Drain Cleaning

5 Things That Should Never Go Down a Kitchen Drain or Garbage Disposal

The kitchen drain is capable of handling a lot, everything from soapy dishwater to spoiled milk and even dinner scraps. Its appetite can be so voracious, in fact, that it can occasionally fool you into thinking it’s impervious to foreign not-ready-for-kitchen-drain objects. Trust us, it’s not.

Here, in fact, are 5 substances that should never be put down your drain or garbage disposal, and for more than one reason:

  1. blogToxic Substances – Paint, paint thinners, solvent-based cleaners, and even nail polish remover should never be poured down the drain. Instead, check with your town government on how best to dispose of these substances. Many hold “community clean up” days throughout the year where they will accept such substances for proper disposal.
  1. Medications – When your medication expires, don’t throw it down the drain or flush it down the toilet. Instead, mix it with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw it in the trash or check with your local pharmacy to see if they offer “take-back” days.
  1. Cooking Oil and Grease – Whether it’s butter, vegetable oil, or bacon fat, pouring oil and greasy substances down the drain can clog your pipes and result in costly repairs. To dispose of cooking fats, pour them into an empty glass jar or metal can, let it harden, and dispose of it in the trash.
  1. Kitchen Waste – Even if you have a garbage disposal, there are certain things you should avoid putting down the drain. Fibrous fruit or vegetables and starchy foods like pasta and potato skins can gum up the inside of the drain, often too far down to easily break up the logjam. Instead, dump your kitchen scraps into the compost bin.
  1. Automotive Products – The biggest no-no of the bunch is used motor oil. According to the EPA, one quart of motor oil can contaminate 2 million gallons of drinking water. Take all automotive products, such as motor oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid to a recycling center or service station for proper disposal.

If we truly are what we eat and drink, then we also are what carelessness or the simple lack of information forces us to eat and drink, however harmful it might be. If you know of someone who you think could benefit from this blog, we urge you to share it with them.





5 Common Drain Cleaning Problems

Remember or ever read Murphy’s Law? Murphy’s Law, simply stated, goes like this: when something can go wrong, it probably will.

While the book, first published in 1977, was written about corporate America, it applies equally well to any drain or sewer line on the planet. And while you may not be overly concerned about a drain line halfway around the world, you most certainly are concerned about those in and under your home.

When a problem occurs, very often you can fix it yourself. A quick trip to the hardware store, a few aggressive plunges or snakings, a little boiling hot water for good measure and, just like that, life can go on as usual. But not always. Sometimes, you really do need professional help, and here are five such examples.

blogSlow Drains

If a bathroom sink is draining slowly, it’s easy to assume that hair and soap build-up is the cause. And often you’d be right. If the problem is in your kitchen sink, it’s equally reasonable to assume that congealed grease has built up to the point where water and food particles can no longer zip right past it. And again, you very well could be right. And yet there’s an even greater chance that you’re wrong, and that the slow moving drain has an entirely different cause, such as root invasion in underground drains, improper grading, a bad drain pipe connection, and so on. Go ahead and give it a shot, but if the problem persists, call in a professional before things get any worse.

Recurring Clogs

Speaking of hair, there’s nothing quite like it to cause a recurring clog, the kind you’re most likely to bump into in your tub, shower, or bathroom sink. If, after removing the hair, you find the drain clogging up again a little too quickly for your liking, it’s clear that you didn’t get rid of all of it. To save yourself the recurring hassle, contact a pro.

More than One Clogged Drain at the Same Time

If multiple drains clog up at the same time, that indicates a clog in your main drainage system rather than in one or more individual fixtures. Once again, that would be a clog that only a skilled drain technician can get rid of – for good.

Icky Odors

Most home owners don’t need much prodding to call in a plumber when their house starts smelling like a Port O’ Potty. What can cause such unpleasantness? Pollutants trapped inside a drain line or perhaps even a broken sewer pipe. The latter is probably the case if the odors are coming from more than one drain at a time.

Water Flooding

Let’s say you have a toilet or sink that’s overflowing right now. Before you do anything else – including calling us! – do your best to shut off the fixture’s water valve or your home’s main water valve. That will stop the flow of water and allow cooler heads and more rational judgment to prevail.

