Slow Drain

Slow Drains: What It Means for Your Plumbing and What Causes Them

Slow drains are a common plumbing problem. It can be really frustrating when you’re washing your dishes and the water takes forever to go down the drain. In this blog, we’ll explain how slow drains come about and what you should do about them.

What Causes Slow Drains

Slow drains are typically caused by a forming clog. As the usable diameter of your pipes shrinks, water can’t drain quickly enough. We’ll explain the most common ways this happens further along in this blog.

Garbage Disposal Problems

Not using the garbage disposal properly can cause clogs in your kitchen sink. While the garbage disposal is a great option to dispose of some foods, it's not ideal for others. Here are a few examples.

Peels

Peels of any kind are typically a no-go for your garbage disposal. Peels are made of fibrous materials that can get tangled in your garbage disposal. Even if the peels manage to get down your drain, they can catch on forming clogs and make them worse.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee is an indispensable part of many Americans’ mornings. It’s important that you dispose of the grounds you use to make your daily cup. When mixed with water, coffee grounds form into a sticky, peanut butter-like consistency. This can stop your garbage disposal blades in their tracks and cause mechanical problems.

Fats, Oils, and Grease

Fats are used in a variety of cooking methods from deep frying to just rendering the fat out of meat. While some oils are liquid at room temperature, many become solid when they cool. This is why pouring hot oil or bacon fat down the drain is not a good idea. Additionally, these substances don’t mix with water and will have a tough time getting washed down the drain. This is a common reason why clogs can form.

Make sure you avoid using the garbage disposal for these foods, so it can stay in good working condition!

Mineral Buildup

Throughout your home, mineral buildup can shrink the usable diameter of your pipes. Hard water is a common reason why this happens. Hard water is full of calcium and magnesium and can cause limestone deposits within your pipes. This process can slow your drains by themselves, but can also make clogs more likely.

Hair

Slow drains aren’t limited to the kitchen. They can be quite common in your shower or tub as well. One of the common causes of this is hair. Luckily, this can be prevented fairly easily. If you haven’t installed a mesh strainer on your shower drain, you should! It can prevent hair from clogging further along your drains.

Solutions

We didn’t want to just point out all the ways things could go wrong without giving you some solutions, too! In some cases, a slow drain is a clog that isn’t so bad that it can’t be cleared without a professional.

We recommend pouring some baking soda and some vinegar down your sink. Let it fizz for a little bit. Follow up with a few cups of boiling water. All these ingredients are perfectly fine to pour down the sink. We couldn’t say the same about commercial drain cleaners, which can damage your pipes.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll probably have to work with a professional plumber to clear away the burgeoning clog.

If you’re interested in installing a water filtration or softening system, we’d love to help. Just contact us at Prime Plumbing at (208) 209-7848 or fill out a simple online contact form! Soft, pure water could be yours sooner than you think!