Category Archives: Slow running drains

Slow Running Bathroom Sink Drains

The dreaded slow running drain!  UGH!

A slow, sluggish sink drain is a very common plumbing problem. And the bathroom sink is the one most frequently afflicted with this particular problem because of it’s heavy daily use.

There are several things that can contribute to a slow sink drain. The first, most common issue, and easily  fixed,  the pop-up that is used to stop up the sink. It can collect a lot of hair and debris as the sink is used on a daily basis. Check that first.

Second – soap and other products that are washed down the drain can slowly collect in the drain pipes. The build-up that naturally collects over time reduces the size of the drain, effectively slowing the progress of draining water. This issues with drains happen naturally over time and can not usually be avoided. The only solution is to  periodically clean the drain to keep it flowing.

A great do-it-yourself  method  is  with  baking  soda, vinegar  and  BOILING  WATER. Take  about  ¼ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 large pot of water to boil. Have a rag or sink stopper handy. Pour the baking soda into the drain. Make sure that most of the baking soda falls directly into the drain rather than around it in the sink. Pour in the cup of vinegar. You may hear a fizzing noise or see bubbles come up due to the chemical reaction. This is completely normal and should mean that the chemicals are eating away at the blockage in your sink. Plug the drain with a rag or sink stopper. Doing so will stop the bubbles from rising up and will keep the chemical reaction concentrated on the clog.

Wait fifteen minutes. Allow the baking soda and vinegar reaction to fully work their magic here! While waiting, you should heat up the pot of water to boiling point.

Pour in the pot of boiling water. This step will push down the baking soda, vinegar, and blockage. Watch as you pour in the water to see if the sink is draining any faster. If it is, but still not at its normal speed, there may still be a bit of a blockage. Try repeating the process once more if this is the case.
If this does not work – you might have a blockage in the pipes, in the wall.
If you hear any kind of a “blub blub” or “glug glug”  or  gurgling noise coming from behind the sink or possibly in wall, it might be  from the main drain and might mean that there is a problem with the drain system itself, such as a partial drain blockage or it could even be  a drain venting problem.  We might have to get onto the roof  to investigate the vent. Or it might be  possible for us  to clear the blockage, using  one of several different tools, to snake down inside the drain and get to the root of the problem.

 

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How to Keep Your Drains Flowing

keep drains water flow flowing

Slow running drains are a common problem. But  some preventative actions,  are the way to keep the water flowing down the drain.

Whether you rent or own, you want to make sure all the drains (Kitchen and shower) have some sort of strainer in place, to catch debris and hair. One of the simplest ways you can prevent clogs and slow running water  is to use a sink strainer. These simple items prevent objects from going down the drain and clogging it.

For the kitchen, a larger-holed strainer will likely do the trick. Consider a combination strainer and plug to make doing the dishes even easier. In the bathroom, think about getting a finer mesh strainer to keep the drain hair and soap scum free. You can pick these up at Home Depot, your local hardware store and even Target.

 

If your kitchen sink does not have a garbage disposal, be careful what goes down the drain.

Some things should never go down the drain. Many, many kitchen sinks are clogged from common food items. Grease, coffee grounds and other food items are common culprits of clogged drains in the kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you dispose of these items properly:

  • If you’re cooking with grease, let it solidify in the pan after you’re done cooking. Scrape it into the garbage can afterwards. Try wiping out the pan with a paper towel post-scrape to ensure that you get all that grease. Don’t want to wait? Pour the liquid grease into an old can, then throw it away after the dishes are done.
  • Coffee grounds should always go into the garbage. If you’d rather make an eco-friendly choice, coffee grounds are an excellent addition to a mulch pile or compost area. Never put them down the drain.
  • Other bits of food that end up in the sink should get caught by a strainer or pulled out before they go down the drain. If you have a garbage disposal, this may not be such a big deal, but if the food is on the other side, catch it before it goes down. Small bits of food may stick to grease in your pipes and cause a clog. AND SMELL!

Take precaution with your TOILET also.  Flushable cat litter – SHOULD NOT BE FLUSHED. Whoever came up with this idea, should be shot! I tell all cat owners, do not flush it and risk it clogging the line.

Other things NOT TO FLUSH;  condoms, feminine hygiene products, dental floss and large amounts  of toilet tissue and kleenex. Keep a little waste can in the bathroom for excess paper products.

Preventing a clog doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little prevention, you’ll be able to keep your pipes clear and free. Before you spend hours unclogging your drain and calling a plumbing professional, try stopping these issues in the first place with these tips.