water draining down sink

If you’re looking to infuse more eco-consciousness into your day, there’s more to do than adjust your HVAC system and watch your energy consumption. You can also focus on getting your drains clean and fresh with an eco-friendly approach!

Here’s a look at some of the best tips, strategies, and services (courtesy of our Crete drain and sewer experts!) to get your drains in good working order without harmful chemicals and negative environmental impact.

The Downside of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can be effective but they come at a steep cost to your plumbing, drainage system and the environment. These corrosive drain cleaners are considered a hazardous substance and can poison you and your family, not to mention pets, water systems, lakes, and everything they touch. It’s estimated that around 3,00 injuries per year are related to drain cleaners and one-third of these are related to cutaneous burns. Using these products is not worth the risk!

Understanding Your Drainage System

There are a few types of drainage systems on the market. In most cases, your home’s drainage system works with the help of gravity and a slight downward slope of pipes to carry wastewater away from your home, through your pipes, and into the sewer. The waste eventually flows to a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank.

Drains may seem like they work effortlessly where everything washes away, but they need regular cleaning and maintenance to avoid clogs. When too much grease goes down your pipes, it can stick to the walls of your pipes and develop stubborn clogs. Other materials, such as food waste, hair, foreign objects, and debris, can also cause clogs. Once a clog starts, everything that goes down your pipe can get caught in it and create a larger blockage.

Over time, clogs can damage your pipes or cause leaks and break-downs. It’s also not uncommon for clogs to form deeper in your sewer lines and cause a backup of dangerous wastewater that suddenly appears in your sinks, showers, and bathtubs. At this point, you have a full-blown drain emergency that needs immediate attention.

Even without wastewater buildup, drains can develop bacteria and viruses and need to be addressed immediately. You’re not only risking the integrity of your plumbing, drainage and sewer systems, but also your and your family’s health.

Natural Alternatives to Chemical Cleaners

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural drain cleaners out there that cost almost nothing. Here are a few easy DIY drain cleaning solutions to get started:

  • Boiling water: Pouring a pot of boiling water down your drains periodically, especially after anything may have slipped down, can help break up new clogs.
  • Vinegar and baking soda: Mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda and pour it down your drain. Let it sit for about half an hour to an hour before pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain.
  • Baking soda and salt: Mix 1/2 cup table salt and 1/2 cup baking soda together and pour it down the drain. Let the solution sit for about 30-minutes and wash it away with a pot of boiling water.

For mild clogs, these all-natural drain cleaners can work as effectively as the harsh chemicals you may be used to. But for anything stubborn, you need a professional to unclog and clean your drains.

Preventative Measures for Drain Health

One of your best defenses against clogged drains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to minimize your clogs and stay on top of blockages:

  • Use only chemical-free drain cleaning solutions
  • Buy a few inexpensive drain strainers
  • Dispose of cooking grease or oil in a jar and throw out when full
  • Avoid flushing unused medications, coffee grounds, or eggshells down drains or toilets
  • Remind your family and any guests not to let food and foreign objects go down drains

Exercising mindful drain disposal practices keeps you from compromising the integrity of your home’s plumbing. The goal is to only allow a small amount of intentional waste to go down your drains.

Regular Maintenance Practices

Drain maintenance is simple and a proactive approach to good home hygiene habits. Pour a hot pot of water down the drains and follow up with cold water. It’s also a good idea to combine your solution of one part boiling water with one part vinegar and baking soda. Both of these drain maintenance techniques can be used once a month, or after an especially heavy day of cooking and entertaining.

At Reid & Pederson Drainage, we also offer routine drain and sewer maintenance to help keep your drainage system in tip-top shape!

Professional Eco-Friendly Drainage Solutions

At some point, even the most proactive drain maintenance habits may require professional intervention. Habitually slow or clogged drains, odd odors and gurgling sounds are signs of drainage troubles.

Call our drain and sewage specialists at at Reid & Pederson Drainage anytime you’re dealing with standing water or your sewer is backing up. If something just seems off with your drains and you can’t pinpoint what it is, don’t leave it up to chance. Give us a call and we’ll get there as soon as we can to address the problem and get your home back in good working order.

