How To Maintain Your Drains in Chicago

tighten up the bolt of drain pipe

There are several drains and water receptacles in your home from the kitchen, bathroom, and shower that get used every day. From washing dishes to cleaning, and bathing to tidying, they’re some of the busiest parts of the house.

Since they handle all the water going through your plumbing system, it is important to keep them running optimally by following certain practices. Also, there are certain things that you should never place in drains, as they can wreak havoc on your systems—either immediately or over time.

Grayson Sewer & Drain Services has seen and repaired it all! We’re always here to help you! We offer sewer and drain services for those moments when things are a bit beyond DIY hacks.

Let’s chat about drains, their inner workings, and how to keep them running optimally.

What Is A Drain?

You likely know the answer to this question, but we’ll get back to basics.

When you think of your home drainage, you likely think of the holes in your sinks, showers, and basins.

Technically speaking, it’s only the opening of an entire network that is called the DWV system, even though most people refer to it as “the drain pipes.” It stands for Drain-Waste-Vent, and it signifies that this pipeline system not only drains wastewater and solid wastes to the sewer system or septic field but also provides fresh air to the drain system.

P-traps are the next segment in most drains, except for toilets and clothes washer standpipes, which have similar but unique systems. These sections have a curve that holds standing water, sealing the drain system and preventing gases from rising from the sewer system into your home.

Branch drain lines connect the fixtures mentioned above to the soil stacks, eventually leading to the main drain lines and eventually to the municipal sewer line or your septic system.

The soil stacks also have a crucial component—vents. They carry noxious fumes away and provide a pressure release so that discharge waste and soil can move downward easier out to the sewer lines.

Each of these elements plays an essential role in the entire system, and they must all be working correctly to ensure their optimal performance.

A tried and true way to do so? Preventative maintenance and avoiding putting certain materials, liquids, and items down drains. And for those moments when your drainage systems seem beyond an easy fix, Grayson Sewer & Drain Services is here for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How Do I Keep My Drains Working?

Drain Cleaning

Aside from getting routine maintenance done by professional companies like ours, there are some other things homeowners can do to keep drains working well. There are also remedies you could try when drains get clogged.

A couple of external issues that only a professional can deal with include tree roots and collapsing pipes. Since trees go after water, they’re easily attracted to drainage areas and can make their way into drainage systems. Collapsing pipes can occur from age, but also due to freezing temperatures.

Here are some high-traffic areas:

Garbage Disposal

Since it sounds like this apparatus should be able to withhold quite a bit, it might be tempting to throw all the food from your day in the garbage disposal. While it is okay to a certain extent, you should keep certain items out.

For example, animal fats, pasta, and other gluten sources like rice, potato peelings, big piles of coffee grounds, large pits, shells, or stringy vegetables should be kept in the waste bin.

What are some things that are great for disposals? Biodegradable garbage disposer cleaners or degreasers, small fruit pits, small bones and ice cubes help scour the drain. Both citrus rinds and dish soap are great deodorizers for garbage disposals.

Sinks/Wash Basins

Sinks are busy spots in kitchens, bathrooms, and wherever else you need one in your home. The following items should NEVER go down a sink drain:

  • Used Motor Oil
  • Household Chemicals (nail polish remover, paint thinners, solvents)
  • Medications
  • Pesticides and Fertilizers
  • Pet Waste
  • Cooking Oil and Grease
  • Food Waste
  • Flour
  • Produce Stickers

Shower/Tub Drains

When it comes to shower drains, hair and soap are a recipe for disaster. Together, they can cause slow drains or even cause disgusting water back up. Install a drain catcher and get your pipes inspected by a professional periodically to prevent these issues.

Washing Machine Drains

Paper and materials left in pockets and other occurrences can cause washing machine drains to become clogged. How do you avoid this mishap?

  • To prevent excessive lint buildup inside the drainpipes, use a garment or lint bag when necessary.
  • Inspect and clean the lint trap or filter in your washer.
  • To ensure proper drainage, leave at least 1/2 inch between the drainpipe and the discharge hose.
  • To avoid soap residue buildup, use the appropriate detergent.
  • Clean the hoses and drainpipe of your washing machine regularly.


Toilets can clog pretty easily. It takes only a few cotton balls and a bit of extra toilet paper to cause a real mess.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a diligent homeowner that already knew that. But, what about your guests? If you find it awkward to tell them what they shouldn’t flush, buy a sign and hang it up on your bathroom wall.

And remember, those flushable wipes should avoid the bowl, not only for your own good but for the health of the environment as well.

What If I Have a Septic Tank?

Many of the steps are the same, but water conservation is even more critical when you’re operating from a well, as overuse can cause issues, too. Each part of the system contributes to its overall performance. Be aware of where all the components of your system are, so you don’t accidentally damage or ruin them.

Here at Grayson Sewer & Drain Services, we offer long-lasting and sustainable solutions that will save you time and money in the long run. With years of experience in the trade, our team will get to the root of your sewer issues in no time.

We have the guaranteed solutions for all of your sewer headaches—anything from wear and tear on older pipes to tree root invasion damage. Schedule your complimentary consultation now!

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Jeremy Starnes

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