Easy Home Plumbing Tips

  • Identify the problem that is occurring with your drains, specifically, the individual drains which are not functioning correctly. Some typical problems are these:

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  1. Slow sink or tub drains.
  2. Water backing up in the bath tub, shower, or sink.
  3. Wet Areas in the lawn near drain piping.
  4. Unusual gurgling or bubbling sounds when water is draining.
  • Try to determine the extent of your “slow drain” problem. If it is isolated to only one sink or other fixture, it is probably localised to the individual pipe that connects that fixture to the main line. In other words, if only the kitchen sink drains slowly, the problem is in the sink trap or drain line that connects to the larger pipes which additionally carries water from other sinks, the commode, and the bath tub.

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  • Determine the route the waste water takes to reach the main drainpipe. Many times, the individual drain pipes are routed though the wall cavity, interconnecting to other pipes, which then go below the floor and exit the home to either the septic system or sanitary sewer.

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  • Flush the drain which is not operating like it should with very hot water. For a bathroom or kitchen sink, this can be done by stopping the drain and filling the sink with hot water from the faucet. Unstop the plug, and the water will drain into the material which is clogging the pipes, and it the material is a residue of grease or greaselike waste, the hot water may dissolve it sufficiently to flush enough of it out the pipes to restore your flow.

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  1. If necessary, use a drain cleaning product containing chemicals to dislodge or dissolve the material that is causing the stoppage. Drano or Liquid Plummer are examples of chemical products that may dissolve hair, soap residue, grease, or other materials which can clog a drain line.
  2. Be careful if you choose to use a plumber’s snake to open a clogged drain. These can be very messy, and may compact the material that is clogging the pipes, making it even more difficult to remove, if the proper technique is not used.
  3. See also How to Unclog a Toilet and How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain and How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink.