Keep Your Drains Clear This Holiday Season

We see a lot of clogged drains over the holiday season. It makes sense, actually. You may have a lot more people in your house than you usually do, or you may be cooking a lot more food, in larger quantities, than normal. Both of these things can lead to an increase in clogged drains all over your home. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent these problems!

Avoid Putting Grease Down Your Drains

When you’re cooking a lot of food and you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to just pour all of the grease down your drain. However, grease congeals into a gel-like substance that sticks to almost everything else you put down your drain. You can create a huge clog over just a few days! Instead, pour your grease into a resealable container and throw it away. 

Put Food Waste in the Trash

Most food waste shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal, especially in large quantities. It can get stuck in your drain and cause a clog or immobilize your garbage disposal blades. You should especially avoid putting eggshells, coffee grounds, corn husks, potato peels, and bones down the disposal. 

Don’t Flush Solids Down Your Drains

Don’t let anyone flush anything other than toilet paper and human waste down the drain. This applies to feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, dental floss, paper towels, hair, tissues, Q-tips, cat litter, and anything else that someone might decide to flush. Just don’t do it! Make sure there is ample trash can space so that people have other options. 

Clean Out Drain Overflow Spaces

Get to know your sinks! Most have pop-up drain assemblies that can be pulled out and cleaned regularly. These are designed to trap water and soap in the sink when you need them there, but they can also collect soap scum, hair, and more. To clean them, close the pop-up valve. Fill your sink with water and a little bit of soap until the water line is just below the overflow hole. Add a cup of bleach to the water, then turn the tap on and run hot water for about 10 minutes. When you’re done, drain the entire sink again. 

Rinse Out Your Garbage Disposal

Every few days, pour a half cup of dishwashing fluid down your drain, then run lukewarm water for a minute or so after it. This should clean out your drains and keep them flowing freely. You may want to do this every day during the holiday season if you tend to have drain problems.

Call for Drain Cleaning in Santa Cruz

You can always call us at Rosenthal Plumbing for help with your drains, too. When our professional plumbers come to your home for drain cleaning they will, identify the source of your clogged pipes and clear it out fast with either a plumbing rod or using a high pressure water stream, a method called hydro-jetting, clean up anything that needs to be and make sure you’re satisfied with the result before leaving so you can get back to your holiday fun! Give us at Rosenthal Plumbing a call any time for emergency plumbing help in Santa Cruz and we’ll be there fast!

FAQs About Sewer Line Replacement

The majority of homeowners don’t put thought into their sewer lines until there is a problem with them. After all, you don’t have to look at your sewer pipes every day, so why think about them? But, it is important to know what the status of your plumbing is and how old the sewer system is. You don’t want to be facing a major septic emergency, so it’s best to have your sewer replaced before it fails you.

Here are a few of the most common questions we get from our customers about the sewer replacement process:

What Are The Reasons To Get A Sewer Replacement?

There are many things that may mean replacing your sewer lines is required. These factors include:

  • The material of your pipes
  • How well your original sewer line was installed
  • What the sewer code was at the time of installation
  • Nearby construction, either on your home or the ones nearby
  • Tree and large shrub roots that may have infiltrated your sewer line
  • Soil conditions, increasing corrosion rates

How Long Should My Sewer Last?

Every property will need sewer line replacement at some point, but the timing of that often depends on the material that makes up the pipes.

  • Clay pipes: 50-60 years
  • Iron pipes: 75-100 years
  • Copper pipes: 50+ years
  • Steel pipes: 40-70 years
  • PVC pipes: indefinitely

How Can I Tell I Need My Sewer Replaced?

While some homeowners choose sewer line replacement when their pipes hit the end of their lifespan, others wait until there are problems. Here’s some signs that indicates the need for professional plumbing help:

  • Smelling sewage in your home
  • Sewage backups in your home
  • Frequent clogged drains
  • Multiple drains clogging at once
  • Weird water patterns, like backups in your bathtub every time your washer drains
  • Wet spots in your yard
  • Overgrown places in your yard or shrubs

If you have any other inquiries about the sewer replacement process, reach out to our talented team of experts. We are standing by waiting to assist you and take care of all your worries and concerns regarding your sewer system in Santa Cruz or the surrounding areas. Call Rosenthal Plumbing now!

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Drain FAQs

No matter what issues you’re having with your drains, our Santa Cruz plumbers at Rosenthal Plumbing can help you get them working again. Whether your drain or sewer needs to be cleaned, we can get the work completed ASAP to get your water flowing again soon. Are you not sure what needs to be done about your plumbing? We have dealt with countless issues in Santa Cruz, so check out some of these common questions that we get.

What Do I Do If My Drains Smell?

Every so often, someone calls us concerned that their drains smell bad and they can’t seem to figure out what is causing the odor. And it’s a good thing they call! If you smell something and it seems to be coming from your drains, there’s a chance that something serious and unhygienic is going on, and you should take care of it as soon as you can.

What Causes Bad-Smelling Drains?

The most common cause of foul-smelling drains is a problem with the P-trap. The function of this component is to trap debris that gets flushed down your drain so that it doesn’t flow any farther into your pipes and cause a major clog. If this pipe runs dry, you will smell a foul odor.

Sometimes, a bad drain smell is caused by a malfunctioning or poorly designed drain vent system. If the drain lines cannot properly vent the sewer gases, there will be a problem with the odors and with water flow.

Finally, a bad odor can also be a sign of problems with the sewer line itself. It’s important to get these fixed as soon as possible, or you could be facing more costly repairs down the road.

How Can I Take Care Of My Drains?

