There are few things more frustrating than dealing with issues related to plumbing. A clogged drain is very disruptive to your life, especially if it results in a temporary loss of water. Thankfully, drain clogs aren’t often major problems when they are caught early, if you know how to address them.
Signs of a Clogged Drain
You might think the signs of a clogged drain are obvious—trapped water. While this is a sure sign you have a problem, there are others that you don’t want to ignore. Often early warning signs can be taken care of quickly and easily before they turn into major repairs. So what are some things you should be on the lookout for? Here are some indicators of clogged plumbing that may need attention:
- Water in the toilet that bubbles or gurgles
- Foul odors coming out of the drains
- Debris coming up through the drains
- Slow draining water in sinks and basins
If you encounter any of these problems, it’s important to investigate what is causing them. With any home repair, catching an issue while it is still minor will prevent it from potentially becoming a major problem.
In most cases, a gurgling toilet means there is some sort of blockage in the line. Often it’s the result of too much toilet tissue, or foreign objects flushed down. However, it could suggest a problem with the main sewer line. Whatever is causing the problem, air is getting pushed back up through the line causing the gurgling sound. If it is a simple clog, try plunging the toilet with 10-15 strong motions of your plunger. If the clog dislodges, you should be good to go. If not, you may need to call a professional to investigate.
Foul Odors In Drains
Household drains take a beating. They wash everything from your home from cooking materials, human waste, to personal hygiene products. It’s not surprising that after a while they may start to smell bad. When this happens, it may not be cause for alarm, but it’s also not a problem to ignore. Odors coming from drains could suggest that they simply need to be flushed out and freshened up. But they may be an indicator that there is something preventing your pipes from draining properly down the line. The debris collecting is starting to take on a personality of its own and smelling terrible. To make the determination, take these simple steps:
- Pour a pot of boiling water into your drain
- Pour 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar into the drain
- Plug the drain and wait 5-10 minutes
- Flush with another pot of boiling water
You may need to repeat this process more than once. If the odors persist, it’s possible you will need to call a plumber
Debris Coming Up Through the Drains
Have you ever washed your hands only to look down at the sink and think to yourself, “That stuff wasn’t there before…” Sometimes when water is running, debris backs up from a clogged drain. Whether you have a total or partial blockage, pieces of the clog are being dislodged and floating to the surface. What’s more, bacteria thrive in the clogs, so anything coming back up is a breeding ground for germs. If you notice this, there are steps you can take. Many homeowners find success using a plunger to dislodge clogs. You can also purchase a plumber’s “snake,” or auger, to reach inside the drain. This tool is handy for digging out any stubborn blockage.
Slow Draining Water in Sinks and Basins
Sinks and shower basins collect a lot of foreign debris. In the bathroom, the main culprit is hair. Not only will hair itself clog a drain, but it will trap anything else trying to pass through and make a clog worse. For kitchen drains, grease build up causes most clogs over time. The good news is, these clogs are often easy to fix. Less stubborn clogs can be loosened with a plunger. However, even if you feel like you successfully removed the clog, it is still a good idea to flush the pipes with a high-quality drain cleaner. You can find them at your local home improvement store.
Minor plumbing problems are typically easy to fix and should never be ignored. That’s why the experts with CJ’s Express Plumbing are committed to providing their customers with the best plumbing solutions available. They will investigate issues related to clogging, slow draining, and foul odors to make sure your pipes are operating the way they should be. They take the guesswork out of pipe maintenance and provide peace of mind.