Reasons Your Sinks May Drain Slowly in Your Home

Water flowing into a sink drain - Mr. Plumber by Metzler & Hallam

With sinks draining slow, your Indianapolis home is left with a great inconvenience. Sinks draining slow are a source of mess and odor as well – no one needs extra cleaning work to do due to slow drain!

If sinks draining slow is a problem in your bathroom, kitchen, or both, the cause could be a clog or an even bigger problem. The Indianapolis plumbing pros at Mr. Plumber share the common causes of sinks draining slow and how to avoid this problem.

For drain clearing and other plumbing services that remedy sinks draining slow, contact us today. Our licensed plumbers use innovative techniques and equipment to find the source of slow drains with as little disruption to your system as possible. We get to work and implement reliable plumbing solutions to restore drainage in sinks throughout your Indianapolis home.

Sinks Draining Slow Due to Clogs

Sinks draining slow is a problem that is commonly caused by clogs. If the problem is localized to one sink or drain, the clog is likely within that fixture’s drain lines. For sinks draining slow across the entire home, a clog could exist within your home’s main sewer lines.

One Sink Draining Slow

Clogs in kitchen or bathroom sinks and drains are caused by debris that are washed down the drain. The types of debris that commonly form clogs are different depending on which type of drain is clogged.

Bathroom Drain Clogs

In bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers, clogs are typically formed from hair. With bathroom sinks draining slow, hair washes down the drain due to beard trimming and other grooming tasks performed over the sink. In a shower or tub, hair naturally sheds from your scalp when you rinse after washing or conditioning and flows down the drain.

The longer the hair, the more problems you have with sinks draining slow. Long hair wraps around pop-up assemblies in tubs and sinks to form clogs relatively close to the fixture. Some long strands as well as smaller hair clippings are washed further into the drain lines, forming clogs deeper into the fixture’s drainpipes. Hair combines with soap scum, toothpaste residue, mineral deposits, and more to form particularly difficult clogs that lead to sinks draining slow.

Kitchen Sink Clogs

With kitchen sinks draining slow, clogs are typically caused by food particles that are washed down the drain.  Food particles and grease enter the drain lines either through the kitchen sink’s main drain or the garbage disposal. This matter settles in the sink’s P-trap where it eventually builds up so much that water drainage is blocked.

Certain food items and waste are not appropriate to run down the garbage disposal because they are more likely to cause clogged drains. These items include:

  • Grease and oil
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta and oatmeal
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Potato peels
  • Eggshells

Multiple Sinks Draining Slow

With all toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks draining slow, the clog exists somewhere within your home’s main sewer lines. Clogs in sewer lines may form due to items washed down kitchen and bathroom drains, or foreign materials flushed down the toilet. When the obstruction is within the main sewer line that serves all individual plumbing drains throughout the house, all drains experience slow draining – not just one.

Settling of the soil around the sewer pipe leads the pipe to sink and materials to accumulate in this section, which is another source of clogs in the main sewer lines of your home. Improperly installed sewer lines can lead to improper slope and pitch of the drain line, creating an area for debris to accumulate and lead to a clog.

Drain Cleaning

Whether it’s one or all sinks draining slow, our drain cleaning service finds the location and source of the clog for removal. Video technology is used to inspect the home’s drain lines, so we are able to actually see the clog. We remove the clog material and diagnose any damage caused so the proper repairs can be made to your plumbing system.

Sewer Line Issues that Cause Sinks Draining Slow

In addition to clogs in the main sewer lines, other sewer line issues may be responsible for sinks draining slow. The main culprits here are tree root penetrations and broken or degrading sewer line pipes.

Tree Root Penetration

Unfortunately, damaged sewer lines host an attractive environment for tree growth. They hold nutrients, water, and oxygen that promote nearby root growth. The majority of blockages within sewer lines are due to tree root penetrations, which presents the symptom of sinks draining slow inside the home. Roots penetrate the sewer piping and continue to grow inside the sewer lines which causes a severe blockage.

