Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned professional, there are probably a few things you don’t know about home maintenance. There are plenty of myths going around, so it can be challenging to know what exactly you need to do to keep your home’s systems running smoothly. One of the most overlooked maintenance needs is drain cleaning. Without it, you could be in constant need of plumbing drain repair in Chicago. Find out how frequently you need to clean your drains to keep your system working well. 

Understanding the Meaning of Drain Cleaning

Before getting into the thick of things, you should know something about drain cleaning. Drain cleaning doesn’t mean scooping out hair from your bathroom drain or dumping the food in your kitchen sink strainer. Rather, the term refers to cleaning out the deep recesses of your drains. 

Drain cleaning isn’t something you can do on your own. If you pour harsh chemicals down your drains in an effort to clean them, you will experience two problems. First, the chemicals could damage your plumbing. Most over-the-counter drain cleaners contain chemicals that corrode pipes. Secondly, the solution won’t remove deep clogs. Your drains won’t actually be clean. 

On your own, there’s no way to clean your drains effectively. To have any success, you need to work with reputable plumbing drain cleaning services. They have the tools and knowledge needed to remove clogs and debris from your plumbing.

How Frequently Do You Need Professional Help?

As a general rule, you should have your drains cleaned by a professional once every year. No matter how careful you try to be, you can’t keep soap scum and other debris from going down your drains. And try as you might, you can’t control what your guests place in your toilet and drains.

Annual drain cleaning is effective at removing some of the gunk in your plumbing. By clearing out the debris before it forms a major blockage, you reduce the need for plumbing repairs. You save money and receive peace of mind throughout the year. 

Despite your annual maintenance efforts, you could still encounter issues with clogs. There are a few signs that indicate you need a cleaning immediately. If you notice any of the following, call and schedule your cleaning:

Slow Drains

A drain clog doesn’t form suddenly. Instead, it develops over time as particles collect and become large enough to block your plumbing. Before your water stops draining, the flow will slow down. 

By paying attention to the rate the water flows down your drain, you may be able to notice a clog developing. As soon as you see your drains slow down, it’s time for a drain cleaning. You might be able to remove a small clog before it grows and results in a leaking pipe.

Foul Odor

Your drains shouldn’t smell like much of anything. If you do notice an odor coming from your drains, there’s an issue that demands immediate attention. In addition to being an inconvenience, the foul odor is a sign of a clog in your system. 

The smell comes from bacteria growth associated with standing water and debris in your plumbing. While kitchen sinks are the most common culprit of smelly drains, other rooms can experience the same issue. 

When a nasty odor emanates from multiple drains simultaneously, there’s an even more concerning problem. You could have a blockage in your sewer system, which could involve a complicated repair. Sewer system backups are harmful to your health, so it’s essential to act quickly. 

Bubbling Toilet

Does your toilet bubble? If so, you could be dealing with a serious clog. It might not seem like much of an issue, but a bubbling toilet indicates negative air pressure in the drain line. Generally, the pressure occurs when there’s irregular suction in the drain system. When the pressure releases, it causes bubbles to gurgle in your toilet bowl. Sometimes, the toilet flushes itself. 

If you have a bubbling toilet, there’s either a clog in the drain system or in the vent stack. In only a matter of time, you could have sewer waste coming back up through your pipes. A thorough drain cleaning is essential. 

Puddles of Water Near Plumbing Fixtures

Unless your toddler is up to trouble, you shouldn’t see puddles of water around your plumbing fixtures. You could have a clog that’s already backing up into your home. Before any more damage occurs, you should call for a drain cleaning.

Your Plumbing is Old

If you have an older home, you need to give your plumbing extra attention. In addition to having more debris in the pipes, old plumbing also has the potential to have roots growing into the pipes. A large tree could have roots that seek out the nutrients in your pipes, leaving you with a major clog. 

People who own older homes need to be even more alert with their plumbing. If you don’t clean your drains frequently enough, you could be close to a plumbing disaster. 

You Can Prevent a Plumbing Drain Repair

The future of your plumbing is in your hands. If you hire a professional for annual drain cleaning, you can prevent major clogs and the issues that come with them. But how does a cleaning accomplish this?

A professional drain cleaning can happen in one of several ways. If your plumber uses hydrojetting, they snake a hose down your drain and spray hot water through your pipes. Due to the high pressure and the heat, clogs break up and flush out of your system. At other times, a drain snake does the job. The method of cleaning depends on your plumbing and the company you hire for plumbing drain cleaning services.

Your plumbing puts up with a lot, and it can only take so much. If you truly want to limit the need for plumbing drain repair in Chicago, it’s time to be proactive. A little maintenance can put off a major repair. Call us at J. Blanton Plumbing and schedule your drain cleaning today.