Among other things, a plumbing system is a system that allows debris and water through the drains and out of homes. Obviously, this is possible because of gravity. So when the water and debris stop flowing through the drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bathtub, washing machine, or toilet, you may experience a clogged drain.
Everyone will have to face a clogged drain and leaks at some point. That moment when the water comes back up with dirt and slime can have your heart racing in confusion. Thankfully, there is no need to overthink this because clogged drains always leave warning signs. When the sink takes more time than normal to drain or water pools around your feet in the shower, you know you may soon have to deal with a clogged drain.
You may initially overlook a clog, but they could turn into more serious problems like corrosion, flooding, leaks, and more if not attended to. In this article, you will learn all about clogged drains and what to do about them, but first, what are the signs that you may be dealing with a clogged drain?
How Do You Know your Drain is Clogged?
There are several indicators that your drain might be clogged, and these are a few of them:
- Difficulty flushing the toilet
- The drain gives off a foul odor
- It takes a long time for water to drain through in your bathroom sink, bathtub, shower, or kitchen sink
- The sink fills up with wastewater, and the garbage disposal does little or nothing to help
What causes a clogged drain?
Typically, a clogged drain means something has blocked the drain and it can no longer function effectively. There are several clogging culprits and they are unique to the type of drain.
The shower drain is subject to things like soap scum, skin flakes, hair, dirt, and in some cases cosmetic products. The bathroom sink has to deal with hair, toothpaste, and soap residue. Soap bars are made from fat or grease, which combines with water minerals, forming a hard residue known as soap scum. This scum stains bath fittings and can clog pipes. These clogging culprits accumulate over time and eventually block the drain completely.
When minerals dissolve in hard water, they can form insoluble masses and lead to a build-up that blocks the drains. If you have hard water, consider installing a water softener to help with this problem. If this is not possible for you, then you could also work on descaling and getting rid of sediments. Mineral buildups are difficult to get past, and you should let a plumbing contractor handle this for you.
The kitchen drain just suffers from misuse. Some homeowners will let anything go down the kitchen drain. While this is wrong, other clogging culprits for the kitchen drain are food particles and grease.
Food waste is a common cause of clogged drains. Always endeavor to rid your dishes of excess waste, because flushing food waste down the kitchen sink can lead to clogging. Examples of food particles that should not go down the drain include coffee grounds, tea leaves, and grease.
The toilet is the last place you want to find with a clogged drain, but it is often because of flushing down the wrong items. Too much tissue paper may also clog your drains, preventing your toilet from flushing. Sometimes, a plunger may work, but most of the time, you might need the services of a plumbing contractor.
Objects apart from tissue paper or human waste may have found their way into the toilet and sink, causing the drains to get clogged. All other objects should always go into the trash. For a clogged drain that results from an object obstructing the drain, you will need to hire a plumbing service to handle this.
Why you must fix a clogged drain quickly?
Your drain would work with less speed than normal at first before becoming completely blocked. When this happens, pressure builds up in the pipes and joints. This can lead to leaks or even burst pipes. If there is any corrosive or harsh chemical stuck in the drain during this time, it can eat holes through the pipes and cause more damage. At this point, no DIY can solve the problem.
Clogs only get worse, and for this reason, it is advisable to attend to a clog as soon as possible. A clogged pipe dramatically increases water pressure, which leads to leaks and damaged joints and cracked pipes. When water stands in the pipe for too long without draining, it can lead to corrosion. This is because of corrosive chemicals which may be present in the wastewater, weakening pipe joint seals and creating leaks in the pipes.
How to clear a clogged drain (before calling an expert).
- A Plunger
Plungers work best in the kitchen sink and when the clogging culprits are food particles. To use a plunger, fill the sink halfway with warm water. Use the plunger to suck away the dirt and rinse off with clean water. It is effective but often a temporary fix.
- Boiling Water
Remove the standing water from the sink, then pour boiling water down the drain. You can repeat this a few times to get instant results. If the drain remains clogged, remove the standing water as before. Next, pour salt down the drain followed by more boiling water.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
Clear the sink of standing water and pour equal parts vinegar and baking soda down the drain. The mixture will fizz for a few moments. Leave it to sit for up to 15 minutes. After this, pour boiled water down the drain.
- Baking Soda, Salt, and Cream of Tartar
In a jar with a seal, mix in half a cup of salt, two tablespoons of tartar, and half a cup of baking soda. Seal the jar, and shake so that the ingredients mix properly. Pour the mixture from the jar down the drain and follow with boiling water. Allow it to sit for an hour before rinsing off with tap water.
- Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
This method is ideal if you prefer lemon juice to vinegar. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of lemon juice. Plug the drain and allow to sit for an hour. Finish by flushing the drain with boiling water.
- Baking Soda and Salt
In a bowl, pour in half a cup of table salt and half a cup of baking soda. Next, pour the mixture down the drain, allow it to sit for some time, and follow with boiling water.
- Hire a Plumbing Contractor
Not every clogged pipe will require a simple fix with a plunger or baking soda. There are chronic cases that will require a clogged drain repair. If your drain has a buildup of materials from decades of use, then it will not get fixed with DIY methods. In such cases, you will need to hire a plumber near you to get the job done.
Call a Plumber at Captain Electric
Calling a plumber is the best option for clearing a clogged drain. Most DIY methods are effective but temporary. A plumber from Captain Plumber will save you stress and money in the long run with efficient plumbing services. We are ready to respond to your emergency needs and have all drains up and running in no time.