Drain problems are the most common call any plumber gets. The DIY options are limited: After trying a commercially available drain opener—not the best idea in the first place because caustic chemicals may harm your pipes—or vigorous use of a plunger, most homeowners are ready to declare defeat and call in a pro. Drain problems may be more than a simple clog conveniently located right beneath the sink. They can be a symptom of other issues lurking deeper in your household plumbing. Here are some examples of the most frequent drain problems a plumber typically encounters:
These typically indicate heavy sludge accumulation inside drain pipes. Using a common drain snake only pokes a temporary hole in the build-up of gooey sludge. Clogging soon recurs. The more permanent solution for the necessary drain cleaning is to scour the pipe and remove sludge by utilizing a hydro-jet high-pressure water cleaner or powered drain auger with rotating cutting blades.
Chronically Slow Drains
When no clog is present but drains still run as slow as molasses, the problem may actually be in the plumbing air vent that extends all the way to the roof. A clogged vent due to bird’s nests or other debris causes a vacuum to form as wastewater moves through drain pipes, inhibiting normal flow.
The u-shaped drain trap under each sink always contains a small quantity of water that prevents noxious sewer odors from infiltrating the house. Maybe the trap has gone dry simply because the sink hasn’t been used in a very long time? If not, you’ll need a plumber to troubleshoot more complex issues that could be sucking water out of the trap, like blocked air vents.
If your drains are burping, gurgling, or making other uncouth sounds, air imbalance inside the drain pipes is probably the source. This could be due to inadequate venting or sewage refluxing back into the main pipe resulting in displaced air. Either one won’t fix itself—ask a plumber to check it out now before it gets worse.
Valuables Down The Drain
Think you’re the first one to drop an expensive piece of jewelry down a drain or into the toilet? Actually, any experienced plumber has dealt with this plenty of times and is familiar with standard procedures to successfully retrieve it. First, don’t panic. Don’t run any water into the sink or flush the toilet, if that’s where it fell. Call professional help right away.
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “What To Do About a Noisy Faucet.”
North County Plumbing is located in Oceanside, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges! Contact us today!