Category: Drain Cleaning

Tips to Avoid Common Winter Plumbing Issues

Between an abundance of cooking, baking, and many days of hosting, the holiday season is the most inconvenient time to experience plumbing issues. But with a few tips and tricks, you can avoid them altogether. Continue reading our blog to steer clear of the most common winter plumbing issues.

Leaking Garbage Disposal

A leaking garbage disposal is one of the easiest repairs we do. However, if a leak is left for too long, this easy fix can lead to a much larger problem that requires a full disposal replacement. If you notice your garbage disposal leaking, it’s best to contact your local plumber immediately.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common calls we get around the holidays. This issue happens when the water backs up and solidifies, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. Avoid frozen pipes by keeping your thermostat set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. And, if you tend to turn the heat off in your cabin during wintertime to save money, you’ll need to rethink that. Heating your cabin may add an extra expense, but with the frigid temperatures and unexpected length of winter, a small crack in your pipe could quickly turn into a larger issue.

Clogged Kitchen Sink

Low temperatures and a busy kitchen create the perfect storm for a clogged drain. With an increase of grease and food remnants going down the sink, debris tends to get caught and solidify on the walls of the pipes. Avoid a backup by limiting the amount of food bits that wash down the drain, even if you have a garbage disposal. In addition, never pour grease down the drain. Instead, drain any oil or grease into a container and throw it in the garbage.

Damage to Exterior Plumbing

If you have outdoor water valves, sprinkler systems, or hoses that are not prepared for the winter weather, damage to any or all of these may come to light as the snow melts in spring. Avoid exterior plumbing issues by making sure everything is well-insulated. You can protect your exterior plumbing with pipe wraps or screens. They also create boxes that can cover larger, exposed plumbing.

The experienced plumbers at Robillard Plumbing have proudly served customers throughout the northwest Twin Cities area since 1986. We take pride in providing efficient, effective plumbing services with a focus on reliability and customer care. Should you have any issues with your plumbing, contact us to schedule an appointment with a trusted professional.

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Floor Drain Maintenance Tips

While most drainage issues are preventable, many homeowners forget about the drains in their house until there’s a problem. Floor drains are perhaps the most commonly ignored among them but can cause flooding and lead to costly water damage repairs if they back up. Use these floor drain maintenance tips to stay ahead of issues in your home.

Understanding Floor Drains: Locations and Function

Unlike showers and sinks, floor drains aren’t typically used on a daily basis, which makes them easy to forget. They can be found indoors and outdoors in places where drainage needs to be fast and efficient, such as:

  • Basements
  • Laundry rooms
  • Older bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Some patios and driveways

Indoor floor drains remove overflow water from fixtures and appliances like vanity sinks, washing machines, and water heaters; outdoor floor drains capture and move rainwater and snow melt safely away from the home. Inside or out, these drains play a vital role in your home’s drainage system. You must keep them clear to protect against severe water damage and flooding.

Floor Drain Maintenance Tips

Proper floor drain maintenance helps prevent disaster, and it doesn’t require extensive work. Just follow these simple tasks throughout the year.

Fill Drain Traps Monthly

Your home’s drainage system directs water to a sewer or municipal storm drain. Drain traps serve as a barrier to prevent sewer odors and gasses from reaching your home. However, they need to be filled with water to do so. Simply pour a gallon of water down your floor drains each month to keep the traps full and functioning.

Clean Drains Regularly

Floor drains should be inspected and cleaned roughly every four months to prevent build-ups and clogs. Remove the cover to check for and clear any debris with a brush or a hose, or by hand. If it’s been over two years since your drains have been professionally cleaned or you need assistance, contact your local plumber to schedule service or learn more.

Clear Clogs Immediately

Slow draining water is the first sign of a clog and should be addressed immediately to reduce the risk of flooding. Minor clogs can typically be cleared by a few strong pumps with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, you can try a drain auger or snake; you can also create a homemade drain cleaner by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar, letting it rest for about 30 minutes, and then rinsing with boiling water. Remember, chemical drain cleaners aren’t always the best option as they may not work and can eat away at your plumbing.

It’s easy to take your drainage system for granted when it works properly, but it can be painful (and expensive) to deal with when it fails. Make a point to use these floor drain maintenance tips regularly to keep your home dry and safe from disaster.

Rely on Robillard

From professional drain cleaning to emergency repairs, the master plumbers at Robillard Plumbing are here for all your plumbing service and product needs.

Contact us to learn more.

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