Tips & Hints

Drain Maintenance Tips
1. Never pour grease, starch or flour based batters down your drains
2. When washing dishes do not let food particles or coffee grounds go down the drains
3. Do not flush wipes, diapers or feminine hygiene products down the toilet
4. Periodically run hot water down your drains

Septic Tips
1. Conserve water to reduce the load on the septic system. For example, do laundry throughout the week instead of all at once; use flow reducer nozzles on showers; install water-conserving commodes.
2. Tree roots that invade your septic system can do major damage. Keep trees at least 100 feet away from the septic system. Trees with aggressive roots, such as willows, should be planted even farther away.
3. A soggy drainfield can't handle waste effectively, so design landscaping, roof gutters, and foundation drains to divert excess water away from the septic system.
4. Never flush cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, or similar items down the toilet. They'll quickly fill and clog your septic tank.
5. Use garbage disposals wisely. They can double the amount of solids added to a septic tank. Consider installing a top-of-the-line disposal, which will grind waste into smaller particles that break down more quickly when they reach the system.
6. Do not overuse heavy cleaners, especially those containing bleach. They kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, so solids can't break down as quickly.
7. Do not pour grease down the drain. It will eventually clog your drainfield. If that happens you'll need an extensive (and expensive) septic system repair.
8. Do not pour hazardous chemicals down the drain. They can harm your septic system and can eventually find their way into the groundwater.
9. Do not drive over the drainfield, build a structure on top of it, or cover it with concrete or asphalt.
10. Do plant grass on the drainfield to minimize soil erosion.
11. Some professionals recommend a monthly dose of an enzyme product that adds beneficial bacteria to the septic system. Others say it isn't necessary and won't improve the performance of your system. Bottom line, septic additives are not expensive, and they can't hurt.


Hair, soap residue, food particles and other matter can all contribute to clogs in your sink.  Due to the amount of hot water that flows through most kitchen sinks however, those clogs are more likely to occur in bathrooms.

Luckily, clogs in sinks usually build slowly, so when you first develop a clog, odds are that the source of the problem will be very near by and easily within reach.

You might try using a plunger as a quick first option. Fill the sink with a couple of inches of water, apply the plunger and give it a shot. If you’re successful, you’ll know pretty quickly.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to the trap. To locate the trap, look under the sink for the lowest bend in the pipes. That’s your trap. If it has a clean out plug at the bottom of the bend, just open the plug and pull out the clog with needle nose pliers or whatever works best.

If the trap is the more ordinary kind with couplings on either end, loosen both couplings, slide the trap off and clean it out with a wire brush.

After removing the trap, you may find that the clog has moved a bit further down the line.  In that case, you can try to insert an auger into the still-open pipe and push the obstruction out.

By the way, before disconnecting your pipes, make sure you put a bucket underneath to catch the water that will run out. And be careful not to apply so much pressure that you crush or otherwise damage your pipes. The last thing you want is to make matters worse.

You may be tempted to simply try a drain-cleaning product you pick up at the supermarket.  Watch out. Many of those products can be damaging to your pipes.

If you still have a problem after trying all the techniques mentioned here, call AALCO – The DRAIN DOCTOR 1-800-223-2256

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Septic Systems

A Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems
(2.2MB .pdf)


Have your septic tank pumped out and your system inspected every three to four years by AALCO The Drain Doctor.

Conserve water by repairing leaking toilets and faucets. Run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads.

Know the location of your septic system and leech field and divert water away from your Septic System. Do not park or drive over any part of the system. Don’t plant large plants, bushes or trees near the septic system.

Use only toilet paper that is safe for your septic system. Use bleach, disinfectants and cleaners sparingly. Do not pour grease down your drains.

Do not flush non-biodegradable items such as disposable diapers down the toilet.

Call AALCO The Drain Doctor on how to keep your septic system trouble free for years to come.