Water running down a clean kitchen sink in Vancouver

Diagnosing Common Drain Problems

Your home is full of various plumbing features. You use your drains regularly to flush away contaminants from your kitchen, bathroom, and even your mudroom. Unfortunately, there comes a time in every homeowner’s life where they encounter drain problems. Once you know the common ones, you can better identify if you are in need of professional assistance and call for a plumber in time.

The 5 Most Common Drain Problems North Vancouver Homeowners Often See 

These are the five most common reasons your drains might clog or have problems. If you do not have experience in plumbing, it is best to ask a professional to come in and clean out the drain for you. Sometimes, a drain clog is an indication of something more serious. There are a few tricks you can try before calling a professional, but only after assessing the situation correctly.

1. Kitchen Sink Issues: In the kitchen, oil and fat often accumulate on the sides of the pipes. Even if cleaned with hot, soapy water, that oil makes its way onto the sides of the pipes and becomes solid once again. As it remains there, it continues to collect residue from everything else sent down later, such as food debris. Eventually, this results in a backup or slow drain. Depending on how severe that backup is, you may succeed with a biological drain cleaner or in-store solution. However, these chemicals should be handled with care. Here’s what you should know about liquid drain cleaner before it goes down the drain. Another option is to try and take apart your pipes after you have turned off the main water valve. Then, clean out grease and buildup manually, soak the pipes in a cleanser, and re-install. Although, once you reach the point of disassembly, calling in a professional might be a better solution. 

2. Bathroom Sinks with a Slow Drain: Hair is the biggest reason for drain issues in the bathroom. You might notice that your sink takes longer to drain out the water, or your shower is sluggish enough that you stand in a puddle of water as you bathe in the morning. Hair tends to wrap around imperfections in the pipes, and then the soap, shampoo, residue, and even oils you send down stick to it too – eventually creating a troublesome clog. You might be able to snake the drain using an at-home kit safely. Be cautious about putting a snake cleaning tool down your drain, because these can become tangled in the pipes and cause further damage. For any Do It Yourself work in Vancouver, check out our helpful resources and plumbing parts at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating Ltd.

3. Tree Roots Penetrating the Drain Line: Tree roots seek moisture, and they will grow toward the pipes of your home, especially those leading out from the house toward the sewage lines. When pipes have minor leaks, they attract roots and those roots grow up and inside trying to soak up as much water as possible. The roots then become a blockage themselves but also hold on to hair, tissues, and everything else you send down the drain. Roots can be removed with a power rod or hydro-jet clean. Never attempt to remove tree roots yourself; instead, call in a professional.

4. Frozen Pipes: If you did not winterize before the temperatures dropped, you might have pipes that freeze. Frozen pipes will not burst immediately. Instead, the water sits there, turns to ice, and the pressure builds up as more water follows behind. Do not try to thaw out the frozen pipes until a professional has had time to look at them. Trying to unclog, even with hot water, could result in too much pressure and a burst line.

When It is Time for Help, Call Your Local Vancouver Area Plumbers

Now that you know your drain is clogging and have tried a few options to resolve it yourself, the next step is to call your local plumbers and see about having your pipes cleaned professionally. The team at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating, Ltd. will first identify the cause of the clog, then use the proper technique to remove it so that you have free moving drains once again.

Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating has expert plumbers in Vancouver, Surrey, and surrounding areas ready to help with your clogged drain. We offer commercial and residential services. Call us at 604-879-5301 to schedule a test. Contact us online if you have questions about your clogged drain.
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