Exactly Where Can That Block Be In Your Drain?

When the drains in your sinks and tub start to show signs of slowing down, you know you've got a partial block somewhere. The question is just where is that blockage? The specific drains that are slowing down can give you an idea, though the situation isn't always what you think it is. If you've noticed slower drains lately, you can try a few steps to clear simple partial clogs, but if that doesn't work, you'll need to call a plumber to finally locate and clear whatever is causing the problem.

A Block Just Inside the Drain

If the problem is happening to only one drain, by the way, that's not a guarantee that the blockage is right at that drain. It is possible for a clog in the main line, for example, to affect drains farther away. However, that does give you a place to start as you narrow down the location of the clog. Bathroom sink drains can have clogs of hair, for example, or the slimy buildup of soap residue may be finally about to close off the drain. Kitchen sinks can have clogs of fat and grease. You can try using those flexible plastic drain snakes for hair clogs, but if the hair isn't the issue in the bathroom or you have a clogged kitchen sink, call a plumber.

A Blockage Farther Down the Line

The pipes in your home travelling from separate fixtures eventually join up at larger common pipes that meet before the main sewer line. A blockage can occur in these pipes, making getting rid of a clog harder for you, but still straightforward for a plumber. They can access those pipes and send a very long auger down to break up the clog.

A Blocked Main Sewer Line

If one of the drains in your home suddenly becomes very slow, and it's a drain that's located closest to the access to the main sewer line, check your toilets while waiting for the sink to clear. If you hear occasional gurgling (and it might occur only once or twice, so keep listening), call a plumber immediately. That indicates a blocked sewer line, and it's an emergency. Once the line is blocked enough to force air out through a water-filled fixture like a toilet as wastewater drains into the sewer line, a massive clog is forming. There's no way to tell how quickly it will go from "forming" to "blocking everything completely and forcing the wastewater back up through other drains," so you need to call now. Clearing these out is often just a matter of using a larger drain auger, but there can be complications like tree roots invading a cracked sewer pipe, so do not attempt to clear this yourself.

A plumber can help open up the drain and give you tips on how to keep things clear. You can also arrange for another appointment to have all your drains cleaned, which will remove the remaining slime and scale. That will let you go for a much longer time before you see signs of slowing again. For more information on blocked drain repair, contact a professional near you.

About Me

Plumbing: Installing New Pipes

If you need to install new pipes in your home, it is important you seek out professional advice and help. My name is Richard. Last year, I decided to try and install new pipes in my home as the old ones were noisy and leaking. However, I made a real mess of it and as a result of my botched DIY plumbing, my family had no water for several days. Thankfully, when I called a plumber, he was able to quickly install the pipes in the proper way. Since this incident, I have been teaching myself all I can about home plumbing. I hope you like my blog.

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