Homes are a combination of feed lines, venting systems and drainpipes. Of the three, it’s the drain system that takes all the bad stuff away and usually has the most frequent headaches due to what gets trapped in the drain. While the other two parts are critical, the drain system can be serviced and cleaned on a regular basis to keep it working properly. Otherwise, a homeowner could end up with an embarrassing bad smell in the house or worse.
Drain System Function and Cleaning
Every major plumbing system in the house involves a circuit. Water comes in and then goes out. The drain system matches every major point where water is provided except for the outdoor faucets (that are handled by landscape drainage instead). Inside, the circuit is either a sealed system, such as in the case of a water heater, or it has a feed, basin and drain set up, such as in a sink or tub or toilet. For each one, there is eventually an exit to a drainpipe that then channels the waste liquid to a bigger pipe and then eventually the main exit out of the house and to the municipal drain. An exception would be where it goes to a leach field and tank for evaporation instead.
Ideally, everything flows correctly, and all the wastewater goes down the drain without issue. However, when drains start to operate slowly or water backs up frequently, then those are both signs of a blockage occurring. The blockage could be partial, almost complete or total. Where the water does drain after a few seconds or minutes, it is partial, but eventually, that line will plug in completely. Because water does not compress, it will back up into the basin and eventually overflow if still fed. So, getting that drain working right is essential. Cleaning the drains regularly avoids this problem.
What’s Involved With Cleaning?
Most times, when a homeowner tries to clean a drain, it may get about halfway or a bit past the u-bend in the drain under the sink, and that’s about it. Drainage for the toilet almost never happens with a home job because it’s a manual and messy task. So, without regular cleaning, most drain systems just do their thing until they can’t, and that’s usually a blockage.
Drain cleaning services go through every drain line in the house and check for proper drainage. Where there is a sign of a potential problem, an immediate service in the same visit can usually clear the source as well. In all cases, drains work with gravity, so the goal is to make sure they have full clearance, in which case the water just runs right through and washes the drain as it exits.
Everything Goes Down the Drain (But Shouldn’t)
Unfortunately, home drain systems tend to get treated like a trash can for anything that seems to flow with water. That’s technically a mistake, and a good amount of matter can contribute to a drain blockage, even with food. Potato peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells and more contribute to sink drain blockages a lot. Fortunately, with a regular drain cleaning treatment once a year, all the lines can be cleared of anything starting to build up. That includes hair in the bathroom sinks and tub drains, as well as food material in the sink. It even includes a check of the toilet drain systems to make sure they are clear too. More than a few toilets have been compromised due to kids flushing toys down them when no one was looking.
With good maintenance, your home drain systems can function through most adventures, kids and use without problems. A regular drain cleaning helps catch hiccups that otherwise can turn into bigger concerns too. Avoid headaches with drains. They just smell bad, not better.