Pandemic Plumbing Problems? You’re Not Alone! Staying Home Clogs More Drains

Sponsored - Plumbers are swamped. It turns out all the extra use on our plumbing and systems at home can amp up the odds for problems. Topping the list are clogged drains. And while it may be tempting to DIY that clog, the experts say you may be wasting your time.

“So what you find happens is first the metal hanger that they made long didn’t work then they probably run to the local hardware store and buy or rent a 25 foot snake and that doesn’t work because the clog is probably way down the line,” said Min Hilsenhoff, Service Plumping Manager at HJ Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection. “Our sewer and drain techs have the larger equipment with longer cables, plus they’ve been doing it for years. That’s all they do. So a lot of times by the time people have exhausted 2-3 attempts or they’ve tried liquid clog removers which never really work, they give us a call and we are there and generally we’re in and out of there within an hour.”

It’s even possible to cause more harm than help when you attempt to snake your own drain.

“When you’re putting whatever mechanism you’re using to try and clear it ‚if you have any piping that’s compromised it may go through the piping, it doesn’t happen often, but it can. Things can get stuck and you can’t get it out. The chemicals you pour in the drain they can be dangerous if they spash back,” Hilsenhoff explained.

portrait of senior plumber at work
portrait of senior plumber at work(Photographer:Gualtiero Boffi | tiero - Fotolia)

While we’re all spending more time at home, remember prevention is key.

“The number one thing to remember is what not to put down those drains. In your kitchen, no grease. Don’t pour any grease down the drain. In the bathroom, toilet paper only in the toilet and I mean only. Wipes may say they’re flushable they are not. In the tub what we find a lot is razors, caps to shampoo bottles, those for some reason get down there and they’re gone. So you’ve got to be very aware of those types of things going down the drain,” Hilsenhoff said. “You’ve got to remember it’s going into a drain pipe that is not perfectly smooth and once something gets hung up everything else that goes is getting hung up on it and eventually it’s blocked.”

What are the tell tale signs to watch for besides slow draining sinks and tubs? "If you flush the toilet and your shower sounds like it’s gurgling, it’s a pretty good sign there’s something in there. It might still be draining but I can tell you it’s not draining as good as it should. I would call 608-256-3900 and ask HJ Pertzborn to send over the drain team to clean it.

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