How Do You Know You Need Drain Repair?

woman trying to unclog a drain

Watch Out for Drain Damage!

Well, the holidays have started, and here come the baking, cooking, and visitors taking showers and more. This is not the time for any of your drains to be stopping up! But alas, this is usually when it happens and your focus goes from baking, cooking, and entertaining to drain repairing.

How do you know you have a drain problem?

There are few, very few homes, that will not experience problems with the drains in the homes. From just a basic clog that can be plunged to something more severe that requires drain repairing. The most common signs that you have a drain problem are as follows:

Water Standing

This will be the first indication – water standing in the sink, tub, or worse, in the yard. In most cases, this is an easy fix, but sometimes, you may need the professional drain repair services of a plumber. 

Discolored Plumbing

Next, if you notice the plumbing pipes in your home are discolored, there is moisture somewhere, usually from a leaking incoming pipe or a drainpipe. This could be a DIY project to replace pipes, but you may have issues with the drain, repairs by a plumber may be needed.

Foundation Issues

You may need drain repair along with foundation repair if you’ve noticed your foundation is cracking or sinking. When a drain line or plumbing line is leaking, the moisture and your foundation are not going to get along.

Water Stains

If you find water stains in the basement along the floor and the wall near the floor, you probably need drain repairs, or, it could be your gutters are back up and the water is seeping ins from the ground level down the wall.

Strange Smell

Drain problems can be discovered by strange smells coming from the drains. This is usually caused by moisture buildup in the basement or under the house.  It usually starts as a mildew odor, and you may not find it right away.

How do drains become damaged?

Professional drain repair is often needed because of some things should never be put in a drain or flushed down a toilet. Those things include

  • Excess toilet tissue
  • Flush paper towels
  • Feminine products
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Small toys
  • Utensils

There are certain foods that should never be poured into the kitchen drain or garbage disposal. This includes FOG (fat, oil, grease), seed, egg shells, and more. When these things are put into a drain or flushed down a toilet, you can be sure abackup will follow. This can put pressure on the drainpipe and cause the pipe to crack, and you end up having a plumber do drain repair and possible pipe replacement.

Does frequent clogging require drain repair?

It is recommended to have your plumbing inspected by a professional plumber if you are constantly having to clear clogs in your drains. Repairs to the drain lines may be needed, or it could be a sewer line issue.

What are common drain problems?

If you’re experiencing any of the following and you’ve not had any success in getting the drain cleared, call a plumber before you do your own damage and require more than a drain repair job:

  • Slow Drains
  • Frequent Clogs
  • Unpleasant Smells
  • Strange Sounds
  • Flooding
  • Tree Root Infiltration
  • Poor Plumbing Installation

How do I identify a leaking drain pipe?

A few things that are an indication of drainpipe problems and the possible need for drain repairs include:

  1. Hear trickling water and no faucets are turned on.
  2. Damaged, stained, warped flooring.
  3. Bad odors coming from the drains.
  4. Cracks in the ceilings, foundation, or walls.
  5. Unusual healthy grass areas in the yard.
  6. Increased activity of insects and/or rodents.
  7. Mildew and mold on walls, under cabinets, in closets.
  8. Slow, sluggish drains.

When should I reach out to a professional for help with my drains?

When you have tried all the basic household efforts, including home remedies of drain cleaners and the plunger with no progress, or long-lasting progress. You may have some serious issues that need professional attention for pipe and drain repairs.

How can I prevent problems with my drains?

Three things you can do to minimize, possibly eliminate drain repair needs are:

1. Keep FOG and Greasy Foods Out

FOG will cause major issues with your drains, creating clogs and more.

2. Screen Catch the Hair

Keep the hair out of your shower, sink, and tub with screen hair catchers available at any hardware store, home improvement store, or even the grocery store.

3. Clean the Soap Scum

Soap scum is a huge cause for clogs and can result in needing drain repairs. Use home remedies on a weekly basis to clean the drain of soap scum and toothpaste gunk.

How long do most drain pipes last?

Most plumbing materials have a long lifespan, but keep in mind there is more than the pipes. There are pipe fittings and pipe joints, and several other components that are involved in plumbing.  The water quality will have an influence on these general lifespans:

Brass Plumbing: Between 40 and 70 years

Copper Plumbing: Fifty years or longer

Galvanized Steel Plumbing: Between 20 and 50 years

Cast Iron Plumbing: Between 75 and 100 years

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Plumbing: Indefinitely

Regardless of which material you decide on, you will still need to watch out for damages that can occur from regular use. Just because a material can naturally last for a certain period of time, doesn’t mean there won’t be damages that can occur based on abnormal wear and tear.


So When Do You Need Drain Repair?

If you ever start to notice a drain that gets clogged frequently, or a leak coming from under a drain, it may be time to call out a plumber. Leaving a damaged drain unchecked can lead to more problems down the line, and potentially a more expensive repair. At the first sign of damage, make a plan to have your drain inspected. And if you are in need of drain damage repair in Fairfax Station, VA, give a call at 703-250-4200 today!