Our team offers reliable sewer and drain cleaning that you can’t get in a bottle of harsh chemicals, including:

  • Sewer Rodding
  • Drain Rodding
  • Hydro Jetting
  • Precision Cleaning
  • Overhead Sewer and Drain Cleaning

All of our green drain and sewer practices rely on natural methods, such as breaking up clogs with rods or a concentrated stream of water and flushing clogs away. We also offer a ZipDrain service to clean and jet your overhead sewer without making a mess and get your lines running cleanly again.

Impact of Eco-Friendly Practices on Home and Environment

When you focus on environmentally friendly drain care and maintenance, you put less strain on your pipes. As harsh chemical cleaners are corrosive, they end up damaging your pipes and causing leaks. Beyond the health of your home and avoiding ingesting these chemicals yourself, switching to eco-friendly drain solutions means a cleaner environment. You’re no longer pouring harsh chemicals down the drain that end up in local waterways, streams, and in wildlife habitats.

Switching to eco-friendly drain cleaning is also an opportunity to look at the hygiene habits around your home. You can make natural cleaners with bakign soda, vinegar, and essential oils. For example, lavender and lemon oil are natural astringents and cleaners that don’t contain toxic chemicals like phthalates or chlorine beach. A little olive oil, vinegar, and essential oils can also kill bacteria while polishing up the shine of floors and wooden furniture.

Get Eco-Friendly Drain Cleaning from Reid & Pederson

Switching to an eco-friendly drain maintenance and tidying up your home doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. You can take a proactive approach by keeping drains clear of debris, grease, grime, egg shells and more to avoid problematic clogs.

But when you do experience clogs and slow drains, it’s important to call the team at Red & Pederson Drainage. We’ll get your drains cleaned and break down stubborn clogs to restore the health of your drainage system. Call us today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Want to read more of our expert tips? Check out our blog!

christmas tree by a fire place

The holiday season is here, which means that gatherings with family and friends become the highlight of our calendars.

If you’re hosting any gatherings, 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) Mindful Meal Cleanup

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, while fibrous veggies like celery or rhubarb wrap around blades, causing them to not work as efficiently. Leftover bones spin around and do not go anywhere. And don’t even think about throwing that grease down there, as it can harden in your disposal and cause a major backup.

Holiday feasts bring delectable dishes, but proper disposal of food remnants is essential. Learn more about garbage disposals and your kitchen sink!

2) Efficient Disposal Operation

After disposing of food scraps, run the disposal for at least 20-30 seconds with a continuous flow of water. This ensures thorough clearing without overloading the disposal. 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) Smart Toilet Paper Choices

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) Proactive Drain Checks

Prior to hosting guests, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to take a look at any slow drains in your home. The increased water usage and bathroom usage could become a minor or major catastrophe if not taken care of before your guests arrive.

5) Time Between Showers

Encourage a 15-minute interval between showers. This will help prevent hair clogs and the build up of soap residue, and will allow drains to clear efficiently. 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, so give yourself one less thing to worry about by following our 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!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
cleaning gutters as part of sewer maintenance

The leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler, clear signals that the fall season is upon us.

While you may be busy enjoying fall festivals, pumpkins and apple cider, throw on a cozy sweatshirt and fuzzy slippers, and 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 Crete 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 that rainwater can flow freely away from your home to avoid potential water damage. And cleaning them now will prevent you from having to clean them later on in the winter!

3. Check Your Sump & Ejector Pumps

If your home has a basement, it’s likely equipped with a sump pump and or an ejector pump. These pumps play a crucial role in managing groundwater and wastewater. Fall is a great time to check your sump and ejector pumps and their pits for clogs in the discharge lines. Test their operation by unplugging and then plugging them back in; if they activate, they’re functioning correctly. This simple check can save you from unexpected headaches during winter storms and snow melts.

4. Use Drain Traps

A simple year-round tip that’s pretty effective is the use of traps over frequently used drains, like bathtubs and bathroom sinks. These traps catch hair and debris that can easily lead to clogged pipes and forcing you to call in a professional for drain cleaning. With more visitors to your home during the holidays, this preventive measure is invaluable in keeping your drains flowing smoothly!

