3 Signs Your House Drains Need Some TLC


Are you spending nearly $2,000 a year on plumbing visits? That’s the average cost for most homeowners. If your house drains aren’t in top shape, these costs quickly add up.

Catching problems early can save you hundreds of dollars annually. Plus, you learn a lot about plumbing and home improvement.

Don’t miss these telltale signs of trouble.

  1. What’s That Sound?

What’s the difference between a normal drain noise and a problematic one?

Like your refrigerator and HVAC, drain pipes have an acceptable level of noise.

For example, you can expect the toilet to run for several seconds after flushing. However, if your toilet doesn’t stop running, there’s a problem.

Gurgling House Drains

Do your pipes sound like they have lives of their own?

No, your pipes aren’t possessed. They’re likely clogged.

Before you pour store-bought cleaner down the drain, consider the consequences. If your plumbing is on the older side, drain cleaner chemicals can ruin your pipes beyond repair. However, some stubborn clogs do call for chemical solutions.

Plumbers’ professional-grade cleaners are far more effective. Plus, some plumbers use eco-friendly cleaners without any harmful chemicals.

Plumbers use durable snaking tools to remove clogs. You can also buy snaking tools at any hardware store and remove the clog yourself. However, be careful not to damage your house drains.

The clog may not be inside the drain pipe itself. Clogged sewer lines also make gurgling noises.

Those gurgling sounds could also be caused by broken or missing plumbing parts.

Here are more culprits behind noisy, gurgling drains:

  • Lack of vent connections
  • Island sink ventilation issues
  • Fixtures with tiny vent measurements
  • Clogged plumbing ventilation
  • Improperly spaced (and installed) fixtures

You can prevent most of these issues with proper plumbing installation. This is another reason why DIY isn’t always the best option, despite the low initial cost.

Dripping Sounds

Dripping is another sign to watch.

A little dripping is normal after shutting off the faucet. But a continuous drip? Not so much.

Dripping wastes water and increases your utility bills. This type of drip is usually caused by old or faulty faucet parts, like washers, sealers, and pressure valves.

A quality faucet can last up to 20 years with good maintenance. If you don’t clean your faucet periodically, mineral buildup will quickly pile up. This buildup is the other culprit behind leaky faucets.

Improper faucet installation is the third reason behind drippy faucets. This problem is easily fixed with a faucet replacement.

However, if the drip is coming from under the sink, that’s an entirely different problem. Your drainage pipe likely has a leak. You can temporarily fix the leak, but you’ll need to book a plumbing appointment as quickly as possible.

  1. Reasons Behind Leaky House Drains

Leaky pipes are the most common plumbing problem, aside from clogged toilets. There are several reasons behind leaky drains, so buckle up!

Old plumbing is a common reason for leaks. Over time, old drains become worn down and corroded. If your drains are already 15 or 20 years old, it’s best to get a full replacement.

Don’t wait too long to fix your old, leaky drains. These pipes are vulnerable to pipe bursts.

Pipe bursts are hazardous, but extremely expensive. You have to pay for water damage repair on top of new plumbing.

Broken Pipe Seals

Broken seals is the next common reason behind leaks. If you have plumbing experience, you can fix this issue yourself. Otherwise, call a plumber who can reseal your house drains with less risk.

Plumbing seals are similar to dishwasher seals. They’re typically made of a rubber, but wear down over time. You can by pipe seals at most hardware stores or online.

Rubber seals usually wear away from age. However, condensation can degrade sealants quicker. That’s why having airtight appliances is so critical.

Improper Installation

One overlooked reason is incorrect plumbing installation. This problem happens frequently with newer homes and DIY attempts.

The wrong pipe layout is a big problem.

Positioning matters since plumbing depends on gravity to direct water flow. If you don’t have the right pipe dimensions, distances, and parts, prepare for trouble.

You can avoid this costly mistake by hiring a plumbing contractor. While general contractors are experienced, they may not be trained in particular issues specific to plumbing construction. That’s why many newly-built homes have plumbing issues.

External Factors

If you can’t locate the drain problem inside, look out the window. Trees, roots, soil problems, and other environmental issues can have a direct impact on your house drains.

Do you see any large tree roots obstructing your sewer and plumbing system?

Root problems aren’t always noticeable at first glance. Look for puddles, wet patches of lawn, and sinkholes.

Do you live in an area that floods frequently? You likely need a drainage system to prevent basement flooding, clogs, and loose plumbing parts.

Even dry, arid conditions can cause drain problems. Old pipes crack and leak under intense heat.

Freezing temperatures also increase the likelihood of leaks. Frozen pipes expand until they crack. Fluctuating temperatures are also a problem, as pipes contract with hot and cold conditions.

  1. Drain Smells

House drains also emit odors when there’s a problem. The issue could be as simple as a dirty drain.

In this case, a simple drain cleaning would do the trick. Professional drain cleaning services eliminate any clogs, mineral buildup, bacteria, and debris.

If your water smells strange but your drains are clean, you may have a water contamination issue. Don’t drink any water and call a plumber immediately.

A plumber can conduct a water test. Plus, they can install a purifier that filters contaminants from drinking water.

Fix Your Drains Today

Don’t let faulty house drains linger. Those leaky drains could be the start of a pipe burst! Remember these signs to prevent any damage to your house drains.

More tips are a post away. Follow the blog for more posts on your favorite home improvement topics.

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