Drain auger on tub drain - how to fix a slow-draining bathtub

How Often Do I Need My Drains Cleaned?

The truth is, it all depends on what you’re putting down your drains and how often. There are some factors at which your drains might need cleaned more often. For example, using a garbage disposal or putting grease down your sink drain can be an indicator of needing them cleaned more often.

Let’s dive into those factors and determine how often you should be getting your drains cleaned.

What are the Factors?


The length of time between drain cleanings is determined by how frequently grease and greasy food products are poured down the drain. To avoid kitchen plumbing problems, never pour grease down the drain and wipe grease from pots and pans before washing.

When grease is washed down the drain, it coagulates on the inside of the pipe, eventually clogging the drain line. If you do wash grease down the drain, sooner or later you will have to have your drains cleaned.

insurance for sewer backups -grease buildup in sewer line
This is a great example of what grease build-up looks like in your drains.

Garbage Disposals

Using a garbage disposal increases the frequency with which you must clean your sewer. Garbage disposals introduce additional sludge and debris into your piping. And many people overuse when they can simply dispose of waste in the garbage can. Hard, stringy, or fibrous food should never be poured in the garbage disposal. This includes food like celery, poultry skin, carrots, pumpkin pulp, and so on.

A garbage disposal can't handle everything you put down it. Be careful!
A garbage disposal can’t handle everything you put down it. Be careful!

If you want to keep your drains in good shape, also consider the signs listed below.

Foul Odors

If you notice any foul odors coming from your drains, you should have them cleaned. This type of issue is common in kitchen drains because they handle a lot more food waste than other drains in the house. However, depending on the circumstances, it can occur in other drains as well.

If you have this problem with multiple drains in your home, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible. This symptom occurring in multiple drains usually indicates a deeper problem in your sewer system. It typically cannot be resolved by simply getting your drains cleaned. It’s better to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later.

Foul odors can be a sign that you need your drains cleaned. It makes sense because kitchen drains usually take on the most food waste.
Foul odors can be a sign that you need your drains cleaned. It makes sense because kitchen drains usually take on the most food waste.

Slow or Clogged Drain

Drain clogs do not happen quickly. They frequently begin as slow draining, as waste accumulates in the pipe and restricts the flow of water through the system. If you notice your drains draining more slowly than usual, you should contact a professional drain cleaning service.

This laundry room sink is slowly draining which means it's clogged. It definitely needs a drain cleaning.
This laundry room sink is slowly draining which means it’s clogged. It definitely needs a drain cleaning.

Have Your Drains Cleaned At Least Once Every 5 Years

Even if you don’t notice any specific signs that your drains are clogged, you should still have them cleaned at least once every 5 years. Preventive drain cleaning on a regular basis will keep clogs from progressing far enough to completely block your drain pipes, maintain system efficiency, and give you a lot more peace of mind.

It shouldn’t be necessary to have it done more than once every 5 years to reap the benefits. So, if you haven’t had your drains cleaned out in the last year or so, now is a great time to do so!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, making sure your drains are clean is vital to the health of your home’s plumbing system. It is important to consider the factors above and frequently check your drains. It is important to clean your drains at least once every 5 years. A clogged drain could mean expensive repairs to your homes plumbing system.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need any plumbing, drain cleaning, or excavation service. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. 

We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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