5. Get Your Sewers Rodded

One last tip to prepare your sewer for the fall season? If you haven’t already, and especially if your home is surrounded by lots of trees, have your sewer rodded to clear out roots and other debris that manages to find its way into your line. And with more visitors in your home during the holidays, a sewer rodding is a good idea to be sure things will flow smoothly all season long. 

Drain & Sewer Maintenance Help From the Pros

Prepare your home for the fall season by following these essential sewer and drain maintenance tips. With a little proactive care, you can enjoy the autumn festivities without worrying about unexpected drainage problems.

But no matter what kind of sewer or drain issue you’re experiencing, or what time of year it is, Reid & Pederson is always 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 in Crete, IL or the surrounding area!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Learn More About Drain & Sewer Maintenance in Crete & Beyond

Check out our blog posts below for some helpful info, expert tips and more!

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.

Have questions? Reach out to the Crete drain and sewer experts at Reid & Pederson!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

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


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.


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.  

Help from Your Local Drain & Sewer Pros

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

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Learn More About Drain Cleaning in Crete

Check out more of our blog posts below for some helpful info, expert tips & more!

When you think of summer, your drainage and sewer system is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But did you know that there are specific issues that can pop up regarding these systems during the summer months?  Below are some common drainage issues many homeowners experience during the summer months and what you can do to help prevent them. Continue reading to learn more or simply give the drain and sewer experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage a call now!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Sump Pump Problems

Ah, those warm summer rains and the thunderstorms that come along with them. They’re refreshing and calming at times, but can also be quite hazardous, in more ways than one. Heavy summer rains can wreak havoc on your home drainage system.

Many homes contain sump pumps in the basement to pump away groundwater. Too much rain can overwhelm your pump if you don’t have an adequate system in place. For some homeowners, having multiple sump pumps and even a battery backup system are essential to keeping water from seeping into their basement. If you experience water seepage or know your home has a drainage problem, it is vital that you address the sump pump issue to prevent a catastrophe later on.

Sewer Line Backups

While the warm summer weather is great for spending time outdoors, it also means the constant threat of those warm Midwest summer thunderstorms. And with those storms comes rain – sometimes lots of it! Lots of rain can overwhelm home sewer systems and cause backups.  Tree roots also cause problems during the summer months as they can find their way into your pipes through the smallest cracks, seeking out the water in your pipes.  The result is a blockage that only professional drain and sewer cleaning in Crete and beyond can effectively remove.

Clogged Drains

Having the kids off of school for the summer equals more occupants and more overall use of plumbing fixtures in your home. Although the COVID-19 pandemic right now may be limiting visitors, summer is usually a time to spend increased time with friends and family. 

Things like summer barbecues, more showers and more toilet use can all lead to clogged drains that could ultimately require drain cleaning services. Trips to the beach, camping and other summer activities can also  be brought back home in the form of extra dirt and debris.

So when you’re hosing off from a day at the beach, try your best to keep all of that sand out of your drains. Lastly, make sure any visitors are clear on what shouldn’t be flushed down your toilets – namely, feminine hygiene products, paper towels or wipes. 

Clogged Disposals

Summertime is the perfect time to break out the grill and host the perfect summer barbecue with friends and family.  While it’s a great time to relax with great company, it also leads to a higher likelihood of garbage disposal problems. Why is this, you ask?  With so much extra food being prepared, there is an increased risk of too much of the wrong items being put down your disposal.

So what foods should you keep in mind to never put down your disposal this summer? Below is a list of the worst offenders:

  • Keep the steak and chicken bones out of the disposal. Bones tend to continually spin around your disposal blades and even if they do make it down the disposal, they definitely won’t make it through your drain pipes. Make Fido happy instead and throw him that steak bone, surely he will appreciate it!
  • Certain fruits and vegetables. Those potatoes you’re pealing for your potato salad or the celery you’re adding to it? What about all of those eaten ears of corn or watermelon rinds? Don’t put any of these down your disposal! Celery strings tend to tangle around your blades, potatoes can cause a soupy mess in your disposal and hard pits or rinds just won’t ever grind up. None of these bodes well for your disposal.
  • Too much remaining pasta salad? Keep it out of your disposal. Pasta tends to swell up when exposed to water, even after it is fully cooked. Dumping it down the disposal increases the likelihood of it swelling and clogging the trap or causing a clog further down the line.
  • Grease and oil. Never dump grease or oil down your disposal. Just because it’s a liquid form when you dump it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Grease and oil tend to harden up in your pipes, causing clogs that can lead to major issues.

