A broken drain pipe is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. If the water line breaks or collapses, get ready for a flood of foul odors, messy water, and a natural disaster in your home.
Unfortunately, a clogged drain is a common plumbing problem.
But it’s almost always avoidable.
Here in the Louisville, KY area we often see broken water lines as a result of poor drain cleaning. Regular cleaning of pipes and proper clearing of clogs is the best way to avoid a broken water pipe in your living room.
Signs of a Clogged Drain
Drains are meant to remove waste and water, that’s it. They aren’t trash cans, dark holes, or laundry hampers. Generally, when you have a clogged drain, it’s because something was sent down there that wasn’t ever supposed to be there. Here are some telltale signs you need assistance with drain cleaning:
- Toilet Doesn’t Flush: If you push the lever and nothing happens, you’ve got a problem. This is often because you’ve either had too much toilet paper, excess waste, or a foreign object, like a kids toy down there.
- Slow Drainage: This is more common in the sink, tub or shower. When it fills with water, it stays stagnant for several minutes before the water makes its way down the drain. This is often due to soap scum and hair that naturally falls off in the shower and tub and needs a good drain cleaning.
- Smelly Drains: Sometimes the drain seems to be working fine, but it smells awful. This can be a sign of a clog that simply isn’t large enough to stop the flow of water, but is still causing a problem.
- Gurgling Drains: When you hear gurgling as the water flows down the drain, it’s a clear sign that something is in the way, and you’re hearing the water work it’s way around the clog.
- Unexplained Puddles: This is usually in your grass or garden where you suddenly have a puddle of water that wasn’t there before. This can cause serious damage to your plumbing and should be looked at right away.
Blocked drains can be more than just a nuisance. They can cause major headaches for homeowners. If you pay attention and know what causes these issues, it’s possible to reduce the potential of a major clog with professional drain cleaning services.
Drain Cleaning Methods
When you have a clogged drain, there are some DIY cleaning methods out there, but it is best to leave it to the experts. Too many homeowners actually make the problem worse by attempting to clear a drain and actually push the clog further down the line and/or damage the pipes in the process. There are several methods our plumbing team in Louisville, KY use when it comes to drain cleaning.
This is exactly what it sounds like. You are using a plunger to force the blockage through the drain. Of all of the drain cleaning methods we cover here, this one is the only one you can use at home. A professional plumber may also try this first, before moving on to more powerful methods.
Water jetting uses water at extremely high pressures to cut through and eliminate blockages in pipes. Different nozzles and attachments are used to control the stream, along with pressure techniques to cut through even the toughest clogs. This is a very effective solution for drain cleaning because it can sometimes eliminate the need for more drastic cleaning methods.
Drain snakes come in different sizes depending on the size and type of drain. A basic snake can be purchased at any home improvement store in the Louisville, KY area, and reaches between 4-6 feet down the pipe.
Professional drain cleaners use a drum snake. A drum snake has a cylindrical or bell-shaped drum into which the snake cable is coiled. This has a 25-50 foot cable with a corkscrew tip for snagging debris and removing it from the drain.
These can be effective for clogs in tubs, showers, bathroom sinks, washing machines, and kitchens sinks.
There are many types of chemicals homeowners in Louisville, KY use for drain cleaning, most of them are ineffective and cause more damage than they are worth. You can find liquids, gels, and powders, but we don’t recommend using any of them. The acids in the ingredients can cause permanent damage to the pipes and leave you with a much bigger problem than you started with.
Professional Water Line Repair
Sometimes what you think is a clog, could actually be simply a symptom of a much bigger problem. If you turn on your faucet and your steady stream has turned into a weak trickle, or your water is muddy looking, you might be heading for a water line repair.
Many times multiple appliances are connected to the same water line. Like your toilet and bathtub or your washing machine and sink and laundry drains.
It starts with a clogged toilet and a slow draining tub, which seem like basic clogged drain, but the underlying issue is a problem with the water line.
Calling our experienced plumbers in Louisville, KY is the only way to correctly identify the location and source of the clog so you can get a quality water line repair if necessary.
Drain and Water Line Replacement
With regular drain cleanings, your plumbing system can last many years. But over time, normal wear and tear can cause damage to your drains and water lines. This is especially important if you live in an older home in Louisville, KY. With age, older materials used during the original plumbing installation may fail.
Replacing water lines or drain pipes in Louisville, KY can cost in the range of $200 to as much as $15,000. All depending on the severity of the damage, how much pipe needs to be replaced, the location of damaged pipes, and the material of the pipe.
Emergency Water Line Repair Services
Quick action in times of an emergency can mean the difference between mopping up a puddle and major structural damage. In the event that you do have a plumbing emergency, follow these steps:
- Immediately shut off the main water valve.
- Give us a call so you can reduce the amount of potential damage.
At Blackburn and Davis, Inc, our plumbers are licensed, professional, and have the experience to handle any plumbing problem.
Drain Cleaning FAQs
Can I prevent clogged drain pipes?
There are several things you can do to help prevent clogged water lines. A few include not putting grease, excessive soap, or food down the drain. Also, placing a strainer on the end of a washing machine drain hose to catch lint and other objects. Using a strainer on bathtub and shower drains is also a good idea. Catching hair and other objects before they go down your drain will prevent the need for frequent drain cleaning.
How often should I schedule drain cleaning?
We recommend you make drain cleaning part of your routine plumbing maintenance. Don’t wait for clogs to start up, instead take a proactive approach and have our plumbers take care of the cleaning regularly. A good rule of thumb would be to have a drain cleaning done once a year.
What are the most common drains that clog in a home?
Strangely, the kitchen and washing machine drains are often tied together underneath the house. One drain has food going down it, the other has lint. A lot of times once there is a blockage, both drains end up clogged.
Keep the Flow of Blackburn and Davis, Inc
A clogged drain can be a nuisance, but a broken sewer line causes major life disruption. The plumbing in your home or office is so important. We all take plumbing for granted until we suddenly don’t have it anymore.
Don’t trust your home or office’s plumbing with just anyone. The next time your toilet won’t flush or your drain smells like rotten food, give Blackburn and Davis, Inc a call to schedule a drain cleaning today!
Blackburn and Davis, Inc is located in Louisville, KY, but it proud to also service the cities of Prospect, La Grange, Crestwood and surrounding areas.