Living in a home where the kitchen sink, bathtubs, showers, and sinks seem to take forever to drain or where the plunger has become required equipment for every toilet flush is frustrating and stressful. Unfortunately, this is the day-to-day reality for far too many homeowners.
These plumbing issues are often the first signs that a clog is forming in the home's drain lines, although homeowners may also notice gurgling noises, unpleasant sewer odors, and other signs. In some instances, these clogs may be temporary and able to work free, allowing the plumbing to begin working normally again.
However, when plumbing problems like these are entrenched or become progressively worse over time, homeowners may be facing more serious drain line issues. This blog discusses three reasons your drain lines could be clogged.
Drains lines and septic systems have long lifespans. In fact, many families live in homes where much of the plumbing, including drain lines and septic systems, were installed a long time ago. Aging drain lines can become completely clogged by layers of grease and other matter such as hair, detergent residues, and food particles that stick to the inside of the pipes and then build up over years of use.
Age can also cause pipes to become brittle and crack, causing sharp edges and surface imperfections to form that latch onto bits of grease or solid waste and speed up clog formation.
Another potential issue that can lead to slow drains and clogged toilets is if the drain lines were not properly installed during the original installation process or during later repairs. In order to drain correctly, drain lines must be installed to have the correct rate of slope. In most areas, plumbing codes specify that drain pipes must be installed with a minimum of 1/4 inch of slope per foot of pipe to ensure that liquids do not drain too quickly and leave solid waste behind to contribute to the formation of clogs.
The roots of nearby trees and plants are a constant threat to drain pipe health, especially in areas that experience long droughts during the growing season. When this happens, tree and plant roots will seek out the moisture created by condensation or tiny leaks from drain pipes. Overtime, microscopic root tendrils can force themselves into the joints and any existing tiny cracks in the pipes to reach the nutrient-rich moisture within. Once inside, the roots grow quickly, forming masses that create extensive clogs within the pipes.
To address the problem of slow or clogged drains you have to get a correct diagnosis of the situation and then formulate a good plan for resolving it. To begin the process of finding the cause of your home's slow or clogged drains, contact a plumbing contractor in your area.