Home // Maintain, Service & Unclog Your Drains: A Homeowners Guide

Maintain, Service & Unclog Your Drains: A Homeowners Guide

Plumbing problems are never planned and can be a major inconvenience if you aren’t prepared to deal with them. Luckily, you can help mitigate the worst-case scenarios by properly maintaining and servicing your home systems.

Learning which minor issues you can take care of before they turn into disasters is also incredibly valuable. With that in mind, there are some plumbing disruptions that are best left to the professionals. In this handy home plumbing guide, we’ll teach you all about drain service and how to stay ahead of the U-curve in order to live stress-free when it comes to plumbing.

Clean, Maintain and Unclog Drains: What Homeowners Should Know

The health of your plumbing ecosystem is dependent on the past, present, and future conditions of each component. Without a time machine, the best thing you can do as a homeowner is learning how to deal with each individual plumbing need to the best of your ability and understand critical next steps when signs of trouble arise. Here are some of the plumbing problem areas that we typically see in Phoenix homes.

Kitchen Sink Drain 

Your kitchen sink will handle food waste, dirt from hand-washing, your garbage disposal, and be connected to two water supply lines. While there are good introductory tips to know such as not pouring food oils down your drain and how to reset your garbage disposal, a kitchen sink drain can be one of the most difficult plumbing problems if not handled correctly.

Bathroom Sink Drain 

Bathroom sinks are often the overlooked problem area in a home’s plumbing until it is too late. Hairs from shaving and other grooming, particles from hand washing, and chemicals from cosmetics can lead to buildup, sink clogs, and other issues. Good preventative care can be one of the best problem-solving methods here.

bathroom sink

Shower Drain/Bathtub Drain 

Whatever you track into your shower will track down the drain. Another hair magnet and plumbing tract that is often ignored until it’s too late, your shower and bathroom drain require very specific long-term care if you want to avoid damage that requires professional assistance.

Toilet Drain Pipe 

There are few homeowner nightmares worse than having sewage come back through your toilet drain type. This plumbing system represents one of the trickiest splits between home-care and professional expertise. This is because home remedies such as plunging and other drain clearing methods are fine when a mild problem has occurred from recent usage, but the damage can be significant if the issue has built up over time. Don’t risk this – consult a pro before you have a messy situation on your hands… or all over the floor.

Floor Drain 

Floor drains are some of the unsung heroes of home plumbing design, which means they are also often ignored in terms of maintenance. These can be drains for decks, patios, and yards, or drains in laundry rooms, bathrooms, or other water-producing rooms in a home. Because there is such a diverse range of these setups, you should know exactly how your individual systems work so you or a professional can treat any issue accordingly.

Outdoor Drain 

Irrigation systems, sprinklers, pools, hot tubs, and many more outdoor drains are liabilities if not properly cared for. Especially as these drains are particularly susceptible to the elements and third-party disruptors, it is important to learn how to monitor and care for outdoor drains early in your home-owning experience.

Further Reading – Chapter 3: How to Unclog a Sink

drain cleaning services

Plumbing Problem Areas and FAQs

Ultimately, we believe no drain should be left behind. The smallest drain can become the biggest nuisance if not properly cared for, and most plumbing systems are interconnected. The time, money, and energy put into up-front drain care can save you an exponential amount of these things down the road. Thus, learning what you can do personally or through professional plumbing services is a great proactive idea.

How do I know if I have a clogged drain?   

Seeing is always the last step to believing – but backed up water or flooding means it is often well into the later stages of a plumbing problem. You should also be listening for bubbling sounds, monitoring areas that are draining slower than normal, or noticing bad smells from drains.

Further Reading – Chapter 1: 12 Signs You Have a Clogged Drain

What materials are harmful to drains?

With so many synthetic household products, we need to be careful about what we put down pipes. Harmful products include cooking oils, paints, alcohols, grease, chemical waste, formalin, and many corrosive substances. Always consult a plumbing professional if you have questions about the safety of draining a specific material.

Further Reading – Chapter 2: Drain Do’s and Don’ts: What Can You Pour Down the Drain?

What to do about smelly drains?

Smelly drains can be a symptom of many problems in a drain system. Some simple plumbing solutions include drain cleaner,  a cup of baking soda and vinegar, or a plumbers snake; but often, a smelly drain can be the bi-product of something like a clog that is further along than common home remedies can fix. Mostly, we recommend avoiding corrosive over-the-counter drain-clearing compounds – let the pros handle the tougher fixes.

washing hands

Further Reading – Chapter 4: How to Clean Smelly Drains

Do clogs cause leaking pipes?

Clogs can cause leaking pipes for various reasons in different portions of your home plumbing system. Water backup in places like floor pipes and sink pipes will cause leakage, and as the problem becomes more significant in any drain system, standing water may eventually leak through caulking or seals in threaded pipes.

Further Reading – Chapter 5: 6 Critical Steps to Take When You Have a Leaking Pipe

Follow up with Plumbing Service Professionals in Phoenix

At Deer Valley Plumbing, we have decades of experience in helping homeowners maintain or repair drain issues. We know that each individual system is different, and we want to provide comprehensive answers to your specific questions.

If you’re in the Phoenix area and have a clogged drain or questions about drain cleaning services, please reach out to us today. One conversation could help prevent a number of stressful situations in the future.


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