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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

The Drain Game: Fixing Drain Problems

Written by Posted On Sunday, 23 June 2019 05:00

We tend to worry more about certain plumbing issues at particular times of year. For instance, winter means it’s time to keep our pipes from freezing. If you live in a part of the country with a rainy spring, you’ll want to be sure and keep an eye out for any possible leaks. But unfortunately, drain problems can happen any time of year. All you need is a clogged drain, and that can happen 365 days a year. It can occur in both mild summer climates and harsh winter climates. If the water in your shower is draining slowly, that’s a sign of a potentially bigger issue. Dealing with it isn’t a ton of fun, but it’s better than waiting too long and risking a calamity. Here’s what you need to know about fixing drain problems.

Signs of trouble

You have to prepared for signs of trouble. The slow-draining bathtub or sink is one of the biggest ones. Experts say you should also pay attention to any gurgling noises coming from your drain. The walls may not be able to talk, but your pipes and drains definitely can. If they’re making a noise that seems off, then you need to pay attention.

In extreme scenarios, raw sewage can back up and come out of your sink or tub. No one wants that. If your toilet and shower are located next to each other, the pipes could clog in a way that redirects sewage into your tub. That sounds gross because it is. Ideally, you’ll want to call a plumber to come over before that happens.

There are times when you can clear your drain on your own, but a raw sewage backup isn’t one of them. If you have long hair, then you’re more likely to get hair clogs in the shower. Those can be removed with a drain snake and a bit of hard work. If using a drain snake and pulling up sludgy hair feels gross, look at install a hair catcher in your drain to keep it from getting washed down the pipes in the first place.

Pinpointing drain problems

Older plumbing lines often have more problems than newer lines. They’ve undergone more wear and tear over the years, so it makes sense that they won’t be able to handle issues the same way they did 10 or 20 years ago. If you live in an old house with a lot of trees in the backyard, then you should be prepared for the possibility that tree roots are clogging up your drain.

If you never that of that possibility, you’re not alone. Roots are kind of underground by nature, so you can pass the same pine tree every day and never suspect that it might be wreaking havoc on your drain. The roots can get so tangled up with your pipes that you’ll need to hire a team of plumbers to come out and perform a professional drain cleaning.

In some cases, plumbers may need to lower a camera into your pipes to get a better idea of what’s going on, though. That should not be the first thing they do as soon as they get to your house, though. Instead, they should try more low-tech methods before jumping to a relatively expensive camera inspection.

If you feel uneasy about their proposed methods, that means you need to ask more questions and get some clarification. A quality plumbing company will be happy to explain the thought process behind whatever they’re doing. A shady company will shrug off your questions and ask you to just sign the paperwork. Look for companies that are transparent and pleasant rather than enigmatic and surly.

 

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