Some drain clogs are easy to handle, but others stubbornly stick around. When conventional methods for clearing a drain don't work, it can be hard to find out what's causing the problem. Plumbing vent issues, deep-line clogs, and deposit buildups in pipes can all contribute to slowing down draining water.
Clogged Plumbing Vents
Sometimes the source of a clog won't be found in your actual drain pipes, but the vents attached to each set of drains. Every set of drain pipes needs proper ventilation to keep things flowing smoothly due to air pressure within the pipes, and if one of these vents gets clogged, water can start to drain very slowly even if there are no actual physical obstructions.
Where your vents are located depends on your type of building, but most vents go out onto the roof. In these cases, assistance from a professional is invaluable. It can be dangerous if it's necessary to get onto the roof, and tough to locate which of the vents needs to be unclogged, as most buildings will have multiple vents. If you've tried everything you can think of indoors and the slow draining persists, contact a plumber for help.
Sewer Line Clog
While many clogs happen close to a drain, they can also occur much farther down your system of pipes. All pipes in your house eventually meet up at one larger pipe, typically called the sewer or septic line, which carries away all water and waste. It's common for things like toilet paper, paper towels, and hygiene products to cause clogs here.
A sewer line clog can cause water to drain slowly or even back up into multiple drains. If you continue running water, you may notice water coming back up into bathtubs or hear your toilet start to bubble. Sewer line clogs can be hard to reach due to how deep and far these pipes can run, and clearing them often requires specialized equipment.
Mineral Deposit Buildup
If your home has hard water, your pipes may be more susceptible to buildups of mineral deposits, especially if your pipes are made of materials like cast iron. These minerals build up slowly, but effectively shrink the space inside your pipes, and are notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to remove. In some cases, a plumber can remove these deposits using a method called descaling, which also requires specialized equipment. In other cases, however, the pipes will need to be replaced.
With mineral deposit buildups, you may also notice shrieking or whining sounds coming from your pipes when water is running. This is because of an increase in water pressure due to smaller spaces inside the pipes. If you hear this noise, or otherwise suspect this may be your problem, call a plumber for help before the problem gets any worse. A company like Knights Plumbing & Drain can provide more information.
When you have a plumber come work on your home, we hope you thank them. Really, you should be thanking any contractor who works on your home, but we are a little partial to plumbers and happen to think they deserve a little more recognition. After all, the stuff inside the pipes they work on doesn't usually smell very good. And even though they wear gloves, they have to get pretty close to it! If you would like to learn a little more about plumbers, then we invite you to read this blog. After learning the basics, you'll really want to thank your plumbers!