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Helpful Drain Care Tips

  1. Use disposals as little as possible, but when you do, use plenty of water.
  2. Don’t put rice, noodles, potatoes, spinach, celery, bananas, or other fibrous vegetables or fruits down disposals.
  3. When cleaning out the refrigerator, put discarded food into Zip-Loc bags, and not down the disposal.
  4. To keep the disposal odor-free, fill the disposal side sink up with warm water, and a cup of bleach. Pull out the stopper, turn on the disposal, and let the water rush out. This will kill the decomposing organic matter which often exists inside of the disposals impeller chamber and dishwasher air gap hose. This method works on bathroom sinks and showers. The rushing water helps wash away drain sludge build-up as well.
  5. Flush the toilet every time you use it. Urine left in the toilet bowl will cause that tan build-up (urinary salts) in the toilet bottom and trapway. This is very coarse and will impede the flushing action of most toilets. This applies to urinals as well.
  6. Don’t flush tampons, sanitary napkins, paper towels, baby wipes, Kleenex, Chlorox wipes, dental floss, cotton balls, toilet seat covers, or anything other than waste and toilet tissue, down toilets. Though some drain systems tolerate these things well, most systems don’t. A little caution can save a lot in drain cleaning charges.
  7. Avoid using drain cleaning chemicals. Most are acid or alkali based. These have a negative effect on steel, copper, and cast iron drains, as well as chrome and stainless steel trim. Most cleaners are sodium hypochlorite based. If you choose a bacteria or enzyme-based product, then it must be used weekly or more frequently, to have their desired effect. The theory behind these cleaners is that you will try this low-cost cure, and if it does not work,” well, at least you tried it”. These companies make millions every year, knowing that you will try their product, and if it doesn’t work, you won’t return it for a refund. These cleaners have a money-back guarantee, but less than 5% of consumers take advantage of it.
  8. If you have a septic tank, make sure you have it pumped, at the interval based on the number of household occupants. A household of 4 should have the tank pumped out every 4-5 years. The more occupants, the more often it needs to be pumped out. The fewer occupants, then it is needed less often. When septic tanks are let go too long between pumping, then the sludge and scum will get out into the leach lines, clogging them, and leading to leach line failure. Pumping your septic tank regularly is like changing the oil in your car. Clean oil, extends engine life, clean septic tank, extends leach field life.
  9. If you observe water coming out of the air gap on top of your kitchen sink, it is usually caused by a restriction or build-up in the large black rubber hose that connects the air gap to the disposal. Either this hose will be kinked, or food sludge has built up inside of this black hose. You can either disconnect this hose and clean it out, or you can clean it out with a metal coat hanger, by inserting it into the disposal inlet tube, which is inside of the disposer impeller chamber. Though tricky to do this, once you’ve done it successfully, then it will seem easy to do it the next time.
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Serving San Diego Since 1995
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