Troubleshooting Clogged Drains

Clogged drains can be a real pain. If you’re experiencing slow sinks or backed-up toilets, here are some tips for troubleshooting and resolving clogged drains. Read on to learn more about diagnosing drain blockages and how to get your plumbing back in working order quickly.

Troubleshooting Clogged Drains

Clogged Toilets

Clogged toilets mostly happen when too much tissue is flushed, but there might be other reasons. Flushing items that do not dissolve in water for instance can also clog your toilets.

Causes

  • Dental floss
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Baby wipes
  • Cotton-tipped swabs

Troubleshooting

If the water in your toilet bowl is not going down, the first thing to do is try plunging it. You may need a few tries before you can get it clear. If that fails, a drain auger can help. This is a long flexible cable with a crank handle that you feed into the drain. Once it has gone as far as possible, crank the auger and this should break up any blockages in the line. If all else fails, call a plumber for assistance.

Prevention

  • Keep your toilets clean
  • You should only flush waste and items that readily dissolve in water.

Clogged Kitchen Drains

Kitchen drains usually become clogged with grease and food particles. This can create a nasty smell and lead to slow-draining water.

Causes

  • Grease
  • Food scraps
  • Soap residue
  • Hair

Troubleshooting

To troubleshoot clogged kitchen drains first pour in some hot water to soften the clog and then after a few minutes, use a plunger. If that doesn’t help, you may need to call a plumber.

Prevention

  • You should dispose of food scraps in the trash or compost bin and not down the sink.
  • Run hot water after each use to reduce the buildup of grease, oil, and soap residue.
  • Clean drains regularly with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for extra protection.
  • Kitchen grease and oil should be left to solidify and then thrown away in the trash.

Clogged Bathroom Drains

Hair and soap scum can easily clog bathroom drains, leading to slow-draining water.

Causes

  • Hair
  • Soap scum
  • Dirt

Troubleshooting

To troubleshoot clogged bathroom drains first take out and clean the drain stopper. If that doesn’t help, you may need to use a plunger. You may also take out the p-trap and clean it thoroughly. If all else fails, call a plumber for assistance.

Prevention

  • You should use strainers on your drains to catch hair and other debris before they enter the pipes.
  • Clean drain stoppers regularly to prevent dirt accumulation.

Clogged Vent Pipes

Not all pipes in your plumbing system are used to transport water. Vent pipes on your roof or through the walls expel sewer gas and allow air into the drainage system. When these become clogged, they can lead to smelly odors in your home. Your toilet will not flush properly and your sink may make gurgling noises.

Causes

  • Debris
  • Nesting birds

Troubleshooting

To troubleshoot a blocked vent pipe, you should first check for any debris blocking the opening. The opening is usually found on the rooftop. If there is nothing visible, a plumber can inspect the pipe and determine what needs to be done. Going up the roof can be dangerous, so you should always have a professional do it for you.

Prevention

  • You should regularly inspect your vent pipes for any debris or blockages and clean them as needed.
  • You should also install a pipe guard to protect the opening from birds and other animals. Regular maintenance can help prevent clogs in the future.
  • You should keep the area around your vent pipes clear of debris and nesting material.
  • Regularly clean out your gutters and make sure they are in good condition. This will help prevent clogs in your vent pipes.

Clogged Main Drain

The main drain is the pipe that carries wastewater out of your home. Clogs in this line can cause backups throughout your entire plumbing system. The slope of the pipe should be inspected to make sure it is not too low or too high, which can cause clogs.

Causes

  • Tree roots
  • Objects stuck in the line
  • Hair and debris
  • Due to an inadequate gradient, water and waste have the tendency to stagnate in the pipe, creating a conducive environment for solids to settle down and consequently form blockages.
  • When slopes become too steep, the quick rush of water can leave waste behind and lead to a buildup of debris that may cause blockages over time.

Troubleshooting

To troubleshoot a blocked main drain, you first need to locate where the blockage is located. If you have a clog in the main drain, it’s best to contact a professional plumber. They can use specialized equipment to locate the blockage and clear it out. It’s also important to have them inspect the slope of the pipe to make sure it is not too low or too high, which can cause clogs in the future.

Prevention

  • You should keep an eye on trees and plants around your home. If you see roots growing near your main drain, it’s important to have them professionally removed as soon as possible.
  • Check the slope of the pipe regularly and make sure it is not too low or too high.
  • Do not flush anything down the toilet that isn’t designed to be flushed and avoid pouring grease, oil, or other substances down any drain.
  • Have a plumber regularly inspect your pipes for any blockages or debris and clean them as needed.

Clogged drains can be a real headache, but with these tips, you should be able to diagnose and troubleshoot the problem quickly. If all else fails, call a plumber for assistance. Keeping up with regular maintenance on your plumbing system can also help prevent blockages from forming in the first place. If you have any questions or need more information, reach out to a plumbing professional for help.

Get Professional Help to Clear Your Drains

If you are unable to clear the blockage yourself, it is best to call a professional plumber. The team at Downey Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning can use specialized tools and equipment to locate the blockage and clear it out quickly and safely. We can also inspect the entire drainage system for any potential problems that may cause clogs in the future. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so call the experts at Downey Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning for all your plumbing needs.

With our expertise and experience in the field, we guarantee that your drain will be unclogged in no time! Contact us today at 562-646-1221 and let us help you get back to living life without clogs.

The words out about Downey Plumbing!

“Downey Plumbing is our go-to for all our plumbing needs. We discovered them after another plumber left us stranded. We now use them exclusively and you will too! It is easy to get an appointment, their technicians are professional, friendly and explain the issues in an understandable way. Their prices are great and they don’t upsell or pressure you into anything. Do yourself a favor and call Downey first!!” - Michelle Deziel
“Our water heater went out on the weekend. Downey plumbing was so responsive and the bid came in very reasonable. The tech came out same day and replaced our water heater with very little down time. The job was exactly as quoted. I really appreciated the professionalism of the tech. Thank you Downey plumbing for getting us back up and running, because cold showers are no fun!” - Christine Rankin

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