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Frequent drain problems can be more than just a lot of clogs. In fact, it may be frustrating to take all sorts of preventive measures to avoid material gathering in the pipes, only to find that they still seem to have regular problems that require a plumbing service to come and clear the drains, perhaps followed by a messy cleanup. At Covenant Plumbing, serving the Bloomington, IL area, our plumbing service includes expert diagnosis, going beyond what’s stuck in your drains, and discovering why it got stuck in the first place. There are many possible reasons, from rough, corroded pipe insides to problematic traps and bends. The source of the issue could even be in drain plumbing that isn’t quite to spec, or the mysterious plumbing vents above your roof that somehow keep the drains operating. With the right solution, your problems with frequent drain issues will begin to improve.
Vent Pipe Disturbances
Your drain system needs a chance to “breathe,” pulling in air to help wastewater flow downward and allowing dangerous sewer gases that build up in the drain pipes to escape somewhere safe. The plumbing vents on your roof are designed to meet these needs. When your vents get blocked, from damage or natural causes like a bird’s nest built on top of the opening, the gases accumulate in your home and the lack of airflow keeps the wastewater from draining, instead of backing up into your house. Depending on the degree of vent pipe blockage, you might also hear a gurgling sound as small amounts of air are admitting and so drains have a limited chance to operate. Both the backups and the sewer gases are hazardous, and vent pipe problems should be tended to by a plumbing service as soon as possible. Since your wastewater, suspended until the system can draw more air to balance the flow, seems like it’s the result of a clog, you may find that inexperienced drain services may try to clear the clog downstream. Especially if you’ve recently had your annual drain cleaning service, the drain tech may come up empty with the problem persisting.
Drain Pipe Slope Specifications for a Reason
You’ve heard the phrase “down the drain?” It’s an important concept for plumbers because drain pipes that don’t go down even a little bit can cause trapped material and resulting clogs as well as gases when the material decays. A slight slope is required to maintain drain flow so that everything keeps moving, especially with modern toilets that use reduced quantities of water to flush. Most drain lines are run within the specified minimum and maximum slopes provided in the plumbing service code. The maximum is also important, as fast-flowing water can outrun heavier waste and leave it behind, creating a hidden mess in the drain pipes, with the same results of developing clogs and sewer gas. This is another area where experienced plumbing service personnel can solve puzzles about drains that don’t seem to stay clean as long as they should. Even with an annual drain cleaning service, customers would find their drains still having problems that shouldn’t be occurring by normal standards. Fortunately, this situation is not common, as it is usually a result of issues with initial pipe installation.
Even Unused Drains Can Be Clogged When Vermin Crawl In
In Bloomington, IL you probably won’t find many reptiles as you would in more tropical areas, but there are many creatures that like the cool and moist environment of an infrequently used toilet or guest room sink. Plumbing services occasionally find that rats, mice, even some snakes have made their way into your fixtures and died, producing an unusual clog that may be startling if the technician uses video inspection to determine the source of the clog. This situation is a particular concern in seasonal homes that may be unused for weeks, allowing creatures to explore and find their way to the plumbing, and even the kitchen sink.
Permanent Blockages Introduced By Accident
Cat litter, especially the clumping kind, can produce a solid drain clog that your plumbing service will have to work hard to dislodge. Even more stubborn is the clog that results when someone pours cement into an unused drain to seal it, preventing the escape of wastewater and sewer gas. A common target of this technique is unused toilet mount. Due to the complex physics of water flow in drains, just as wastewater might back up into a nearby sink, concrete can migrate before it sets to block drains in current use. Even material like pasta and rice, which expands significantly when immersed in water, can do that expanding in a drain pipe or P-trap under the sink, partially or fully blocking the drain’s flow. These are some of the many reasons why modern video inspection can be particularly helpful in identifying drain clog problems before a clearing technique such as augering or hydro-jetting is selected.
Drain Pipe Issues That Clog and Leak
Some types of pipe including metals and some plastics will degrade over time. This can produce a rough interior that slows drain flow and increases the tendency to clog, especially in cast iron pipes that have corroded over time. When your drain cleaning technician inspects the pipe, it may be clear that powerful techniques like hydro-jetting aren’t appropriate because the pipe has weakened enough to be damaged by the cleaning. That’s a fortunate discovery, because drain pipe leaks are messy and unsanitary, and you’ve likely caught it just in time, ready for re-piping immediately.
Our Plumbing Service Includes Expert Problem Diagnosis and Repair
Serving Bloomington, IL, and the surrounding area, Covenant Plumbing provides expert plumbing service from licensed plumbers with experience and training that help them solve your home’s plumbing puzzles. If your plumbing is acting in ways that you can’t explain, or typical solutions aren’t solving your plumbing issues, call the professionals and let us help.