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Drain FAQs

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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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