For a property manager, clogged common area drains can be a serious problem. They can cause backup into numerous units and water damage. The good news is that there are steps you can take to quickly fix clogged common area drains and help prevent future clogs.

Signs of a Clogged Drain in Your Chicago Residential Building

  • The drains are making noise, usually gurgling or sucking sounds.
  • A section of your building has suddenly developed a terrible odor.
  • There’s a mysterious puddle of water or water spots on the ceiling.
  • A drain cleanout is overflowing
  • Multiple residents have contacted you within a short time to tell you that water is backing up into their toilets, sinks, or bathtubs.

Understanding How Chicago Drain Pipes Become Clogged

Drain pipes funnel wastewater from sinks, bathtubs, showers, and floor drains into your sewer pipe and onto the city sewage treatment plant. In a perfect world, nothing in that water is heavy or sticky enough to become attached to the internal walls of the pipe. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and objects collect and get stuck in pipes. The bad news is that once one thing gets stuck in the pipe, it collects other things, leading to partial and complete clogs.

What’s Typically Found in Clogged Drains?

Drains most commonly become clogged because one or more residents are using the toilet or sink like a trash chute. Toilet drains are designed to flush toilet paper and human excrement, not anything else. Sinks, even with a garbage disposal, should only be used to dispose of small quantities of leftover food. Most food scraps should go in the trash, not in the sink.

  • Cat litter
  • Coffee grinds
  • Dentures
  • Eggshells
  • Feminine sanitary products
  • Grease, Oil, Lard
  • Hair
  • Jewelry
  • Live animals (domestic and wild)
  • Meat trimmings
  • Paper towels
  • Pet bedding from the insides of cages
  • Small toys/Stuffed toys
  • Soap Scum
  • Vegetable rinds
  • Wet wipes

How to Prevent Foreign Objects From Going Down Your Building’s Drains

The truth is that you won’t be able to completely stop your residents from putting forbidden objects down your Chicago building’s drains, but you can make your residents more aware. Periodically, send out a flyer or a notice to remind your residents of the items and objects that should never go down drains and why they shouldn’t be put down drains. This can help keep your drains blockage-free.

For Example:

  • Kitty Litter – Please do not put kitty litter down your toilet. Kitty litter contains heavy grit and sometimes clumps that can settle to the bottom of the drain pipe and cause a clog inside or near your unit, causing backups and overflows.
  • Oil, Grease, Fat, Lard – Please do not put cooking oils down your kitchen sink. As they cool, they solidify and settle to the bottom of the drain pipe. Once the fats solidify, they collect other objects, like toilet paper and food scraps.
  • Wet Wipes – The wet wipes should never be put down the toilet or sink, even if they say they are biodegradable or flushable. This is because when a non-biodegradable or flushable wipe encounters a bend in the pipe, it gets stuck there, and non-biodegradable non-flushable wet wipes can take 100 years or more to break down.

Whose Responsibility Is It to Fix a Clogged Drain?

Condos have public and private areas. Public areas are common areas that everyone must pass through or where people can congregate. This includes places such as hallways, lobbies, offices, breakrooms, business centers, gyms, and pools. Private areas are considered the individual units and the walls that enclose the units. Plumbing pipes in common areas are the responsibility of the condo’s HOA. In contrast, clogs that occur in the pipes of the individual units are the responsibility of the specific unit’s owner.

Clearing and Preventing Future Clogged Drains With Nuflow Midwest, Serving Chicago

NuFlow Midwest offers an innovative alternative to invasive pipe replacement – pipe restoration. We start by making sure drain pipes are clear of debris. Where drain pipe jetting is required, we work alongside Chicago’s Althoff Industries, licensed plumbers who can quickly resolve clogged drain problems. The pipe’s interiors are then scrubbed using an abrasive compound. Once rinsed and dried, an epoxy coating is introduced. This coating fills in any weak spots or leaks. Once cured, this coating leaves behind a durable, smooth interior pipe surface. Installation is guaranteed for 10 years but the product has been tested to last decades longer. Pipe relining with Nuflow is also available for pressurized potable water supply pipes.

To learn more about how lining your drain pipes and sewer line with epoxy pipe liners can help you prevent clogs and keep your wastewater flowing smoothly,  contact us today at 815-790-9000.