Clogged drains are the stuff of nightmares. They are stinky, flood your home, and are harmful to health. You should never ignore the problem in its initial stages because that only worsens it.
Ideally, you should call a plumber at the first signs of blockage. For example, if the sink takes longer than usual to clear, makes weird sounds, or emits a foul smell, those are signs of an inefficient drain.
But at the same time, you should know how to clear a slow drain. You can use DIY solutions to take care of emergencies or when the clog is a minor one. However, if they don't work, you must call professionals at the earliest.
Plumbers have a wide range of tools and experience through which they can quickly fix the problem. But what makes slow drains so troublesome, and in which ways can professionals help you? Read on to find out.
You should be worried about slow sinks for plenty of reasons, and these are some of them.
Health and well-being are the first things you should think about when faced with slow drains. They provide excellent conditions for bacterial growth, which can cause allergies and diseases like salmonella, typhoid, staph, and E.coli.
They also cause severe skin irritation and inflammation, in addition to affecting the air quality indoors.
Seeing your kitchen flooded with water because of blocked drainage can be horrifying. But that is what clogging does. Since the collected water does not have an escape route, it travels back and inside your house.
A flooded kitchen is almost unusable because you will require the sink for various purposes. However, sometimes, blockages occur because of burst water pipes, which is a bigger issue. Replacing burst pipes costs plenty of money.
The smell of blocked drains is unbearable and often disgusting. The odor resembles sewage or rotten eggs (because of the presence of hydrogen sulfide), which can suffocate you. It mostly happens because of the accumulation of bacteria and stagnant water in your pipes.
Molds grow inside drains for various reasons. For example, black mold formation inside the sink occurs because of the bacteria build-up on phlegm, hair, shaving cream, and toothpaste.
But regardless of the reason, mold can affect your health in many ways. For instance, you might experience coughing, wheezing, skin rashes, lung irritation, headaches, and sneezing. If you have toddlers, it can affect them too.
Efficiently running pipes and drainage prevents the accumulation of stagnant water, mold formation, and the emission of sewer-like gasses. These are toxic, and inhaling and exposing yourself to them can have adverse effects.
Exposure to toxic gas causes various symptoms like seizures, eye irritation, and nausea. Identifying the signs of being exposed to the gas is necessary since the smell is mostly gas odorless.
When your drain does not work correctly, it results in the water leaking into the foundations. Water leakage into the walls, ceilings, and other house areas weakens its structural integrity.
In extreme cases, it might even cause a part of your house to collapse completely. It is advisable not to ignore the first signs of a slow drain, even in its initial stages, and call the professionals immediately.
Pests love the smell of stagnant, dirty water and like feeding on the leftovers, grease, and other filth inside the pipes. Clogged drainage attracts insects, including drain flies, fruit flies, cockroaches, ants, centipedes, and silverfish.
They cause various diseases like fungi, parasitic worms, cholera, shigella, and E.coli.
Your drain might slow down for various reasons, including hair accumulation, leftover food in the sink, and mineral build-up because of the hard water supply. You could try DIY solutions like drain snakes, sink plungers, and chemical cleaners.
However, the best option is to call a licensed plumber as they have the knowledge and equipment to unclog your pipes efficiently. These are some of the ways they do that.
Most plumbers conduct an initial inspection to determine the root cause of the blockage. They inspect the sink, the area below it, and pipes. If you have experienced a slow drain before, it would be better to inform them.
They do the inspection using a drain camera, a lengthy cord attached to a high-resolution mini camera. The plumber inserts the cable into the pipe as far back as required to locate the clog.
A plunger is the first device they will use to unblock the sink. Although plungers work well for toilets, plumbers sometimes use them to unclog kitchen sinks.
However, they will only work for minor blockages rather than stubborn ones.
A manual drain snake is a thin, flexible cord with sharp teeth on its body with a hook-like device on one end. It helps remove soft clogs lodged inside the pipes. The professional pushes the snake inside the drain as far as required and rotates the hooked end to extract the clog.
Although a manual snake works well for soft clogs, it is usually ineffective against stubborn ones. A motorized auger works well in such circumstances, as it reaches deeper into the drain because of the electronic motor and increases rotation speed.
Plumbers use a hydro jet machine if a manual or motorized drain snake proves ineffective in dislodging the blockage. The powerful engine releases high-pressure water at a rate of about 3,500 pounds -force per square inch.
The high pressure is enough to break and dislodge the strongest clogs, including mineral deposits, soap scum, and grease. It also washes your pipes from the inside out, making them as good as new.
Although you should know tips to clear a slow drain, it is vital to call the plumber when DIY doesn't work. You should avoid wasting time because the longer you delay, the more it exacerbates the blockage.
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