10 Must Knows About Your Drain

Every home has plumbing and it’s inevitable that one day your sink, toilet or shower will not drain correctly. Sometimes a better understanding of the mechanics of your home can help you fix the problem before calling the professionals:

  1. Every Drain has a Trap: Under every drain, there is a trap. The u-shaped pipe traps water creating a physical barrier to any sewer gasses trying to escape your plumbing. It also is a great place for solids to collect and create a clog.
  2. Each Drain Combines into a Single Main: The single pipe under your sink disappears into the floor, but will connect to a larger pipe along with the toilet and shower. That larger pipe connects farther down the line to one that drains the kitchen.  Ultimately, they all combine into a single large discharge pipe that goes to the sewer.
  3. A Sewer Stack Prevents Gasses from Entering Your Home: If you have a sewer stink in your home, it is possible the sewer stack is cracked. Stacks are often hidden behind walls. Check the roof for its exit to determine its location.
  4. A French Drain Keeps Your Basement Dry: Many homes have french drains in the ground that help to draw moisture away from your foundation. French drains can get clogged over time.
  5. Septic Tanks Require Regular Maintenance: If you are on septic, your tank should be pumped every ten years or so to keep it from getting clogged and causing a back up into your home.
  6. You are Responsible for Your Sewer Connection to the Street: While the city maintains the sewer system, the main drain from your home that runs to the street is your responsibility. If you have sewage seeping into the yard, you’ll be footing the bill.
  7. Old Pipes Do Corrode and Fail: Cast iron pipes will crack over time, as will even the modern PVC versions. Consider replacing aging pipes part of home maintenance.
  8. Understand What Chemicals Do to Clear Your Drain: If you dump liquid plumber down a clogged drain, it is eating away at hair, grease, and other debris. If you called a plumber, let them know that nasty stuff is down there before they get burned.
  9. Plungers Don’t Remove the Blockage: When unclogging the toilet, understand the plunger is just pushing solids farther down the drain.
  10. Snakes Can Work When They Are Long Enough: Your large house set back from the road will need up to 200 feet of snake to clear a clogged main drain, not 25.



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