Slow Drains: How To Get Rid Of Your Drain Annoyance

slow drains

All water fixtures in your house are designed for smooth and relatively quick draining. Used water has to be removed quickly, or a host of issues will arise. A ring around your sink is the least of them. All plumbing fixtures are connected to a main drain line, through which water will eventually flow out of your house to wastewater treatment system. At some point in life, however, your plumbing’s drain system in your house will have issues, such as slow drains. Slow drains means that water does not flow through the wastewater pipes as quickly as it should. This will lead to more serious problems, unless properly repaired.

What is a sign of a slow drain?

When water does not flow down your sewer line quickly enough, you may notice some unusual gurgling sounds from inside the drain pipe. Gurgling sounds can come out from the toilet, bathtub, shower, kitchen sink, and basically any water fixture. The easiest explanation is that when waste water flows against any obstruction inside the pipe, it bumps around, and traps air that creates the disturbing gurgling noises. If not treated immediately, gurgling sounds will get worse and turn into water backup issues.

slow drains
Slow drains are not pretty

Another example of a slow

Plumbing systems are designed to drain water from a fixture, just as quickly as water enters the fixture. So if you have to turn your faucet or shower off during use, just to let the water drain out, you have a slow drain. This is an annoyance you should take the time to remedy

Causes of slow drains

Slow drains are indeed not the worse plumbing issue, but you must repair the problem right away before it gets worse. A water backup means the wastewater flows upstream (instead of going downstream, via gravity and your drain pipe) and flood your house. In some cases this results in a flooded floor, and an unhygienic situation, including germs and bacteria. There are several possible causes for slow drains as follows:

  • Hair

In a bathroom, shower, and bathtub, hair is the most common culprit causing slow drains. While a drain cover should minimize the risk of hair buildup inside p-trap, it does not completely eliminate the issue. Multiple strands of hair that fall when you take a bath or shower get into the trap and stay there. After several weeks there will be more hair in the trap, which will impede the flow of wastewater.

  • Fat, grease, or food

A kitchen sink and dishwasher (especially one without a garbage disposal attachment) will wash away all food residue, including fat and grease, from all kitchen utensils. Some fatty food residues attach to the inner surface of your drain pipe, accumulate over time, and eventually block the water.

Animal based soap products also add to a grease build-up. There are other soap options, such as vegetable based soap products.

  • Tree roots

If you have a garden with one or two big trees, please remember that the roots can crawl near the drain pipe to look for water. Assuming the pipe has small cracks or holes, the roots can penetrate the pipe and grow larger inside. The problems created by small holes may not be too noticeable, but tree roots penetration intensifies a slow drains issue to a great extent.

Slow drains can also happen when someone tries to flush female hygiene products, cigarette butts, and other small insoluble items down the toilet. Those things may look like they disappear from the surface, but most of the time they get stuck in the p-trap. They may not cause a complete stoppage at that time, but you can count on a complete stoppage down the road.

The typical location of slow drains

Every water fixture in the house is subject to a slow drain problem including a toilet, shower, sink, and bathtub. It can also happen in the main drain line (this is the pipe that distributes wastewater to the city sewer facilities). In case the problem does occur in the main drain pipe, all water fixtures in the house will not work properly. Slow drains happen to all of your plumbing fixtures without exception.

slow drains
A slow drain can mean you start your day like this – not nice!

A bathtub is probably the most problematic water fixture. The base of bathtub is usually lower than a sink or toilet. Slow drains caused by obstruction in the main drain line can cause water backup in the bathtub because the fixture has the least resistance compared to others. Another reason a bathtub or shower inhibits this problem more frequently is the abundance of soap products going down the drain. Besides bar soap, there’s shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and more, all working to create a slow drain.

Cures for slow drains

The main cause of slow drains is a partial obstruction of the wastewater flow. You need to get rid of the obstruction to restore order. There are several ways to do that as follows:

  • Natural Methods

The first thing to try is the all-natural home remedy solution containing hot water, salt, baking soda, and vinegar. Pour half a cup of salt into the slow-draining pipe followed by the same amount of baking soda, and the last to go into the drain is half a cup of vinegar. Let them sit undisturbed in the pipe for about 15 minutes and then flush them down using hot water. This method should get rid of various food residue and grease.

  • DIY Plumbing

In some water fixtures such as toilet or bathtub, the obstruction can be quite a bit more stubborn. Natural home remedies will not likely work, so you need to use another tool: a plunger or snake auger. Make sure you know how to use those tools; if you have never used them before, consult a professional plumber.

The best method to get rid of slow drains issue, or even complete clogging, is by using a sewer hydro jet. However, this equipment should be used only by professionals. They know how to operate the equipment properly without risking damages to your drain pipes or your water fixtures. A hydro jet is a powerful pressurized washer which can damage old pipes when used at high-power setting. Another reason to trust a professional is the risk of injury when this tool is in the hands of the untrained.

Call Balkan when need a remedy for slow drains

For all your plumbing drain issues, the safest and smartest thing to do of them all is to call Balkan Drain Service. The company has been doing various plumbing services for more than 65 years all around NYC. Owned by a Licensed NYC Plumber, and fully insured, Balkan makes sure that all work orders are completed to your 100% satisfaction. Whether a simple repair or a major sewer or water main project, all work orders are completed as promised. In addition you will enjoy the benefits of Balkan using only professional-grade equipment operated by trained technicians. Every  project done by Balkan Plumbing complies with local code requirements. If you have slow drains, or any type of drain issue, contact the Balkan Drain Team today.