Slow Drains, what’s the hold up?

Have you noticed that your sink, shower or bathtub isn’t draining as fast as it used to. Are you noticing standing water or plumbing fixtures that are backing up?

Slow drains are a very common issue, there are many causes and in most cases they are fairly easy to diagnose (for example, clogs that can be seen and resolved with a plunger or short snake).

However there are also less obvious possibilities that are easier for an experienced and professional plumber to diagnose:

• Incorrect Gravity Flow or Pitch/Slope of Pipes:

Any pipe that is 3” or less in diameter should have, at a minimum, a ¼” pitch/slope per foot. If you’ve recently updated or replaced your plumbing and the slow drainage is a new issue since the update then perhaps pitch/slope of the pipes is the culprit. Too much gravity can also cause problems so be sure your plumber knows what they are doing if you ever replace your plumbing or sections of pipe.

• Drain Stopper Issues:

Many times the stopper may not be lifting completely; this will cause slow drains and can be fixed by adjusting the length of the linkage from the lever to the stopper.

Too small of a connection can slow drainage• Inadequate Overflow Tubes:

• Clogged House Drain or Soil Pipe:

If multiple drains are slow or back up occurs when other plumbing fixtures are used, you may have a clogged house drain or soil pipe which will need to be cleaned out using long augers to be sure the entire line is clear.

• Drain Vent Issues:

Blocked vents can cause slow drains, if you hear a “gurgling” sound while a fixture is draining this may be the cause.

• Outside Lines:

Damage to outside sewer lines (crushed or broken pipes due to age, tree roots, earth movement) can also cause slow drains. Most of the time all drainage will be slow if this is the case.

• Septic Tanks:

If a septic tank is part of the equation, obstructions or a collapse in the line between the house and the tank, can cause slow drainage.


Natural Enzyme Drain Cleaners:

Often times you can solve slow drain problems with drain cleaners.  Chemical drain cleaners tend to be hard on pipes, Andy’s Pipe Dream encourages its customers to check into Natural Enzyme Drain Cleaners CLICK HERE to learn more.

Using Plastic Drain Snakes on Clogs:   Slow drain problems are often caused by surface clogs easily reached by a plastic drain snake. CLICK HERE for easy to follow “Using a Plastic Drain Snake” instructions.

Don’t Wait to Diagnose Slow Drains?

If you can’t determine that it’s just a simple clog you are smart to hire a professional plumber as soon as possible to figure out the cause of your slow drainage problem. Troubleshooting and resolving issues early will prevent you from being hit with larger, costly repairs later. “Putting it off until later…” isn’t a good idea when it comes to diagnosing slow drain issues.