Your drains are arguably the most important part of your home’s plumbing system. Without drains and drain pipes, wastewater would have nowhere to go. Gravity allows our kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor drains to just work, without much needed from the homeowner. This makes it easy to overlook drains until a problem pops up.
Avoid chemical drain cleaners
Store-bought, chemical drain cleaners sound great in theory. After all, they’re a quick and easy approach to clearing out a clog, and they don’t require you to deal with the mess directly. However, chemical drain cleaners can be incredibly dangerous for you and your home. These drain cleaners work by generating heat at the point of the clog through a chemical reaction. This heat can damage metal pipes and soften PVC. Even drain cleaners that are branded as “safe for drains” may not be a great fit for your home, especially when used over and over again.
Of course, there are also safety considerations to using chemical drain cleaners. Drain cleaning products are among the most toxic and hazardous chemicals stored in the average American home. Skin or eye exposure can be incredibly hazardous, and improper storage could lead to the release of toxic gasses or explosive results.
One final note: if your home has a septic system, never use drain cleaners! Septic systems rely on bacteria to break down waste. Drain cleaners don’t just remove the clog, but can kill off these bacteria in mass, greatly reducing the effectiveness of the septic system.
Take proactive steps to avoid sewer line issues
In many ways, we tend to take our drains for granted. What goes down the kitchen sink, shower drain, or toilet just disappears. In reality, what’s happening is that all the wastewater from your home is exiting through the sewer line to either the municipal sewer or your septic tank. Issues with this line can be a major, expensive disaster for homeowners.
One of the most common problems with the sewer or septic line are clogs. In most cases, clogs form slowly over time as certain materials become trapped in the line. Cooking grease, oil, coffee grounds, eggshells, rice, and flour are all potential clog-causers, and should never be disposed of in the sink. In the bathroom, flushing non-flushable items—including plastic waste, non-organic trash, or allegedly “flushable” hygiene wipes—can also cause a sewer line clog.
Some sewer line clogs and cracks are caused by an external force: tree roots. Ever-thirsty roots can burrow deep into the earth in search of water and nutrients. Even a small leak in the sewer or septic line can lead to a tree root growing around, or even into, the line. This can expand the scope of a line leak issue or even lead to a clogged line.
To prevent and avoid sewer line issues and reduce the threat of a sewer backup into your home, watch what you put down the kitchen sink, shower drain, or your toilets. If you have guests coming over to your home or family staying with you, be sure to let them know, too. If you have any trees within 10 feet of your line, call in an arborist for an assessment: some slow-growing species might be fine, but fast-growing ones with aggressive roots might need to be moved.
Protect your drains and your home
For a comprehensive look at how you can protect your home’s drains and prevent sewer line or septic system problems, be sure to look at this infographic.
Fantastic customer service. We were out of town when tenants needed help with a plumbing issue. They let us know who was being dispatched to our house then followed up with a very detailed message post work. I would definitely use these guys again.
I can’t say enough good things about this company. Had a sewer repair needed and had a very short amount of time due to closing on a house sale. Every single person I encountered from Marquita doing logistics for my job to every member of the work crew. Friendly, communicated well, totally responsive and really cared to help me through this very stressful job. All of the people I encountered were role models for what a well run service business should be. Much thanks and appreciation. You’re great.
We had a leak and no hot water. Apollo came out same day and not only fixed the problem but made it better and gave us some good advice on our system. Very reasonable and great communication. Would definitely recommend.
Don is always so helpful and knowledgeable. I really appreciate all the crew members on the Apollo team. I'm a Property Manager so typically I will have several projects for Apollo to address during a single visit. They are easy to interact with and EXCELLENT plumbers. I highly recommend Apollo.
Scott, I would like to personally thank you for expediting our plumbing crisis we recently had. If the situation was not resolved immediately we would have had to close for a couple of days. This occured on a Friday for for us a pizza restaurant this would of been devastating. Thank you so much.
STARK STREET PIZZA COMPANY
It's my absolute pleasure to recommend Karen Johnson at Apollo Plumbing Service. I have had the pleasure of taking a class taught by Karen. Her knowledge and expertise is a huge advantage to my entire office. I know if I am in a pinch I can call the office and talk to someone! Their customer service is truly amazing, and I have had compliments from customers in the past.
NEXTHOME NW REALTY
We are a Wendy's Restaurant franchisee in Vancouver, Washington and I want to personally thank Scott and his crew at Apollo for invaluable and excellent service to our restaurants over the last several years. We have used Scott's company after failing miserably with Apollo's many competitors. We tried every one before discovering the extraordinary service we enjoy from Scott and his techs.