Sometimes Drains Need Help Too
Home plumbing systems provide more than just the delivery of water. They also take care of removing all the waste through drain systems. As a complete circuit, plumbing ensures that excess water or wastewater has a place to go and doesn’t end up creating a big mess in a home that needs to be manually removed.
However, this system is only as good as the health of the drains themselves. If they are clogged up, blocked, leaking or impeded, then the water that needs to go through slows down. That turns into what homeowners realize as a backed-up sink or toilet.
Too much, and the wastewater overflows, becoming a serious mess and cleanup. The goal of a properly running drain system is to make sure that never happens in the first place.
Annual drain cleaning services are a great way to avoid plumbing headaches and really prolong the life of a house drain system. Ideally, it should last for decades, assuming basic wastewater is run down the system only, but in practice lots of other material goes down a drain, creating concerns.
Common Consumer Solutions
For many years, the first option consumers had to solve a plugged drain themselves was to use a chemical solution that dissolved material blocking a drain. Hot water and the solution together essentially dissolved the material, allowing the weight of water to push the rest through.
This was a standard solution when everyone’s drain pipes were made of metal. However, now with PVC piping as the common drain system material, it’s not such a smart idea. The chemicals can actually weaken the PVC and create new problems.
The plunger was another manual consumer solution. Using suction, this approach dislodges the blockage and, again, the weight of water then pushes things through. This works to the extent the material moves, but if it’s wedged in, suction won’t help.
The snake tool approach appeared in the last decade, particularly for sinks. Essentially, this is a long plastic tool with barbs on the edges. It’s inserted down the sink, moved around, and snags any material in the first two feet of the sink drain. While it’s good for removing hairballs and similar in the u-bend of a sink, it can’t reach deeper drain problems.
A Professional Approach
For serious drain issues, serious tools are needed. A professional plumber has these within his or her complement of solutions. In fact, many are familiar with the snake tool, a wound-up unit that burrows through a drain pipe and dislodges easy to move material in a drain system. When complete, the tools is wound back and removed. However, some blockages are more stubborn.
In the case of an unknown issue, a camera scope can be run by a plumber down the drain to both inspect the pipe integrity and confirm what is causing the problem. This then isolates where the problem is and exactly what is causing the blockage. It’s also a great tool for maintenance checks as the entire drain system can be checked and confirmed clear or has issues.
In the extreme case that a blockage can’t be removed, then the drain pipe section has to be accessed. A plumber will isolate the exact location, open up a wall or ceiling to get to it, and replace the section if compromised or clear the pipe.
Generally, all methods to clear the pipe without accessing and separating will be tried first, but some problems just require a more serious approach.
A professional drain service does more than just the kitchen sink or toilet as well. All drain systems of a home can be services in the same visit. That includes all internal sinks, showers and bathtubs, bathrooms fixtures, laundry drainage, and even the outside rain gutter drains where they apply.
This comprehensive approach makes sure all the water drainage in a home is working properly, not just the one that happens to be plugging up at the moment. It’s a simple preventative solution that can save a homeowner from a lot of headaches in the middle of winter or inconvenient times otherwise.