Drain Replacement and Repair
Are you worried about the odor coming from your kitchen sink or toilet before you’re about to have guests over? Does the bathroom sink fill up everything your kids wash their hands or brush their teeth? Tired of taking a plunger to your toilet?
These commons household drain problems often have simple solutions but can also be a sign that it’s time to call McNabb Plumbing.
Go with the Flow
While we expect all our wastewater to correctly flow down the drain, that doesn’t always happen. Here are some common problems and DIY solutions.
Bad Smells or Odors
We’ve all experienced that bad smell coming from the kitchen sink or not often used spare bathroom sink. If the smell is coming from the kitchen sink, it’s usually due to food particles in your drain or garbage disposal.
To get rid of the smells, first try pouring 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar down the drain. Next, watch it bubble like a chemistry class experiment. After a few minutes, run warm water down the drain.
If you have a garbage disposal, you can try dumping ice cubes down the drain along with about half a cup of salt, and turn on the garbage disposal while running the water. This will knock off any food debris stuck in the disposal, and the salt will scrub it as well.
You can also scrub the visible part of the disposal and the housing with a toothbrush and a paste made from baking soda and some dish detergent. As a precaution make sure to unplug the disposal, and never stick your hand down the disposal.
What if the sinks have more of a sewer smell? Often times you notice these smells in a bathroom sink or from a bathtub or shower drain in a bathroom that is not often used. A dried-out trap is a possible cause. A trap is the u-shaped pipe under the sink designed to hold a small amount of water that acts as a barrier against sewer gases coming back up the drain. If the drain is not regularly used, the water in the trap eventually evaporates, allowing sewer gas to exit.
If you notice a sewer gas smell coming from a sink or shower drain, run the sink or shower for a few minutes.
Slow Draining Sink
A slow-draining bathtub or bathroom sink can often be the result of hair or soap scum. And trapped food particles are often the cause of slow draining kitchen sinks.
If your kitchen sink experiences a slow drain, try pouring a pot of hot water mixed with dish soap down the drain. In the bathroom or bathtub, a plunger may do the trick.
Be careful when deciding to use chemical drain cleaners. They are just what they say they are— “caustic, corrosive, poisonous.” Drain cleaners can be harsh on certain types of drain pipes and are also irritants to human skin and eyes. Be especially careful of using a plunger after dumping chemicals down the drain, as the plunger may expel the chemicals out.
For more stubborn clogs you may need to remove the trap under the sink. Before you remove the trap, be sure clear the space under the sink and place a bucket under the trap, as the trap will be full of water along with whatever is clogging it.
When DIY Just Isn’t Enough
What if you tried all the DIY and tried-and-true methods to clear the drain and get rid of the smells, but the problems still persist?
Lingering sewer smells can be the sign of a leaking or damaged sewer pipes, severe clogs, or a stopped-up sewer pipe vent. Sewer pipe vents are located on the roof and allow sewer gas to escape. Because the symptoms usually mirror symptoms of a clog, the problem can often go undiagnosed.
Common causes of blocked sewer vents include corrosion, deterioration, broken pipe and/or fittings, snow buildup, leaves and other debris, a clog where the vent and drain pipe meet, or just old age.
Persistent clogs can be the results of objects not intended to go down the drain, mineral build-ups, excess toilet paper, corrosion, improper installation, outdated materials, old age, or main sewer line clogs due to tree roots or other damage.
Why Choose McNabb Plumbing
Whether you need an extra helping hand or you just don’t have the time or skill necessary to do it yourself, McNabb Plumbing is your Pittsburgh plumber of choice. At McNabb Plumbing, we ask questions first and act second. Whether your problem is in the interior drains or the main sewer line, we take careful measures to diagnose the problem. Using our state-of- the-art technology, we can inspect your drain pipes to find the problem. From there, we’ll work with you to provide you with the most valuable and least disruptive solution. We know how important your home is to you, and that means it’s important to us.