Clogged drains in Boston are nothing new. For the most part, drains become obstructed for just a few reasons, so provided that you know why the drain is clogged, clearing it out can be a relatively easy job. What you put down the drain will most likely determine the kind of clog you have, and will dictate how you treat the problem.
Kitchen drains handle a lot of organic material – mainly food scraps and grease – that promote the buildup of organic matter in the drainpipe; joins, bends and traps are most vulnerable to these kinds of obstructions. Eventually, the mass of organic matter may partially or completely obstruct the flow of water through the drain. Even the largest household drainpipes are only a few inches in diameter, so it doesn’t take much to clog a drain once organic matter starts to accumulate.
Bathroom sink and shower drains handle a lot of soap and hair, so clogs in these drains are most likely to be made up of a combination of hair, soap and organic material that can thrive in this environment. Toilets can become clogged with waste material, toilet paper or other items that are flushed down the toilet. Plumbers recommend that only waste material and toilet paper be flushed down the toilet. Other items, like soiled diapers and tampons should be disposed of in the household garbage.
Utility tub drains tend to collect a lot of lint and pet hair. Clogs here are more similar to bathroom drain clogs. One note: over time, powdered soap flakes can sometimes reconstitute in the utility tub drain or in the home’s main drain. Reconstituted soap flakes form a very hard ball that can eventually occlude the entire drain. If you use powdered soap flakes in your washing machine and/or dishwasher, do not over-soap your laundry or dishes. Liquid soaps do not reconstitute in the way that powdered soaps do.
Main drains – the connection between your home and the municipal sewer system (or your septic tank) – can get clogged for any number of reasons, including organic buildups, tree roots, and major damage to the main waste pipe. A clogged main drain is a plumbing emergency and a health hazard that must be cleared or repaired immediately. Generally, a problem in the home’s main drain requires special equipment to diagnose and correct the problem. If you suspect a problem in your main drain – indicated by sewage backflows into the home – call your municipality first. They will help you determine where the problem is located and who is responsible for fixing it.
If the problem in your main drain is on your side of the line, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing. We can assist with backflow testing, sewer cleaning, installation of new plumbing and fixtures, leak repairs and clog removal.
Depending upon the material your drainpipes are made from, a drain can also become clogged from a buildup of minerals in the pipe. This buildup normally takes years to occur. Pipes can also become corroded, and debris from corrosion can also clog the drain. You may be able to clear mineralization from pipes, but corroded pipes cannot be cleaned or repaired and must be replaced.
Finally, drains can become clogged if an object is dropped into the drain. If you have small children in your home, they may entertain themselves by flushing small toys or other objects down the toilet, or throwing things down the drain. Irregularly shaped objects can become caught in the drain or trap and can catch other materials that are later disposed of. Removing an object from a drain or toilet may require you to dismantle a sink, shower or toilet drain.
For most clogs that occur as the result of organic material buildup, Boston Standard Plumbing recommends the use of Bio-Clean, an enzymatic drain cleaner that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and highly effective at removing organically based clogs.
Bio-Clean contains no harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes or potentially contaminate your drains. Bio-Clean will not harm your skin should you come in contact with it. Bio-Clean is a combination of bacterial and enzymatic agents that literally eat the clog, eliminating it outright. The bacteria are all-natural and are not harmful to humans or pets. The bacterial and enzymatic agents in Bio-Clean eat food particles, hair, grease, soap film and organic materials that contribute to drain clogs.
The enzymes in Bio-Clean break down your clog into components the bacteria can digest. The bacteria, once active, can eat their own weight every minute, and the bacterial population doubles about every 30 minutes under the right conditions. Activating the bacteria in Bio-Clean takes nothing more than mixing it with warm water, and we recommend that the Bio-Clean have at least six to eight hours to work. Cleaning your drain with Bio-Clean is the perfect overnight activity.
Bio-Clean is safe for drainpipes made of all materials, and is absolutely safe for septic tanks. In fact, Bio-Clean outperforms most strains of coliform bacteria in septic tanks. Bio-Clean can also be used to eliminate foul odors that may come from drains or garbage disposals, and is safe for use in RVs and boats.
If you would like more information about Bio-Clean, or would like to try Bio-Clean in your drains, please contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing at (617) 288-2911.