipes under many brands to take care of personal hygiene when it comes to using the bathroom. Unfortunately most folks take the packaging at it’s word and flush this wipes in the toilet. This is wreaking havoc with sanitary sewer systems everywhere. Cain’s recently went to a customers home to clear a main sewer line blockage. The sewer line was full of 100’s of sanitary wipes. It took hours to remove them, and made for a bill that could have been completely avoided, if the wipes had been disposed of in another way.
So, how do we dispose of these wipes if we can’t flush them? Here are a couple of suggestions.
When outside your home, if you’re carrying wipes, then you can carry some pet waste bags or quart size zipper baggies (if you prefer), and place your dirty wipes into the baggy to dispose of. No different then picking up after your pet and throwing it away.
As you can see by the image above, while toilet paper fully breaks down, sanitary wipes do not. This is after 1 year of being inside the jars. Please take a moment to think about it before you flush wipes down the sewer. Even if it isn’t going to cost you money, in the end, it is going to cost someone money. That’s easy to avoid. Just don’t flush anything except human waste and toilet paper in the toilet.
These pictures are from a recent job in which we repaired a broken collapsed sewer line for a long time customer. We had tried to clear the line unsuccessfully so, we used our camera to investigate inside the line. We found that the sewer line had collapsed. We dug up and repaired the leak.
Ever wonder why baby wipes say do not flush? The simple explanation is that they do not dissolve in water like toilet paper. They are thicker and more cloth like. When you put too many in at once, the sewer pipes get clogged and will start to back up. This can cause your main sewer line to back up into your toilet, shower and kitchen sink. Gross, we know. This is why we recommend not disposing of any wipes, even flush-able ones. They do not breakdown in water like toilet paper. If you ever find yourself wondering if something is flush-able, the best thing to do is put it in the garbage and save your money!
Drain cleaners seem like an great idea when you’re having drainage problems. Kitchen sink clogged? Shower clogged with hair? Drain cleaner seems like the easiest solution for most home owners. However, most home owners are unaware of the dangers lurking in that bottle of chemicals.
The most common drain cleaners suggest pouring them in to the clogged drain and allowing the mixture to sit and break down the clog. The chemical sits as it is continuously reacting and generating heat to break down the clog. This heat can cause toilet bowls to break, it can cause plastic or PVC pipes to soften, melt, or warp. It eats away at the glue that is used to hold the pipes together. Pipes that are older and already have corrosion damage, may be susceptible to more serious damage that would cause more costly repairs. The physical damage that can be caused by back splash of chemicals can be detrimental. Just as it melts the hair ball in your pipe, it will melt skin. When using a plunger or auger to clear the clog, it is possible for the water containing the cleaner to splash on you. If you do not flush all of the drain cleaner down with water and mix a cleaning chemical it can cause toxic fumes that can damage your lungs and heart. If you have any questions about drain cleaners please call us at 704-934-0015.
Disposing of cat litter can be a tricky task. Not sure where to put your cat’s dirty litter? After doing some research we can advise you the only safe place for cat litter to be disposed of is in the trash can outside of your home. It is best to double bag the litter and move it to an outside location to prevent the bad smell in you home.
Why can’t I put dirty litter anywhere else?
It is not advised to place litter inside your kitchen trash because it can have parasites in it and could contaminate other things in your kitchen.
It is not acceptable to dispose of litter in your yard because it can contaminate ground water.
It is the most hazardous to flush litter down your toilet. Cat litter clumps and expands when wet and can clog your pipes or damage a septic system (even the ones that say flush-able).
Newer water saving toilets don’t use enough water or pressure to move the litter through your pipes.
Cat waste hardens up fast and dries out, this could be difficult to move through pipes as they bend and turn.
Flushing litter can introduce a parasite, named toxoplasma gondii, into the water supply. T. gondii is commonly found in cats and flushing this parasite down the toilet can contaminate water supply. Supply treatment centers may not be able to clean all of the parasite out of the water. This increases the possibility of a public infection. Those most at risk are children, elderly people, and pregnant women.
The EPA has classified pet waste as a pollutant that can cause harm to fish and wild life. It can kill native vegetation and cause unsafe water.
What prompted us to write this?
We received a call last week. Our customer was complaining about clogged pipes. We went to the home the same day we received the call. Upon cabling the customers line, our technician pulled back cat litter. This made us wonder how many other customers are unaware of the havoc that can be caused by litter.
Having glass or other foreign objects in your garbage disposal can turn into a major problem. It can cause the blades to get bent, clog your pipes, and even cause your disposal to jam possibly blocking your kitchen sink drain and dishwasher if it is connected. It is best to remove an item that is lodged.
The first thing to do if you have glass in your disposal is to turn off your disposal and to be safe, if possible, switch off the breaker too.
DO NOT STICK YOUR HAND IN THE DISPOSAL!!
Use a tool similar to needle nose pliers to fish out the pieces of glass.
You can also try an industrial size vacuum like a Shop-vac if you have one available.
Make sure you twist the blades to ensure you’ve gotten all the glass. You can do this with a hex key from underneath the disposal or by using a tool. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS.
Once you are sure you’ve gotten all the glass, you can restore the power to the unit. Run the water to ensure you’ve gotten everything out.
Always keep in mind, retrieving things from a garbage disposal is a dangerous task. If you feel there may be something stuck in your disposal and do not feel comfortable getting it out, please give us a call.