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Get to the Root of Plumbing Problems

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You know you need a plumber when your drain is clogged, but there are things you can do to prevent clogging and maintain your drain. Repairing a clogged drain can get expensive, especially when the clog has built up over time. Clogged drains can be caused by tree roots puncturing pipes in the ground, flushing food scraps down the toilet, flushing dense paper products and flushing feminine hygiene products.

Here are a few effective tips for recognizing a clog:

  • Foul odor coming from the pipes: Pipes with a buildup of waste material, often begin emitting an odor because of a buildup of grease, food or sewage. This can also be a sign of a broken pipe.
  • Slow drains: A clog has begun to build up in your system, but has not obscured your system yet. It is best to address slow drains immediately, rather than waiting.
  • Clogging: While plungers can resolve minor clogs in your system, a clog that persists, may be a problem with the main line. This kind of clog is impossible to fix with a plunger and often requires professional attention.
  • Flooding: water overflowing is a sign of a serious clog in your drain. These clogs must be addressed immediately because they have the capability of contaminating the water in your home.

It is easy to avoid dense paper products and flushing food down the toilet, but these are not the only types of clogs. Root intrusion from trees may also cause clogs and disrupt your system. However, it is difficult to see when tree roots puncture your plumbing system. Root intrusion occurs when a pipe has a leak and tree roots are attracted to the moisture. They then surround and puncture the pipe, creating more leaks, cracks and holes, thereby weakening your system. Over time, root intrusion causes major clogs. However, there are ways to maintain your system and prevent clogging or root intrusion:

  1. The first thing you should do to maintain your pipes is to flush your drains with hot water once a week. Warm water will help small clogs move through the system to keep your drains clear.
  2. Use strainers and mesh covers on your sink, shower, and bath drains to prevent larger objects from swirling down the drain and causing blockages.
  3. Make sure that you don’t flush heavy paper products, feminine hygiene products or food down the toilet.
  4. If these methods fail for maintaining your drain, you may have root intrusion.
  5. In extreme cases, the entire main drain line may need to be excavated and repaired or replaced.

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