christmas tree by a fire place

Thanksgiving – the holiday that reminds us to be thankful for the blessings in our lives by gathering with family and friends over a bountiful feast.

If you’re hosting the holiday, you know that a lot of planning and preparation are needed to successfully pull it off. So while your guest list and meal may be all planned out, one uninvited guest you certainly don’t want showing up to the festivities is a sewer or drain backup.

Read on for five easy tips to prevent a holiday backup and keep things flowing all holiday season long.

1) Keep dinner on the table, not in your garbage disposal

Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce…the list of holiday foods on your dinner table is endless. Throw unfinished plates and meal prep scraps straight in the garbage can, not down your garbage disposal. Items like potato peels or other starchy vegetables do not break down easily and cause havoc on the blades. Leftover bones spin around and do not go anywhere. Fibrous veggies like celery or rhubarb wrap around blades, causing them to not work as efficiently. And don’t even think about throwing that grease down there, as it can harden in your disposal and cause a major backup. Learn more about garbage disposals and your kitchen sink!

2) Let your disposal run for a good 20-30 seconds after putting food in it

Make sure you do this with water continuously running through it, until it is clear. It’s best not to pack the disposal first then turn it on as this causes the disposal to work harder than usual and oftentimes leads to clogs.

3) Understand that the type of toilet paper you choose matters!

If you’re hosting the holiday, you know that extra guests in your home equals extra use of the facilities in your home. Although the plush, thick toilet paper is tempting, instead choose a nice, mid-range thickness toilet paper to accommodate for all of those extra bathroom trips. This can save you from a possible backup – and your guests from possible embarrassment. It’s also a good idea to use this kind of toilet paper year round, even when you aren’t hosting extra guests. Read another one of our blog posts to learn about other things you shouldn’t put down your drains!

4) Check drains in advance of your holiday guests’ arrival

If you have one or more slow drains in your home before hosting the holiday, it’s a wise idea to call in a professional to take a look at them. The increased water usage and bathroom usage could signal a big danger if not taken care of before your guests arrive.

5) Wait 15 minutes between showers

This will help prevent hair clogs and allows drains to clear. Doing this not only ensures there’s enough hot water for all guests, it also ensures that the shower drain is fully drained and cleared of all hair and soap residue from the previous user, so things don’t begin to build up and eventually cause a backup.

Help from the Drain & Sewer Pros!

Hosting a holiday party can be stressful. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by following these helpful tips. And if you do experience a backup or need sewer or drain cleaning? Give us a call! Our drain and sewer service pros are always ready to swing by and save the day!

Read on to learn more about drainage problems or reach out to the Crete sewer and drainage experts at Reid & Pederson today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
clearing a clogged drain with a plunger

One of the most common plumbing problems in most homes is clogged drains. This is something that must not be ignored, or else, you will be faced with bigger problems, especially with the internal structures and on your pipelines.

While calling a plumber or a drainage company for drain cleaning may be the first thing that will come to your mind to deal with a clogged drain, you can first try resolving the issue on your own. If the problem persists, give the drain cleaning professionals a call at Reid & Pederson Drainage!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

How to Use a Plunger Properly

You can deal with  your clogged drains by applying a technique that works most of the time. Start performing the task if there is standing water. If there is none, you can pour water into the area where the problem is. The drains and air vents must be sealed. Put the suction cup of the plunger on the drain until you are sure that everything has been covered and there is a good seal.

You have to exert effort in pushing and pulling that suction. Remember that you are doing this to dislodge the clog and get it moving. After several rounds of pushing and pulling, remove the plunger. If water is now going down the drain, you were successful in moving the clog. If there still seems to be a problem, no matter how minor it is, repeat the process, using the plunger until the problem is completely solved. If you’re still not seeing any improvement, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Check All the Drains Throughout Your Home

There are vital parts of your home that you need to regularly check for clogged drains. This is important in order to save water and save yourself from spending too much on replacing damaged pipelines and other fixture.

Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain & Bathroom Sink Drain

For the sink in your bathroom and kitchen, you must first make sure that all the air holes are covered with duct tape or cloth. Use the plunger as instructed above. While many homeowners opt to use expensive cleaning agents, it is best that you first try fixing the problem with a plunger in order to save some bucks in the task.

Clogged Shower Drain & Bathtub Drain

If the problem with clogged drains happened on your bathtub, you must first pull off the overflow cover plate. You can then put a rag onto the hole and start plunging the drain. For the showers, since there are no air holes that you need to cover, you can simply proceed in plunging the drain.

