Pipes and drains are exactly what we picture when we think of plumbing systems. They’re complicated and well hidden within the walls and floors of your home, making diagnosis of potential problems a real pain. Professional plumbers use a host of sophisticated (and some not so sophisticated) means of figured out what the problem with your pipes is.
There are a few signs to watch for to give you some indication that it’s time to have your pipes checked by a professional. Since drains are an important part of every home’s plumbing system, keeping them clean, clear and maintained is extremely important.
My sink/toilet is not draining
This means you have a clog somewhere in the drain pipes. The clog can be anything from a large wad of hair, toilet paper, or foreign objects like cell phones or children’s toys (yes, it happens even in the plumber’s home with the plumber’s kids) that have been flushed in the toilet.
Even if nothing large has been dropped down your system recently, pipes are prone to developing build ups over years of use. Removing the clog really depends on what the clog is and where it is in the drain.
Many times, if the drain is clogged with hair, a simple drain snake can be enough to clear the problem but grease can also build-up in your drain pipes; for kitchen plumbing, grease is a pretty common culprit..
More severe problems require the help of a licensed plumber, and then it’s a good idea to call T&S Plumbing Services.
Sometimes tree roots can grow their way into pipes, causing both clogs and leaks. This is a big problem because tree roots can do a lot of damage to your home’s entire plumbing system. Repairs for this will require a professional plumber and ground excavation to clear away the roots and replace the damaged pipes.
Other foreign objects might be jammed in the pipe enough that a plumber needs to come out to take the pipes apart to clear out the cause of the clog.
Try to avoid drain-cleaning chemicals that you can buy at your local hardware store if you are routinely facing pesky clogs. While these chemicals are fine for the occasional clog, over time they can also corrode the pipes, causing small holes and cracks to develop. Fixing this will require complete pipe replacement.
Sink/toilet is draining slow
Slow draining means a clog is developing somewhere in the drain pipes. Taking care of a slow drain early on can avoid bigger problems down the road.
But sometimes an object gets lodged in the drain pipe and only partially obstructs the pipe, like a toy, (or anything else that’s not supposed to be flushed), you might need to take the pipe apart to get it out because a drain snake won’t be able to grab the heavier objects. Again, this is the time to call your plumbers at T&S Plumbing Services in Athens GA and Winder GA.
This problem is most common in kitchen plumbing, but can obviously happen in bathrooms or floor drains. Foul smelling odors coming from your drain is another sign that your drains and pipes need a good cleaning. For example, the kitchen sink drain might have a build-up of food particles, which can cause it to stink.
It helps to make sure the garbage disposal and dishwasher is functioning properly. The garbage disposal should be grinding up food and sending the scraps on their way. But if your garbage disposal is working fine, you might have something partially obstructing the drain, causing food particles to get stuck.
Sometimes finding the source of the odor and obstruction will take some detective work and the best option is to have a plumbing camera inspection diagnosis performed. A plumber may be required to replace the portion of the pipe.
Prevention Is The Best Cure
Keeping your drains clean in the first place is always much easier than having to deal with a clog. You can keep your drains clean by:
- Using a drain screen to prevent hair from collecting in the pipe. You can pick these up for very cheap.
- Ensure your garbage disposal is working properly. Watch for strange sounds or a change in the tone of the hum.
- Avoid pouring any kind of grease down the drain. The best way to dispose of grease is to let it cool and then wipe it out with a paper towel and throw it in the trash, or poured into a disposable bottle.