If you’re like most people, you don’t think about your drains very much. When you’re washing dishes or taking a shower, you have a lot more on your mind that “the fresh water comes in through the pipes, cleans what it needs to clean, heads down the drain, down the sewer, and into the public water system/septic tank.” You probably don’t think about the differences between sewer cleaning and drain cleaning until something goes wrong.

You might even be surprised to find out that there’s a difference between the two that plumbing companies have to deal with. Today we’re going to take a look at how these are different and what to look out for.

Drain Cleaning

Drain cleaning involves the individual drains that are in your home. The most common drains are the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, toilets, showers, and washing machines. Mudroom sinks and laundry room sinks are also included in the list.

Why do drains get clogged? There’s really only one reason: stuff going down them that shouldn’t be allowed down the drain. Kitchen sinks are the most common clog spot, mostly due to grease. People will often send bacon drippings and other types of oil down the drain, where it solidifies and starts grabbing other detritus sent down the drain. Another problem involves people having too much confidence in their garbage disposals. Yes, the garbage disposal might be rated to destroy chicken bones, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to send down drain-clogging vegetable matter like potato skins and pumpkin guts. Both of these will quickly clog your drain and might even destroy the garbage disposal. At that point, it’s time to call a drain cleaning service.

Drains all flow downhill until they reach the lateral line of your house, which is the path out to the public sewer. If one drain is running slowly, it’s likely you need drain cleaning. But if all of your drains are running slowly, you’ll most likely need…

Sewer Cleaning

A sewer line is where all of the drains come together and dispose of waste into the public sewer system. If your sewer line is clear, you only have to worry about keeping each individual drain clean. But if your sewer line is clogged, all of our drains are going to start running at a slower pace. If the line gets clogged completely, you might have to call a 24-hour plumber.

Why do sewers get clogged? Unfortunately, your sewer line can suffer for many reasons. First, they might get clogged by the homeowner sending down the wrong stuff: grease, hair, wet wipes, and hygiene products. Second, very fine tree roots can make their way into the joints of sewer lines as they look for water and nutrients, and this webbing will start catching waste. Finally, sewer lines can break as the ground shifts or they degrade over time, which prevents them from sending the waste from your house to the public sewer.

Contact Your Local Plumber!

If you are in need of either sewer cleaning or drain cleaning, AW Plumbing is ready to get that water flowing once again. It could be a simple fix, or it could be something that requires an emergency plumber. Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!