Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Drain Clog Issues in Baltimore?
- 2 How Much Does Drain Cleaning Usually Cost in Baltimore?
- 3 Does the City of Baltimore Provide Any Assistance for Clogged Drains?
- 4 Do Certain Water Contaminants in Baltimore Cause Drain Clogs?
- 5 Who Is the Water Utility Company in Baltimore?
What Are the Most Common Drain Clog Issues in Baltimore?
More often than not, clogged drains are ignored until residents have time to get to them — thrown to the back burner until the time is just right. The problem is that although many of us have busy lives and don’t often have time to address plumbing issues right away — it can save you a ton of money in repairs and replacements to address drain clogs as soon as possible.
Here are the most common drain issues in Baltimore that require drain cleaning to resolve.
Slow draining is a common drain clog issue for Baltimore residents, and several factors can cause it. Typically, it is some type of soap, oil, grease, food waste, hair, or a combination. It’s so common that Baltimore County is running a Cease the Grease Program to help educate homeowners. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to prevent this from happening, and they include:
- Mesh trap or screen in your shower and sink drains
- Clean your drains regularly
- Run hot water through the sink after every use
- Baking soda and hot water work well together as a drain-cleaning agent
- Know what is safe to go in drains and what should be thrown in the trash instead
In many cases, we can quickly resolve these problems with a plumber’s snake and some drain cleaner from a nearby store. However, in more severe cases, a professional is advised as you don’t want the clog to stick around too long or cause burst and cracked pipes that will lead to more expenses when you have to make repairs and replacements.
If you notice any foul odors, there is a good chance that you are dealing with another common drain clog issue. This drain issue is often a result of food waste build-up in your pipes, attracting bacteria that enjoy feeding on the debris in your pipelines. The process of this feeding is what gives off that foul odor you’re noticing.
If it’s not a bacterial problem, you could also be looking at a mold problem since they thrive in warm and wet conditions. Foul odors mixed with a drain clog often mean the mold is growing and blocking your water flow pathway. This is where regularly cleaning your drains can become helpful.
However, mold is a severe issue, so it may be in your best interest to contact a professional to ensure the issue is completely taken care of, even when the odor is gone. Since this is your drinking water we’re talking about, it’s essential to make sure the mold is gone for good.
You wouldn’t believe just how many residents in Baltimore find that their common drain clog issues resulted from foreign objects being dropped or forced into their drains. Things getting stuck in drains is most common in homes with kids since they’re often drawn to dropping their toys and other personal objects into drains, but homes with pets see the problem a lot too — after all, they don’t know better either.
Unfortunately, this problem isn’t as quickly taken care of with a store-bought drain cleaner. You will have to have the ability to remove the object from the drain yourself. However, it is highly recommended that you leave this job to the professionals if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
There are too many cases where homeowners take on the job themselves even though they’re unfamiliar with it and end up with more considerable expenses from the damages incurred.
How Much Does Drain Cleaning Usually Cost in Baltimore?
On average, Baltimore, MD, residents report usually paying around $300 for drain clearings in the area, with many ranging between $100 to $800. How much you end up paying for your service, however, depends on the following cost factors.
As expected, not everyone charges the same amount for the same services, so you will need to shop around for the best price for your needs and affordability. Most residents report paying about $90, including parts and materials for the job. Your professional should be trained and licensed in the area to complete the job for you, so that should be a significant component of your search.
If you’re unsure whether your professional is telling the truth about their licensing, you can verify their license through the Maryland Department of Labor’s online portal. All you need is one of the following: your contractor’s name, trade name, location, salesperson’s name, or contractor license registration number.
The Object Causing the Clog
Believe it or not, the type of object causing your clogging can also change the price of your final costs. This is because we cannot solve everything with drain-cleaning chemicals — even our strongest. Take, for instance, a toy car or jewelry. Those things cannot be simply dissolved, and the job is done like a case where the problem is caused by build-up, oil, grease, food waste, and more.
In fact, in some cases, it may require a drain line video inspection that can cost you an additional $300. At the very least, you may be looking at a job that requires the professional to remove parts and pipes to take care of the issue themselves.
Repairs and Replacements
You’ll want to consider other common cost factors, such as any additional repairs or replacements you may need following your clogging. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as a quick drain cleaner or pulling an object out. Sometimes the problem is more severe than you may have thought — i.e., the clog causes cracks or bursts that need to be addressed. It’s always better to be prepared for the worst than be hit with surprise charges you aren’t ready for.
Does the City of Baltimore Provide Any Assistance for Clogged Drains?
The City of Baltimore does not provide private property owners with assistance for clogged drains — that job is for local plumbing professionals. However, they are committed to educating residents on the importance of taking care of their plumbing and drains. Most notably, there is a Clean Drain Campaign initiative being implemented by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works to help bring more awareness on proper disposal practices to help protect the City’s sewers, waterways, and homes.
The City started the initiative to educate residents on the consequences and cost of disposing of household waste like cooking fats, wet wipes, oils, and grease in your drains instead of the trash. These consequences include “sewage backups in our basement and streets and pollution in our waterways and [the] Chesapeake Bay.” Learn more about it on the Baltimore City Public Works website.
Do Certain Water Contaminants in Baltimore Cause Drain Clogs?
Since it is not yet possible to get all contaminants out of our water supply, our water will inevitably contribute to the premature failure of our plumbing systems in Baltimore, particularly when it comes to mineral buildup and clogging.
According to the EWG’s City of Baltimore Water Quality Report, there are a total of 18 contaminants in our water supply, wherein four of those contaminants exceed the Environmental Working Group’s health guidelines. This information is reported by the Maryland Department of the Environment and sourced from data from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database.
Furthermore, the State of Maryland is known for having average water hardness — which refers to the amount of magnesium and calcium dissolved in your water supply. The harder the water, the higher the amount of these minerals. Baltimore, in particular, has ‘very hard water,’ meaning there is a substantial amount of these minerals in our water.
While these minerals in our water aren’t necessarily a problem for our health, they are a problem for our plumbing because hard water is known for causing mineral build-ups in pipes and drains. Since our water is ‘very hard,’ these problems happen more often than not in our city.
Who Is the Water Utility Company in Baltimore?
The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is your region’s main water supplier and can be reached at (410) 396-3988 or through email at BaltimoreCityCollections@baltimorecity.gov.
Their supply reaches as many as 1.8 million residential and business consumers in Baltimore City, including surrounding counties like Baltimore, Howard, Harford, Carroll, and Anne Arundel.
The City’s main water supply comes from the Gunpowder Falls, North Branch Patapsco River, and the Susquehanna River. This water is then filtrated through one of three water treatment plants in the area — Montebello I, Montebello II, and the Ashburton Filtration Plant — before making its way into your plumbing and drinking supply.
If you’re interested in learning more about the City’s water supply, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works offers tours to anyone interested in their water filtration plants. Call 410-396-6040 to schedule a tour of one of the Montebello Plants or 410-396-0150 to schedule a tour of the Ashburton Plant.