Drain Clog Pros in Crete & Beyond

If you’re still having issues with a clogged drain in your home, reach out to our drain and sewer specialists at Reid & Pederson Drainage. We’ll send out an expert technician and have things flowing again in no time!

autumn leaves on a roof

Today is the first day of Fall! It’s officially all things cool weather, pumpkin spice and falling leaves.

While you may be busy enjoying fall festivals, pumpkins and apple cider, take a few moments to consider the following tips for keeping your sewer and drains in tip top shape during this colorful season.

You can also reach out to our drain and sewer specialists with any questions you may have, or to schedule routine maintenance!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

1. Clear Out Tree Roots

Tree roots are always a common issue with sewer lines. This is especially true if there are lots of trees or shrubbery on your property. Fall is a great time to do preventive maintenance on your sewer line to clear out roots that find a way into your sewer pipes. Fall is also the start of the busy holiday season, which usually means more visitors to your home. Ensuring your sewer is clear now by scheduling sewer rodding if you need it will ensure your sewer and drains can handle the additional use.

2. Clean Gutters & Downspouts

Fall means falling leaves. And sometimes, these leaves get stuck in the gutters and downspouts of your home. It’s a good idea to clean all gutters and downspouts in the Fall, to ensure they are clear and prevent yourself from having to clean them later on in the winter!

3. Check Your Sump & Ejector Pumps

Fall is a great time to check your sump and ejector pumps and their pits for clogs in the discharge lines. Making sure the pumps are operating correctly can save you headaches when those dreaded winter storms hit..and when all of that snow melts!

4. Use Drain Traps

A simple year-round tip that’s pretty effective is the use of traps over frequently used drains. Since fall ushers in the holiday season, we are mentioning it here due to the likely increase in visitors to your home and therefore, the increased use of your sewer and drains in your home. Keep your drains clear and avoid having to call us for drain cleaning by using drain traps wherever you can!

Drain & Sewer Maintenance Help From the Pros

No matter what kind of sewer or drain issue you’re experiencing, or what time of year it is, Reid & Pederson is always only just a phone call away! We’ll get there quickly and solve your drain or sewer problem in no time. We also have a sewer maintenance program that will help keep your system running smoothly all year long. Give us a call for more information or whenever you need help with your drains or sewers!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
slow flushing toilet

Your toilet provides a very necessary function for occupants in your home. So when it begins to give you problems, it’s not a good idea to take a “wait and see” approach. Slow draining and slow flushing toilets reduce the effectiveness of your toilet and over time, that slow-down can turn into a clog…or something worse.

What causes a slow flushing toilet and what does it mean if it’s happening to you? Here, we explore a few of those causes and provide a few tips on how to fix a slow flushing toilet.

Low Water Level in the Toilet Tank?

One of the first things you can check is the water level in the toilet tank. The water inside the tank should be about a half an inch from the top of the overflow tube. If this isn’t the case, raise the float arm to increase the amount of water in the tank.

What’s Being Flushed Down the Toilet?

Make sure the only things being flushed down your toilet are waste and toilet paper. Even mild clogs can hinder the effectiveness of your toilet flush, with buildup in the line or past the toilet pipe trap restricting water flow, creating a slow flushing toilet. Never flush items such as wipes, paper towels or feminine hygiene products as these items will not break down in your line and will cause a clog. And if you have small children? Consider a toilet lid lock to prevent them from flushing toy cars, crayons or anything else they can get their small hands on down the toilet!

Loose Toilet Flapper?

Check your flapper! The flapper is the rubber cup-shaped fixture found at the bottom of your toilet tank that covers the drain from the tank to the bowl. Connected to it is a lift chain that is connected to a metal arm. When you flush the toilet, the chain rises, lifting the flapper and allowing the water in your tank to drain into the bowl. If your flapper is loose, it could constantly leak water into the bowl. If the chain becomes detached, the flapper will not open properly, causing problems such as a weak flush and ultimately a slow draining and a slow flushing toilet. Although annoying, a flapper issue can often be corrected without the help of a professional.

Hard Water?

If your home has hard water, buildup of minerals under the rim of the toilet and within the toilet pipes can cause slow flushing. Continued buildup can slowly decrease the diameter of pipes and thus, the flow of water through them. Buildup under the rim can also restrict water flow back into the bowl when it is flushed, causing a lower water level and therefore, a slow flushing toilet.

Toilet & Drain Line Pros

If you have a slow flushing toilet or your toilet is giving you other problems, give Reid & Pederson a call today. We’ll quickly send an expert drain service technician to your home to repair or replace your toilet so you can quickly get back to “business” as usual!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
chemical drain cleaners

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably experienced a clogged drain at some point. Whether a bathtub, toilet, bathroom sink or kitchen sink, a clogged drain is an inconvenience that requires a quick fix. Your first reaction is probably reaching for the drain cleaner under the sink or taking a quick trip to the store to purchase some.

