Category: Drain Cleaning

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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Scraps of fruit sitting in a sink before going down the garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Basics: Proper Use and Care

Garbage disposals make kitchen cleanup much easier and more efficient, but they’re not indestructible. These appliances are made to grind and drain small scraps of food left on dirty dishes, not large pieces and entire meals. Ensure long-lasting reliability and performance with this guide to garbage disposal basics.

Proper Garbage Disposal Use

What Can Go into the Disposal

The first step in proper garbage disposal use is understanding what should or shouldn’t be put in them. While small scraps and most food items can be put down the disposal, you should consult manufacturer instructions for the capabilities of your specific model. As a general rule of thumb, don’t grind anything that’s not biodegradable food.

Proper Operation and Care

On top of only grinding items intended for your disposal, following simple operation and maintenance guidelines will help get the most out of your appliance:

  • Avoid overloading the disposal with too many or too large of items – throw large items in the trash or break them into smaller pieces first to lighten the workload and maximize the appliance’s lifespan.
  • Run cold water while grinding food and continue doing so for 10 to 15 seconds after turning disposal off.
  • Run the garbage disposal every few days with cold water to help prevent rusting and potential buildup of waste.
  • If you notice a smell/odor coming from the disposal, grinding ice cubes and then running hot water will usually resolve the issue. Doing so will also help keep the blades sharp and clean.
  • Periodically grind lemon or orange slices for extra, natural freshening of the disposal.

As with any drain in your home, never use harsh chemical cleaners or bleach that can damage your disposal and pipes. If you notice persistent smells or clogs, contact your local drain cleaning professional to properly diagnose and resolve the issue.

Selecting the Right Garbage Disposal

Like any appliance, not all disposals are created equal. Choosing an inexpensive model will save money in the short term, but you can expect louder operation, less efficient and effective grinding (and thus more potential for clogs and other plumbing issues), and a significantly shorter lifespan. Investing in a garbage disposal with more horsepower and performance features will last about 10 years as it grinds food much more easily.

At Robillard, our preferred brand of disposals is inSinkErator. Engineered with two-stage MultiGrind Technology, the InSinkErator Quiet Series processes more difficult food waste with ease, grinding scarps into the smallest of particles to be easily washed down the drain. Contact your local plumber for help selecting and properly installing your ideal model.

Once you get used to having a garbage disposal, it’s hard to imagine cleaning up after a meal without one. While these appliances typically last about 10 years, improper use can cause damage, requiring repair or even early replacement. Use these garbage disposal basics to maximize the performance and useful life of your unit.

Robillard Plumbing has proudly provided expert drain cleaning and plumbing services with professionalism and reliability since 1986. From new appliances and fixtures to emergency service, our knowledgeable team is here for all your plumbing needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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