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Someday, you may be in your kitchen and smell a nasty, garbage-like smell. You will likely check the garbage, only to notice it has already been taken out. Your next step may be to check the refrigerator for any forgotten food that may have been pushed to the back, and is now smelly and past its prime, or for some milk that’s been sitting there too long. When you don’t find anything in the fridge that might be causing the smell, you realize you’ve narrowed the stinky culprit to your sink.

That’s right, it’s what we’ve probably all experienced at one time or another, a kitchen drain that’s got food debris lodged way down inside it. It’s a gross problem that you want to have taken care of fast. Similar problems can happen in any drains in your house, including bathroom and laundry room sinks. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get those drains clean and running efficiently once again.

Signs of Clogged Drains

You’ll know if you have a clogged or slow drain. You may notice the water draining much more slowly — or sometimes not draining at all. You may also have pooling water around the sink, tub, shower, or toilet. Clogged drains may also result in water backing up into other fixtures, gurgling noises, and strange odors. If you notice these signs, you may need drain cleaning services.

What Causes Clogged Drains?
Over time, residues from many different products can build up in our drains and pipes, eventually slowing or stopping the flow of wastewater. This could be from greasy foods in kitchen drains, or buildup of soap scum, hair, and cosmetics and personal care products, and so much more.

Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners
If you’re reaching for a chemical drain cleaner, it is time to stop in your tracks. Chemical drain cleaners will damage your sink and pipes. The way chemical drain cleaners are supposed to work is that they use chemicals to react with whatever is lodged in your pipes so that the debris is broken up and the clog is dislodged. Unfortunately, these chemicals also react with the pipes themselves, causing damage and deterioration. Perhaps even worse, the chemical smells are harmful to you and your family, and the chemicals are incredibly caustic on the skin, causing burns.

How to Fix a Clogged Drain

If you find yourself with a clogged drain, there are a few things you can try. Baking soda and vinegar, along with hot water is a good place to start because they may be able to get rid of some residues or break up clogs without damaging your pipes.

Another solution you can try is a plunger. Just make sure that the plunger is clean before sticking it in a sink! You will plunge the sink the same way you would plunge a toilet. Note that you should turn the water on first, so the drain has some water in it. This will help dislodge the debris stuck in the pipes. If your sink has more than one drain, you should block off one to help the suction process.

Just don’t attempt to take apart the p-trap if you are unfamiliar with it. The p-trap is there to keep nasty sewer gases from coming back into the home, and once it is off, these gases have free access to your house. You don’t want the p-trap off of the sink for a significant amount of time. Furthermore, this part of the sink plumbing sees a lot of action, and a p-trap not properly installed can lead to leaks that will ruin cupboards in no time. If it becomes loose, water will come gushing out, creating a mess.

Call in the Professionals

If these DIY cleaning methods don’t work, it is best to call in a professional instead of trying more intricate solutions that could lead to water damage and huge messes. Without professional cleaning, sewer gases may continue to leak into your house, and rotting debris may continue to make your plumbing systems work efficiently. Premier Plumbing & Mechanical can meet all your drain cleaning needs, so please contact us today.

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