Once again, we’re not trying to discourage you from attempting to break up the clog on your own. But if you do need help, Boden Plumbing is here to provide it. And that you can count on, every single day of the week, for any clogged drain problem at all.

Clogged Drain Problems in Kenwood and Napa

We all know about knee-jerk reactions, as in, doing and saying the first thing that comes to mind in response to some sort of external stimulus.

Touching a hot stove, for example, not only causes you to pull your hand in a hurry, but perhaps utter a few choice words or two – hopefully with the kids well out of earshot.  Or how about when an ump calls your kid out at the plate during a little league game and, from your vantage point, he or she was clearly safe.  Do you sit there calmly and shout “you’ll get ‘em next time,” “loudly pronounce the ump unfit for his present occupation”   (even though you might be inclined to phrase that a little differently).

Take, for example, the last time a drain or sewer pipe in your house backed up.  The most common knee-jerk reaction when you don’t already have a family plumber?  Go to the internet and call the first living, breathing person who advertises drain cleaning as one of their services.frustration

Sometimes that works out just great.  Other times, not so much.  And that’s when the problem needs more than a plunger, wrench, or mechanical snake to get it fixed.  So what happens then?  You wind up paying twice – at least – for the same service until you locate a company that has the skill, experience, and equipment to handle any size sewer or drain job – especially yours.

At this time, we’d like to suggest one more knee-jerk reaction:  before you do anything us, write down our name and phone number and store it in a secure place where you’re likely to look and locate it the next time you have a sewer or drain problem.

At Boden, we do it all:

  • Sewer and drain cleaning
  • In-line video inspection
  • Sewer and drain repairs
  • New sewer and drain line installation

Would you like to learn more about our experience and qualifications?  Then just pick up the phone and call us – we’re happy now and always to answer any questions you might have.

How to Avoid Clogged Drains During the Holidays in Napa and Petaluma

blogPlumbers across the land – and right here in Sonoma Valley – “fondly” refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, and not because we spend most of our time shopping.

As it turns out, it’s generally our busiest drain cleaning day of the year, so with all that going on, who’s got time to shop? Actually, we’d love to and so to help us get our shopping done on time, we’d like to present you with some helpful tips for keeping your kitchen sink drain and garbage disposal running free and clear. Not just on Thanksgiving, but throughout the holiday season when we all tend to cook with more “FOG”: fats, oil, and grease. The stuff that clogged drains usually are made of.

Properly Dispose of the FOG – That last place fats, oil and grease belong is in your drain system where it can and eventually will –with enough repetition – congeal, harden, and stick to the inside of your drain pipes. So to prevent that from happening, pour or wipe FOG into disposable containers you can then place in the trash.

Your Drains Hate Fibrous Foods – Things like lettuce, spinach, and other soft vegetables were simply not meant to be ground up by your garbage disposal. So don’t try! Unless you’re prepared to deal with a disposal that stops disposing of food scraps.

Run Plenty of Hot Water During and After Running Your Disposal – Just in case some fats, etc., do make it down your drain or into your disposal, run hot water to help make sure none of it sticks to your pipes.

Don’t Forget the Baking Soda – If you’re cleaning up after a big meal, throw some baking soda down the drain and garbage disposal once all the dishes are done, and chase the baking soda with about thirty seconds or so of hot water.

Clean Your Drain and Disposal Before the Meal – If you can’t remember the last time you’ve cleaned your kitchen sink drain or garbage disposal, then why wait until after the meal to see if everything drains as it should? Especially when you can hedge your bet by pouring a half cup each of vinegar and baking soda into your drain, followed immediately by about two quarts of boiling water. For even greater cleaning action, close the drain and garbage disposal lids. Then, after about a half hour, rinse both of them with cold water just to make sure things are flowing nice and smoothly.

Still, when all else fails, you can always call the plumbing professionals at Boden Plumbing Heating & Air for a prompt response, and professional results that meet or exceed your expectations. May all your holiday meals be festive and clog free!