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Drain Cleaning: How to Know If Your Drains Need It

Drain Cleaning: How to Know If Your Drains Need It

Professional drain cleaning is one of the most effective forms of preventative maintenance that homeowners can get for their home’s plumbing system. The trouble is that many homeowners aren’t sure when or how often drain cleaning is actually needed.

Below, we’ll describe some of the most common causes of clogged drains and the biggest indicators that your plumbing system is in need of a professional drain cleaning.

What Can Cause Clogs?

Your pipes can accumulate a lot of debris over time that can eventually lead to slow drains and clogs. These are some of the most common causes of clogged drains and pipes:

  • Grease and food waste

  • Soap scum from soap bars

  • Hair

  • Sediment and mineral buildup from hard water

  • Napkins, paper towels, and disposable wipes

Signs that Your Drains Need to Be Cleaned

If your pipes are in need of professional cleaning, they are likely to give you some not-so-subtle hints that the time has come. Here are some of the most common indicators that your pipes are crying out for help.

1. Water drains slowly in sinks/shower/bathtub.

Water should always go down your drains fairly quickly without much accumulation. If you find yourself standing in a small pool of water when your shower, or if water starts to fill up your sink whenever you run the faucet, it’s a sign that there’s an obstruction somewhere in your pipes.

Even a bathtub full of water should be able to drain completely in about 1 minute or less. If it takes much longer than that, a clog somewhere down the drain could be the culprit.

2. Water backs up from your sink drain whenever you run the dishwasher.

This can sometimes indicate that something is jammed in your garbage disposal, not allowing water to drain properly from your dishwasher. When that isn’t the issue, the problem is usually a clogged drain.

3. Your drains give off a musty odor.

A musty smell indicates that there is mold growth within your drains (the mold spores are what release the bad odors). If the mold growth is near the top of your drain, you can eliminate it by scrubbing the growth with a mixture of baking soda, hot water, and distilled white vinegar. However, if that doesn’t solve the problem, the mold growth is occurring farther down than you can reach and needs to be professionally cleaned.

4. Your drains give off a "rotten eggs" odorĀ and are attracting flies, especially in the kitchen.

If this is the case, you are either smelling a sticky substance called “biofilm” or you are smelling hydrogen sulfide (sewer gases). Biofilm is comprised of bacteria and decomposing material, and over time it can accumulate along the walls of your pipes and give off a terrible smell. In this case, hydrojetting will be the most effective way to blast this growth away.

If sewer gases are causing the smell, it could indicate that your pipes have a dry P-trap or no P-trap. Worst of all, it could indicate that your home is experiencing a sewer backup, in which case you’ll need sewer repair services.

At MVP Plumbing, we use proven methods and top-quality equipment to clear your drains of buildup and keep them sparkling clean. With more than 20 years of experience, we have the technical skill, knowledge, and tools needed to clear any blockage and prevent clogged drains from becoming a part of your life.

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