1.800.245.5469
Menu
Ask the Experts: “Howe” to Avoid a “Backed Up” Holiday: Drain FAQs with Nate Thorson
Book Now
Book Now
Plumbing 11/20/12

Ask the Experts: “Howe” to Avoid a “Backed Up” Holiday: Drain FAQs with Nate Thorson

With the holidays right around the corner, we sat down with Bill Howe Drain Technician, Nate Thorson to find out what tips he has for customers who are having guests over for theBill Howe Drain Technician, Nate Thorson, snaking out a kitchen drain holidays and who are hosting Thanksgiving at their homes.

Q: How long have you been with Bill Howe Plumbing?

Nate: I’ve been with Bill Howe Plumbing since 2007. I started here brand new to the plumbing industry and now I have earned my Journeyman Plumber’s License for the state of California after going through the 4-year PHCC Educational Foundation and I’m a member of IAPMO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials).

Q: What do you like about drain cleaning?

Nate: I have fun as a drain technician because I really know what I’m doing. At this point I’ve been doing it for so long, there are few scenarios that I haven’t come across. I like the sense of accomplishment and I get to save the day for customers. Dealing with a drain issue is never fun for the customers, I get to take that stress off of them.

Q: What is the most common cause of clogged kitchen sink drains?

Nate: Food and grease are definitely the most common.

Q: How can customers prevent clogged kitchen sink drains?

Nate: Customers should really limit the kitchen sink drain to the bare minimum amount of food, separate grease and put it in a container, and put all solids in the trash. It’d probably be best if customers didn’t even know they had a garbage disposal. Often customers will ask what the disposal is even for, if not to chop up and get rid of the food waste. The disposal is there to assist in pushing any solids through the drain so that it doesn’t sit in the drain, eventually rotting and smelling. Despite the name of it, the garbage disposal isn’t really meant to dispose of your food.

Q: What recommendations would you give to customers preparing for guests around the holidays?

Nate: Have a plumber come and snake your drain beforehand. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid a disaster. Also, if you’re planning on hosting Thanksgiving at your house, pretend that your garbage disposal does not even exist. I’ve been to customers’ homes for a kitchen drain backed up, only to find that they’ve tried to push the leftovers of an entire roast down their drain.

Q: What is the day after Thanksgiving like for you?

Nate: BUSY! That’s one of the busiest days of the year for drain technicians and it’s not only kitchen drains that are the issue. During the holidays customers have guests over and the drains are used more often (i.e. more showers are taken, more clothes need to be washed, and the toilet is used more) and all of that extra usage is more likely to cause a mainline to back up. However, if customers have a preventative drain maintenance done, that will eliminate any unwanted surprises.

Q: What options does a customer have when their drain is completely stopped up?

Nate: First thing you want to do is to check all the other drains in the house, if everything else is okay, you can use those drains, just stop using the drain that is backed up. If any other drain is backed up, stop using all of the drains. Then call a plumber to locate and clear the blockage.

Q: Can a clogged kitchen sink drain be so backed up that it causes the garbage disposal not to work?

Nate: If it’s a dual compartment sink and the disposal side is backed up but the other side is draining fine then it’s a disposal problem. A lot of the time the disposal will just hum and it means the disposal is jammed, but if it still spins, then it’s a clog that’s happening directly after the disposal.

Q: Do you recommend using liquid drain cleaners?

Nate: Snaking will always be the more effective and longer-lasting solution to a drain clog. Liquid drain cleaners are too acidic and could even damage the line if used excessively. If the drain is completely clogged, the liquid drain cleaner won’t do much other than add to the amount of buildup in the drain.

Q: Is there anything else customers can do to help keep their drains clean?

Nate: I recommend pouring boiling water down the kitchen drain twice a month, it will help break down and liquefy everything in the drain and the pipes will be able to withstand it. Customers will also bring up common myths to keeping your kitchen drain clean and smelling good. For example, some customers will put lemon peels down the drain to help the smell. Lemon peels will actually help block up your drain more than it will help the smell. To avoid foul smells in your drain, minimize any food going down the drains and pour boiling water down the drain to remove buildup.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Blog

What is Central Air Conditioning?

During the summer months, sometimes all you wish for is the sweet relief of the cold air.  Central air conditioners offer that warm air relief with a quick adjustment to the thermostat.  To help...

19 hours ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Air Conditioning v. Heat Pump

In sunny San Diego, there are times when the thermostat goes unused while you are enjoying the year-round, near perfect warm air weather.  A few weeks out of the year however, the temperature may...

5 days ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

How to Use Air Conditioner Effectively

Whether you have installed a brand new high-efficiency air conditioner, or are running your current model, how you use your air conditioner during hot summer months can change its efficacy and efficiency. When it...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Best Air Conditioning Units

Replacing your home air conditioning is a big investment, but it does not have to be a frustrating one. Understanding what the best air conditioning units are will help during the estimation process. Hint:...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

How Often Do You Need Plumbing Inspection?

As a homeowner, it can be easy to miss potential problems in your home’s plumbing systems and drains. Until something fails or floods, residential plumbing is typically not a high priority. Regular plumbing maintenance...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Home Plumbing Maintenance

The best way to avoid emergency plumbing and drain repairs is by preventing them. While not all problems can be foreseen, there are plenty of home plumbing maintenance tips that can go a long...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More

What Andy B. via Lennox Pro says about us

We have been using Bill Howe Plumbing’s service for more than 25 years and have been pleasantly surprised at how consistently they perform an excellent service call. We use them for our home and our rental properties, and their dispatchers and technicians have always been the best at problem solving; our tenants have told us how great the service is as well. When we needed air conditioning service, naturally we called Bill Howe first. There’s no reason to call anyone else. I know the job will be done right the first time, with fair pricing and professional service.

March 2017

Heating & Cooling

What Cristina C. via Yelp says about us

This time we had a major issue with our sewage line related to roots. Was terrible. But we called Billy Howe and Mike came and did an Incredible job. Not only he explained really well what was going on but he was careful and knowledgeable. I was so relief that not only we trust in BH team but we were lucky that was Mike coming to execute the service.

March 2017

Lining Solutions

What Uvonne Albers says about us

Water damage is a terrible thing to go through; however, it helps to know that Bill Howe’s Restoration and Flood Services will be there quickly and efficiently when needed. Christian and Carlos make a great team. They are friendly, polite, and hard working. They are a credit to the Bill Howe Services, and I’m glad they were here to help me. Thank you Christian and Carlos and the Bill Howe crew. I always call Bill Howe Plumbing, and recommend their services to State Farm Insurance, neighbors and friends. Thank you,

March 2015

Restoration & Flood

What David Chatham says about us

We have used Bill Howe Plumbing many times in the past. The technicians are always pleasant, professional and do outstanding work. Our last experience was with Jason who went above and beyond our expectations. His communication skills and advise were spot on. As well as just a really, really nice man!!!

March 2015

Plumbing

What Esther La Fuze says about us

You have an incredible team! My suite has had major issues constant backups. In the last few months we had a horrible flood that caused us thousands of dollars in repairs. Your team was so attentive and took care of all the repairs. Just yesterday another back up called them immediately and like quick responders they were there to take of it! A huge thank you from my La Costa providers and staff! We appreciate your hard and dedicated work!

March 2015

Restoration & Flood

What Heather K. via Yelp says about us

Bill Howe responded promptly to my request for remediation services for my place and the condo below my unit. They were clear about their pricing, up front.

March 2017

Plumbing