Sewer pipes at the highest risk of tree root penetration include:

  • Shallow pipes closer to the ground’s surface
  • Pipes with numerous joint connections
  • Older sewer lines
  • Brick, clay, or concrete sewer pipes
  • Sewer lines close to large and fast-growing tree species

Deep tree anchor roots may surround sewer piping without causing damage. But, when there is a crack or other damage that creates an opening into the sewer line, roots are able to invade.

To diagnose tree root penetration as the cause of sinks draining slow, our plumbers use a video camera feed to visualize the clog. This method shows pipe damage that allows roots to penetrate, disconnected joints that provide a point of entry, as well as the extent of tree root infiltration within the sewer lines.

When tree roots penetrate your sewer lines and cause sinks draining slow, sewer line repair is needed. Our trenchless pipe-bursting technology allows damaged sewer lines to be replaced with long-lasting polyethylene pipes that do not crack, which minimizes the risk of tree root penetration in the future.

Broken Sewer Lines

Even when there are no trees around to penetrate sewer lines, pipes do not last forever. Damage may occur due to many reasons, which causes a break in the sewer line that allows clogs to form. Soil and other natural materials infiltrate the sewer lines through damage, build up in the lines and eventually prevent the flow of wastewater and sewage from the home.

Broken sewer pipes are caused by a number of problems, including:

  • Deterioration, which occurs over time due to consistent exposure to moving water as well as possible chemical treatments.
  • Settlement within the sewer lines caused by improper slope cause clogs that may damage the lines.
  • External causes, such as the line being hit by excavation equipment.

Visual inspection is performed using a camera feed to find the broken section of sewer pipe in your drain system. Once the source is identified, our plumbers determine the correct course of action to correct the issue, which involves sewer line repair or possible replacement.

Venting Problems Cause Sinks Draining Slow

The drain lines in an Indianapolis home must be properly vented for correct function. Vent stacks are installed to help prevent a vacuum effect from starting within the drain lines. Fresh air is drawn in from the vent stack into the sewer line to keep wastewater moving in the correct direction and allow gases to escape. When a vacuum occurs, the flow of water and waste through the drain lines is obstructed.

Vent stacks are typically run from the drain lines to your roof. They are usually run from the bathroom and kitchen areas of the home. Due to their exterior exposure, vent stacks may be obstructed by debris such as snow, leaves, and twigs. Birds also sometimes find a home’s vent stacks to be an appealing nesting spot, and occasionally a bird’s nest is the cause of a venting problem in the sewer lines.

Sewer line clogs may also form at the connection between the sewer pipe and vent pipe. This clog prevents wastewater from flowing through the drains, and also stops air from moving properly out the vent lines.

Sinks draining slow are a possible symptom of a vent pipe issue. A venting problem also may cause odors from the drains and toilets within your home. If there are no obvious backups of sewage from the drains, the odor is likely from sewer gasses which are able to escape through your home’s drains due to vent issues.

A gurgling sound coming from sinks draining slow or toilets is another possible indication of venting issues. Properly functioning vent stacks allow air and gases to flow out of the plumbing system. When the vent stack is blocked, they come through the drains in your home, which is the cause of gurgling sounds.

Gurgling noises may not occur in the particular plumbing fixture that is in use – you may hear it in the bathtub when you flush a toilet. This shows you that these fixtures share a vent stack, which is blocked. Or gurgling is a possible indication that a fixture or drain has no vent, which needs to be remedied.

A plumber investigates venting issues by inspecting the vent stacks on your roof and removing the debris that block them. Camera inspection methods are also used to diagnose clogs at the vent and sewer line connection.

To Fix Sinks Draining Slow, Call Mr. Plumber Now!

Mr. Plumber is an Indianapolis plumbing company that serves the metro area as well as the surrounding communities in Central Indiana. With over 70 years of experience, we know how to pinpoint the cause behind sinks draining slow in your home. Our licensed plumbers perform the quality services you need to restore drainage and protect your plumbing system and fixtures.

Contact us today to schedule plumbing service.

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