Clogged drains! Ewww, not again. Anyone involved in the plumbing industry will tell you the # 1 problem they deal with is clogged drains. Drains can become clogged due to obstructions (things that should not be flushed), tree roots, excessive hair, or food that should not be sent to drain.
Kitchen sink drains are particularly vulnerable to clogs due to the feeling a garbage disposal makes it OK to send anything to drain. A garbage disposal will grind larger objects into smaller ones but can still promote a clog when the wrong items are sent to drain.
Certain foods or by-products are certain to cause plumbing woes. Sending potato peels down a garbage disposal cause the turns or elbows in your drains to clog with sticky sludge. Oil or grease sent down a garbage disposal cake onto drain pipe walls causing other food particles to become stuck. Rice and pasta may seem harmless enough, however both expand in water forming a paste-like substance that coats the inside of your pipes.
Sweetwater Home Services Technicians regularly find Reverse Osmosis drains clogged with sticky food and grease. This can cause the water to back up and come out the air gap which is located on the dispenser faucet. Removing the RO drain line, cleaning it of debris and reinstalling it will always fix the problem but the problem can be prevented.
Going forward, dispose of kitchen grease and oil by letting them solidify. Scrape the hardened grease into a plastic bag, seal it, and throw it out with the garbage. Avoid putting rice or potato peels down the garbage disposal. They can simply be put into the trash as well.
If you feel your drain is running slow, try this non-chemical option for drain cleaning. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain followed by an eighth cup of dish soap (use caution). Allow to set for approximately 10 minutes and then follow with another pot of boiling water. On stubborn clogs, a plunger might be necessary followed again with a pot of boiling water.
Still running slow? Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and let it set for 30 minutes followed by a pot of boiling water. If you still have no luck, you may need to move onto a chemical drain opener. Again, use caution.
Once your drain is flowing, once a month put a cup of baking soda down the drain, let stand for 20 minutes and then flush with a pot of boiling water. This will help keep the drain clear plus keep it smelling fresh.
All of these steps will aid in clearing minor clogs, and although Sweetwater Home Services Technicians have also come across these common issues, some of these can be resolved independently, saving you expense of calling the plumber. A great visual resource to help you through tips and tricks aforementioned can be found on WikiHow.com