Drain Cleaning

Checking The Clean Out

When your toilet and tub are both backed up, your main sewer line could be clogged like the left side picture.
You can determine this situation by checking your cleanout in front of your house.
If your clean-out is backing up, you need to clean your main sewer line.

Pictures of the clean outs

Normal clean out

Clogged sewer line.
If you open the lid, you will see
the sewage (next picture)

Clean out after open the lid
You can see the sewage backs up

Attention !

When you open the clean-out cap, please be careful. There could be extreme water pressure. (sewage is not clean as drinking water)

Main Drain Backs Up

When your main drain backs up, the first sign of backup comes from the toilet and bathtub/or shower because these fixtures are the lower parts of the house. As you see in the picture, sinks do not back up because they are higher but sink sewage can backs up the tub or toilet.

Kitchen Drain Backs Up

The primary cause of kitchen drain clogging is grease.  This grease is developed by a variety of different types of substances. Even soapy water can produce grease. This kind of grease is also known as sludge.

Most kitchens drain pipe sizes are 2″. If we snake the drain, it will clear the pipe, but lots of greases will remain inside the tube, and the grease becomes harder and harder (you can see the hardened grease on the picture to the left). Also, the sewage that remains between the grease will make the pipe corrode (refer to the following picture)

Far-left picture: clogged by the grease

Next picture: Hardened grease (you need a chisel to remove)

Corroded pipe shape due to the remained sewage between the grease.

Pipe leaking because of corrosion

Scour jet’s works well in these situations.
It produces 1500~2000 psi pressure to clear remaining sewage.

After scour jet pipe is clean.

Laundry Backs up

Most homes use one pipeline for the kitchen and laundry drain.
If the kitchen line is clogged, the laundry line is possibly clogged as well.
Most likely, your laundry sink will back up before your kitchen sewage line does because most laundry sinks are lower than the kitchen sinks.

Toilet Backs Up

If you or your children happen to drop a particular material into the toilet when flushing, it will most likely be clog at the P trap of the toilet (see picture on the left).
You need to either push it through or pull it out.

Tub Drain Backs Up

The tub drain is between the tub and the main drain connection. Unfortunately, most of the time, this drain is clogged by hair (over 99%).
Please don’t use acid. Acid can’t remove the hair but only make pipe corrode. A better way is to snake the clog.

Attention !

Don’t reduce tub drain self cleaning ability

The major reason for tub drain clogging is the hair, and as long as you have hair, we have no way to prevent hair from clogging the drain.
But the drain has a self-cleaning system. So if you understand how the self-cleaning system works, you can maximize the system to prevent clogging in the drain.

As you can see in the left side drawing, water will spin in the pipe and cleans the pipe simultaneously.
But if the water pressure is obstructed, then it will not be strong enough to function properly.

As you can see in the right side drawing, water will spin in the pipe and cleans the pipe simultaneously.
But if the water pressure is obstructed, then it will not be strong enough to function properly.

The strainer on the left side picture is a fine mesh strainer.
This strainer is more efficient than the above strainers.
It will catch hair better than the other strainers, and it does not affect the water pressure as much, so the self-cleaning system works more efficiently, and the result is less clogging in your tub/shower drain.

Shower Drain Backs Up

Shower drain means the drain pipe between the shower and the main drain line. Most of the time, it is clogged by air.

Just like the bathtub, the right-side picture shows the hair after snaking.

Shower Drain Backs Up

The major reason for lavatory clogging is hair.
You need to push it or take it out by snaking. If your lavatory is back to back (left side picture), you need to crawl carefully.

You have to push the cable at a downward position like the right side picture.

Otherwise, the cable will go straight and break the other side pipe.