If you want your drains to keep flowing well for a long time, there are some simple things you can do to help them work well.

  • Keep hair out of the drains. If you shave, wipe the whiskers out of the sink instead of just washing them down. And rinse your razor in a small container of water, then strain the water through a fine strainer to keep the hair out of the drain. If you have long hair, brush it well right before you get in the shower. While a few hairs won’t harm a drain, they definitely build up over time and can cause significant drain clogs down the road.
  • Use a mesh screen over your drains. These are especially useful in the kitchen sink and in showers. They will catch any debris that tries to flow into your drain, so it can’t build up and cause clogging. Be sure to empty these screens into the trash regularly, so the screen itself isn’t inhibiting the flow of water down your drain.
  • Keep fats, oils, and grease out of your drains. These may be liquid when you pour them down, but they congeal as they cool. They can bind to your drain as they harden, narrowing it and trapping more debris. These can become major clogs.
  • Remember that your garbage disposal can’t do everything. Don’t use it to grind up bones (even small ones) or especially fibrous items (like corn husks). These can damage the disposal itself, or let chunks through that will cause drain clogs later. Be reasonable with your disposal usage, and your drains will have great longevity.

If you’re not sure what is going on with your drains, give us at Rosenthal Plumbing a call. We can come out to check them, and give you a free estimate on any necessary repairs. Make an appointment now!

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When to Call a Plumber for Drain Cleaning

Does your clog need some TLC from a professional Santa Cruz plumber?

When a drain clogs, most people run for the drain cleaner or grab the plunger. Those aren’t bad options, but they aren’t always the solutions you need, either. Sometimes, your drain needs professional attention if you want to remove the clog and keep your plumbing working well. Here are a few signs that you should call a plumber for drain cleaning services!

You Can’t Get to the Clog

If the clog is deep in your system, drain cleaner won’t usually work and neither will the plunger. Some clogs even go beyond the reach of the plumbing snakes that you can rent! Deep clogs require the skills of a professional plumber to access the clog safely, then remove it without causing any further problems.

You Use Drain Cleaner Every Week or Every Day!

Using drain cleaner once in a while is a great way to resolve an occasional clog. If you find yourself pouring it down the same drain over and over, though, then it’s time to bring in a plumber. Not only is the drain cleaner not actually resolving the clog, but it is spending a lot of time sitting in your pipes. Since drain cleaner is made to dissolve things, this isn’t a great idea. Instead, get a professional plumber to resolve the clog once and for all.

You Have One Drain that Always Clogs

It’s normal for drains to clog now and then. If you have one drain that clogs regularly, though, there’s more going on down there than a simple clog. Call a plumber to find out why the drain is clogging and get rid of it for good. You may resolve an even larger problem in your drain!

You Think You Have a Sewer Clog

If you suspect a clog in your sewer line, call a professional right away. No amount of plunging or drain cleaner is going to fix that clog! It will take the services of a pro to locate the clog, determine its makeup, and decide on the best way to get it out of your way. Before long, though, your drains will be flowing easily once again.

Santa Cruz Drain Cleaning Experts

If you have a clog that needs some professional TLC, call us at Rosenthal today! We can also help you decide if you need the services of a plumber or if there are other things you should try first. Our plumbers would love to help you out today!

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How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Are you having issues with your shower or bathtub drain? Is the water pooling or draining more slowly than usual? Then you’ve come to the right place! There are several different methods you can try to unclog a shower drain or a bathtub drain. If you’re not entirely comfortable with any of them, give us a call at Rosenthal Plumbing! Our drain cleaning service experts would be happy to do the unclogging for you. If you’d like to tackle the project yourself, though, read on to learn how to unclog a shower drain!

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Use Your Hand

Sometimes, it’s possible to simply reach down the drain, grab whatever’s causing the clog (usually hair) and pull it out. We definitely recommend putting on a pair of gloves before you do this as drains can be pretty nasty on the inside. If the clog is just barely out of reach, an unclogging tool or something like a screwdriver can help unclog a shower drain.

Try A Home Remedy

Sometimes, clogs are just too deep to grab. If that’s the issue you’re having, try dissolving it with some common household substances. Start by pouring some hot water down your clogged shower drain, followed by a cup of baking soda, and finish it off with a cup of vinegar. Let the concoction sit for about 10 minutes, then run some hot water down the drain for a few minutes more. Sometimes, this can unclog a bathtub drain fast!

Plunge it Out

Contrary to popular belief, plungers aren’t just for toilets; they work on all sorts of drains. Just be sure to get a good seal around the clogged drain, then start plunging away. After a few minutes, the clog can be moved around enough that you’re able to grab it and pull it out (see method 1 above) or that it flows down the drain when you run the water.

Get Your Shop Vac

If you have a shop vac, this can be a powerful way to remove a stubborn shower or bathtub clog. Set the vac to liquid vacuuming, place the hose over the top of the drain and then turn it on. It’s possible for the vac to produce enough suction to either bring up the clog or dislodge it enough that it can flow down the drain with some running water.

Try a Plumbing Snake

If you don’t already own a plumbing snake, renting one from your local hardware store is a fairly straightforward process and can help unclog your shower drain. Unless you’re familiar with how to operate one, however, we caution against this as a plumbing snake can get stuck in the drain, causing even more damage than that stubborn clog.

Clogged Drain Experts in Santa Cruz

If, after trying the methods above, you still can’t get your clogged shower drain or clogged bathroom drain unclogged, or you’re just hesitant to try it yourself, call us at Rosenthal Plumbing. Our drain cleaning experts are standing by and are ready to get everything back to normal for you ASAP!

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