3 Most Common Causes of Slow Drains

Drains are a common fixture in any home. They allow you to dispose of water from sinks, showers, and toilets bringing the water to either the sewer system or septic tank. When drains are working as they should, they are able to purge your sink or shower of water you do not need and they do this quickly. If your drains are disposing of the water slowly or not at all, this can leave you frustrated as you try to figure out what the issue is.

Below are 3 common causes of slow drains in your home. Being mindful of them will aid you in fixing the problem if it arises and taking steps to allow you to avoid it in the first place.

1. Hair

Hair is arguably the biggest reason for drain clogs in a home. When hair falls into the drain and mixes with elements such as dirt or soap scum, it clings to the sides of drain pipes and restricts water from getting through.

If it is hair that is causing a slow drain, most times you can fix it yourself. Take off the drain stopper and try to pull out any hair that you can see in the drain cover. This drain cover will stop hair from going all the way down your drain so it is beneficial to have, but build-ups in them will stop water from draining as it should. If after this the water is still draining slowly, use a plunger. Make sure your plunger is the humble type. This kind has the suction required to break up the clog that may be deeper into your drain.

If the plunger does not work, call a professional plumber. He/she will have tools such as a snake or jet streamer to break the clog up or can take apart your drain and remove the hair if the buildup is bigger.

2. Grease

Many homeowners think it is acceptable to dump grease down their kitchen sink drains after cooking. While you may not have issues for weeks or even months after doing so, eventually you will notice that your sink is draining slowly or not at all. Like hair in a shower, grease and oils mix with soap and other debris and coagulate to create clogs that can be very stubborn.

If you have a slow drain in your kitchen, try running some hot water into the drain for a few minutes to soften the clog. Use the humble plunger to break up the clog. If this is not effective, consider using a chemical drain opener but these are not always recommended. Some can do some serious damage to your pipes and can reduce the amount of healthy bacteria needed in your septic tank if you live in a rural area. Similar to your shower, it may be best to call in a professional to fix your problem.

3. Debris

You try your best to educate your family on the consequences of flushing things down the toilet. However, the reality is you cannot always control what people do in the privacy of your bathroom. It is common for things such as feminine products, diaper wipes, and cotton swabs to be flushed down the toilet and these can wreak havoc on your drain system.

If you suspect that debris is the culprit causing a toilet to drain slowly or not at all, try your trusty plunger first. The plunger can create a shoot of water that may be strong enough to break up the wall of debris.  If this is ineffective, it would be best to call a professional plumber. Similar to the shower, the plumber can use either a snake with a claw on the end to break up the foreign objects or a jet streamer that will break them down with strong water pressure.

Ronald Ryan

I'm a self-proclaimed science geek and all-around nerd. Useless fun trivia seems to be my forte. If you ever need to hear a good dad joke, I'm your guy!

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