Clogged Toilets

Having the kids off of school for the summer usually means more visitors in the form of friends and family. These increased visitors could see your toilets getting a bit more use during those hazy summer days.  While this generally isn’t a cause for concern, it can turn into one if those extra visitors aren’t aware of just what can – and cannot – be flushed down the toilet. Many times, toilet clogs can be taken care of simply with a plunger, however, continual flushing of anything other than toilet paper – baby wipes, paper towels, napkins or feminine hygiene products, to name a few – will certainly lead to backups that only a professional can clear.

Blocked Gutters & Downspouts

Plentiful summer rain can also cause your gutters and downspouts to clog. No matter the time of year, it’s always a good idea to periodically check your gutters and downspouts and remove things like leaves, sticks, dead animals or other debris from them. These things commonly cause clogs in your gutters or downspouts and don’t allow rain to properly drain away from your home.

Instead, clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water pooling in your yard, with no place to go but into your basement or crawl space. It’s a good idea to check your gutters and downspouts before the start of every new season to prevent clogs in them. 

The Drain & Sewer Experts

If you’re dealing with an issue mentioned above or any other drain or sewer problem, call the drain and sewer experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage. We’ll get to you quickly and get things flowing again at your property!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Learn More About Drain & Sewer Maintenance in Crete & Beyond

Check out our blog posts below for some helpful info, expert tips and more!

drain tile 101

When it rains heavily, the last thing you want to worry about is water entering your basement or crawl space.  In most new home builds today, a drain tile system is installed to ensure that groundwater doesn’t find a way into your home. 

To learn more about drain tile and how it works, keep reading, or simply give the Crete drain and sewer pros at Reid & Pederson Drainage a call today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

What Is Drain Tile?

The name “drain tile” is a little misleading since drain tile isn’t tile at all but usually a system of perforated PVC pipes that are laid beneath the foundation of a home. The purpose of these pipes is to collect the ground water before it enters your basement and either direct the water down and away from your home’s foundation, or direct it into a collection pit where a sump pump moves it away from your home. 

Drain tile can be installed around the outside of a home’s foundation or inside, beneath the slab floor.  Drain tile systems are effective in creating a path of least resistance for water to follow, meaning water is unlikely to seep into your basement via cracks in your foundation or slab. 

How Does Drain Tile Work?

Drain tile systems today consist of crush-resistant plastic (usually PVC) pipes that are perforated with holes to allow ground water in. It is best to install drain tile after the foundation footer of a new home has been laid. Pipe is typically laid in a trench that runs alongside the footer.

Next, the drain tile is covered with a layer of washed gravel. It is important that the gravel is large enough to not have the ability to enter the perforations in the pipe, but still be able to filter water as it enters the pipe.

The tile is then covered with a porous fabric that allows water in and keeps soil out. Lastly, soil is placed on top of the covered pipe to complete the system. 

Do I Need Drain Tile?

If you’re building a new home, it’s a very wise idea to consider installing some sort of drainage system as an extra layer of security to give you peace of mind. Drain tile systems are easiest to install during the early phase of new home construction. But what happens if your existing home begins to show signs of a water problem? 

The good news is that drain tile can be retrofitted to eliminate the water problem. The bad news is that this can be costly and labor intensive, requiring excavation inside your basement and/or outside in your landscaping. 

In this situation, drain tile is commonly retrofitted around the inside of your foundation where a channel is cut into your slab. Drain tile piping is laid beneath, which leads to a sump pit. When groundwater begins collecting beneath the slab, the drain tile directs it to the sump pit where the sump pump is then able to pump the water away from the house. Again, while this is no easy task, it can be done as a solution to ground water seepage in your basement. 

Managing Your Home Drainage System

Ensuring your yard and landscape are properly graded and directing water away from your foundation, along with ensuring your home’s gutters and downspouts are free flowing, are just a few simple ways you can manage your home drainage system and not worry about water in your basement or crawl space. 

Get Help From Drain Experts!

If you have any questions about drain tile or managing your home drainage system in the Crete, IL area, call the experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage today!

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