February 14, 2024

Having your Fox Valley, WI, drains professionally cleaned can help overcome and prevent many plumbing problems. The truth is that there is really no right or wrong time to schedule professional drain cleaning services. Instead, it’s always best to watch out for the following issues and have your drains cleaned as soon as possible if any of them ever arise.

Sewage Odors Coming From Your Drains

Sewage odors and bad smells coming from a drain can be caused by a number of issues. Strong smells coming from a drain can indicate that the P-trap is dry. The bend in a P-trap is designed to hold water. The water creates a seal that prevents gases from escaping out of the drain pipe and wafting up through the drain. This is an issue you can easily check for by putting a few cups of water down the drain. If the smells resulted because the trap was dry, they should go away almost immediately.

If the smell persists, it’s likely that the drain pipe has a lot of debris, like food particles or hair, inside it. Solid materials, like food scraps and especially hair will often get stuck in the P-trap. Any organic material stuck in the trap will slowly start to rot and produce an unpleasant smell. Odor-causing bacteria will also feed on the organic waste and further contribute to the bad odors.

One easy way to overcome this issue is to clean out the drain and drain pipe using vinegar and baking soda. You should start by letting the hot water run for a minute or two to loosen everything up. Next, pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, turn the hot water back on and let it run for another minute or two to flush everything out.

While this method is often enough to overcome bad odors, there are times when it won’t be sufficient. This is especially the case if the drain pipe is partially clogged. In this case, you’ll want to schedule a professional drain cleaning service. Having your drains professionally cleaned once or twice a year is also a great preventative measure for preventing clogs and bad odors.

If your plumbing is fairly old, strong sewage smells inside your home can also be a sign that the vertical drain stack is leaking. All of the various drain lines in a home run at a slight downward angle and connect to a larger vertical pipe that feeds into the main sewer line. A leak in this vertical stack is a more serious issue since it will result in wastewater leaking inside your walls. This can cause serious structural damage and lead to mold growth. In this situation, a plumber will usually go on the roof and use a camera to inspect the entire drain stack.

Gurgling Drains and Pipes

Gurgling drains or pipes indicate that there is a partial blockage in either a drain pipe or the main sewer line. If you hear this sound from all drains, the problem lies with the main sewer line. Whether the issue is confined to one drain or happens in every drain, the problem is something you’ll want to get fixed as soon as possible. If not, there is a high chance the drain will fully clog. Even worse is if the clog is in the sewer line since this could quickly lead to sewage backing up inside your home.

Slow or Blocked Drains

This issue indicates a partial clog somewhere in the drain pipe plumbing system. When dealing with a clogged drain, you should never try to clear it with liquid drain cleaner. Chemical drain cleaners are incredibly harsh and can easily do major damage to your pipes. While using a drain cleaner can be effective, almost every professional plumber will tell you that it really isn’t worth the risk.

As such, the best course of action is to try and clean the drain using a sink plunger. However, this will only work if there is standing water in the sink. If the drain is just slow or plunging doesn’t fix the problem, you will want to have a plumber clean the drain with a pipe snake. If every drain is slow, you’ll instead need to have your main sewer line inspected and cleaned.

If your shower or bathtub starts draining slowly or won’t drain at all, it’s likely that the drain is clogged. In this situation, you should remove the drain cover and try to pull out as much hair and debris as you can. Removing the hair will usually fix the problem, but sometimes the clog is further down in the pipe where you can’t reach it.

Toilets Overflow or Aren’t Flushing Properly

Your toilets should always flush easily, and all of the water and waste should go down in a single flush. A toilet that flushes slowly or makes a chugging or gurgling noise indicates there is a partial clog. If multiple toilets have issues, it means the problem may be in your main sewer line and needs to be cleaned.

If only one toilet has issues, there may be a blockage in either the trap inside the toilet or the drain pipe underneath it. In this case, you can try to plunge the toilet to see if this helps it flush properly. If it continues to flush slowly or flushes partially, you’ll need to have a plumber look at the problem. They will usually try to first clean out the trap in the toilet and the drain pipe using a pipe snake. This is usually sufficient to fix the issue.

However, there are cases when the trap inside a toilet can be so obstructed that it is impossible to fully clean it. This is common with older toilets that did not have proper maintenance performed on them over the course of many years. This will often lead to the toilet frequently clogging up or even overflowing. In this situation, a plumber may recommend replacing the toilet so that you can use it as needed without any issues. There are updated models that provide excellent reliability and efficiency. We can recommend a product to you based on the setup of your bathroom and your home’s needs.

Since 1956, Black-Haak has been providing reliable plumbing and drain services to customers throughout the Fox Valley area. Whether you need to have your drains and sewers cleaned or need any plumbing repairs or new installation, our expert team is always here to help. We also offer professional water heater, water filtration, and sump pump services. Our team includes licensed electricians who specialize in all residential electrical services. We offer expert residential and commercial heating and air conditioning services as well. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with the team at Black-Haak.

company icon