But before you do that, consider the following facts about chemical drain cleaners and your pipes. 

How Drain Cleaner Chemicals Work

Chemical drain cleaners come in a variety of formats but all of them work the same way. What exactly happens when you pour them down the drain? In a nutshell, the chemicals interact with your clog, causing a chemical reaction that generates heat and sends your clog into oblivion. That’s a great thing when getting rid of that stubborn clog in your bath sink but it’s not-so-great for a number of other reasons.

How Chemical Drain Cleaners Can Be Dangerous

Corrosion

Chemical drain cleaners are just that – chemicals – and they’re manufactured to be strong enough to cut through any clog. So while eliminating clogs is a good thing, it’s not a good thing for your pipes, especially if they’re made of PVC or older metal. Why? While these caustic chemicals are eliminating your clog, at the same time, they’re also eating through your pipes, causing damage that eventually requires sewer line repair or replacement. 

Health Hazards

Since these types of cleaners consist of chemicals, they often create fumes that can cause breathing problems in humans. Additionally, the chemicals found in these products can cause burns to skin, face and eyes, not only to the consumer but to any technician who may be called to work on the clog.

Effectiveness

Chemical drain cleaners are not always effective in totally clearing clogged pipes. Many times, clogs are found further down the drain so the chemicals may not fully reach and penetrate the clog. And even when they do reach the clog, they generally only clear away the part of the clog found on the bottom of the pipe – the part of the pipe the chemicals actually touch. 

Environmental Impacts

Chemical cleaners usually contain acids like hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, oxidizers like sodium hypochlorite and caustics like lye, caustic soda or sodium hydroxide. When poured down the drain, it’s only a matter of time before these chemicals can end up in groundwater and water supplies.

How to Clean a Clogged Drain Without Chemicals

So what do you do if you’re dealing with a stubborn clog? Before you reach for those chemicals, consider a simple DIY remedy first. A simple mixture of vinegar and baking soda put down your drain and allowed to sit overnight could be enough to eliminate your clog. However, since many clogs are often found further down the line, most times professional help is necessary.  

If you’re experiencing a stubborn clog that will not go away, don’t reach for those chemical. Instead, give the drain cleaning experts at Reid & Pederson a call and our knowledgeable technicians will clear your clog quickly!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
garbage disposal in crete il

A garbage disposal is a popular and convenient item to have in your kitchen. Allowing you to empty food scraps into your drain, chop them up and flush them away, it’s a good alternative to dumping uneaten food directly into your trash can.

Many homes contain garbage disposals, where with just the flip of a switch, food waste is eliminated for good. While there are many good things about having a garbage disposal, there are also things you should watch out for when using one.

Garbage Disposal Smells

While garbage disposals help prevent unpleasant odors emitted from rotting food sitting in your kitchen trash can, they can become quite odorous themselves. Putting the wrong items down your disposal can clog it, causing odors to waft from your kitchen sink. Citrus peels, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or disposal cleaning tablets occasionally rinsed down the sink can help keep smells at bay.

Clogged Garbage Disposals

This brings us to our second point: Clogs. Putting the wrong items down your garbage disposal causes clogs that lead to backups (and a call to us for drain cleaning help!) Before you throw everything and the kitchen sink down your kitchen sink, remember that not all food scraps should go down it. Stringy foods, bones, starchy foods and fats like butter and shortening often jam disposals, causing expensive clogs and foul odors.

Water Waste

Using a garbage disposal requires running water to flush food down the drain after grinding it up. Your kitchen faucet uses an average of 2 gallons of water per minute. If you use your disposal frequently, that ends up being a lot of wasted water!

Drain Line Sludge

Food waste disposed of through a garbage disposal creates a sludge that can become difficult for water treatment facilities to process because it must use more chemicals and energy to treat it. This same sludge can build up in your drain lines and cause problems later on.

How to Use a Garbage Disposal

The most important thing to remember if you have a garbage disposal is to simply be smart when using it. Understand that they’re not meant to handle the scraps of your entire meal but instead, are meant to flush away allowable scraps. Garbage disposals are handy and convenient kitchen tools and using it correctly gives you reassurance that you won’t experience problems with it later on.

Garbage Disposal Installation & Repair

If you do experience a problem with your garbage disposal, the experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage are standing by to help. We can install a new garbage disposal quickly and get things back on track for you ASAP! Give us a call today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
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