Knowing that your drains and plumbing are functioning properly gives you peace of mind so that you can spend your time doing something more beneficial in your spare time! There really isn’t any need at all for you to wait, over and over, for slow draining baths and sinks to empty. You will find within this information, some helpful long term steps that will help your drains run freely. This will mean that you won’t need to come into contact with any dangerous drain cleaning products, or the dreaded plunger!
To start, being careful in what you put down your drain pipes matters most. The number one problem in drain blockages is cooking grease. You must always dispose of grease in your household bins, in a suitable container so it doesn’t leak. Some other articles which are well known for causing blocked drains are soap, hair, and even coffee grounds. Hair most commonly, because of the nature of what hair is, snags on the drain pipes, catching other elements in it – causing build ups.
A slow draining sink could possible hair a hair ball in its tailpiece, which lies just under the sink where the stopper link operates. If you remove the stopped, there is a good chance you will find a clump of hair. If the stopped is locked into the drain, then unscrew the lift arm retaining nut, removing the lifter arm altogether, then remove the stopper. You could even use an old toothbrush to clear out any remaining hair or obstructions. Similarly, a slow draining bath could have hair in the strainer.
Some simple and more traditional techniques to keep the drain free flowing are dropping a large pinch of baking soda down there, washed out with hot water. And also you could pour a cup of household vinegar down the drain, and then let it stand for a short period, once again to be flushed out with hot water.
If from the above you are unsuccessful, you could try the following. Try putting, half a cup of salt, and half a cup of baking soda, followed by half a cup of vinegar down the drain, once again washed down with hot water, followed by a quick use of the good old plunger.
These are simple old traditional maintenance steps. If you still have drain problems after carrying out the above, then you will most likely need to take further action. You would hope that all drainage systems are installed to only the highest of standards when they are first built, but unfortunately, our experience has shown us that this is not always the case. We find all too often, in removing old sinks and related plumbing, that many drain P-trap arms are actually sloped backwards, not allowing water to flow away properly.
Neglect in the installation process can also being within the houses plumbing system. A slope of a quarter of an inch should be allowed per foot of run to allow water flow to carry itself and any debris away from the property, but unfortunately we have come across many improperly installed drain pipes behind walls where there is in fact NO slope. These sorts of occurrences are due to inexperienced and unqualified plumbers carrying out work.
This same rule applies to drain wall trap arms to keep the water running freely. The gooseneck curve of pipe under your sink is what is knows at the P-Trap. This is design to hold water to provide a barrier from unpleasant smells and gasses arising from down below. When added water from the sink rises in the P-trap, it will drain out of a properly sloped wall trap arm to the drain plumbing in the wall.
To gain the correct slow and to inspect the P-Trap, it will need to be removed. You should position a small bucket under the trap to collect any water. An old towel would come into use well here to wipe your hands; including rubber gloves to try and keep your hands clean as best as you can, and also another towel or old rag on the floor to catch any excess water. This is quite a difficult thing to do, so make sure you are comfortable as you may need to squeeze yourself into a small area to manipulate this as best as you can. Using a pipe spanner, remove the two washers which attached the P-Trap to the sink and wall arm. After you have done this, you will be able to identify if the tailpiece is too long, preventing the P-Trap from being installed a high enough point to allow a proper slope. You should, if this is the case, cut the tailpiece to the correct size. Then piece it all back together, ensuring that you don’t tie the nuts to loose, or in fact too tight.
If the above doesn’t seem to be the cause of the blocked drain, then try using a small drain snake in the pipe outlet after removing the trap assembly. Old homes with iron drains use fittings that have very shape in terms of their bends, which can cause blockages very easily.
Do yourself a favor and make sure that you clean your hands soon after carrying out the above work. Yes, it is all a bit disgusting, but don’t worry, as bacteria will be present in the buildup, it will have helped in breaking down the dirt, but still, make sure you’re clean!
The above is all you can really do yourself. If you get to this point and you still haven’t had any success, then you will have no choice but to call a company who are experts in unblocking drains . The blockage could be too built up to be removed or broken down by hand, it may need blasting away, or there could be a totally different problem, maybe a broken pipe further down the line which you can’t see, this would require a CCTV drain survey.
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