It’s great when toilets and drains work well. You use them, they work and you go about your life. It is as you expect it to be. You expect your plumbing to continue working. You put no other thought into your toilet when you flush waste down it. That is, until there is a problem.
Unfortunately, toilets and drains can have issues. Sometimes you detect a sewage odor or your drain becomes sluggish and clogged. There are a number of problems you can have and some of these problems are simple. Others can be your worst nightmare if you don’t address them quickly.
5 Signs You Have a Problem with Your Toilets and Drains
A Poor Flush
If you have to flush twice for your waste to be gone or if your flush seems sluggish, this is a problem. You could have mineral deposits clogging your siphon jet or a clog deeper down the drain. A plunger and drain cleaner can help to break up waste and deposits if the problem is minor but won’t be effective if the problem is deeper. To check for a deeper clog, fill a 5-gallon bucket of water and dump it into the toilet as fast as possible with minimum splashing. If the flush is more vigorous, it is probably not a clog. If water backs up into the bowl and drains slowly, it is a clog. It’s time for a heavy duty clean.
This problem occurs when your toilet fills without being flushed. You have water leaking into the bowl. Confirm this with a dye test using food coloring. After 10 minutes, check to see if the food coloring shows up in the bowl. It’s likely you will need to replace the flapper or another part in the tank.
When your drain is slow, you likely have an obstruction or clog in your pipe. It might be a small problem that can be fixed quickly. Typically, an obstruction or clog in the line can be addressed with basic drain cleaners. Don’t let it worsen because your problem can escalate as more waste accumulates and weakens the line. If cleaning the drain doesn’t work, your local plumber can use a mechanical snake, airburst drain cleaner, or high pressure jetter to try to remove the obstruction or break up the clog. And if the line is damaged, your plumber can perform repairs.
Another common problem with drains is when you hear a gurgling sound or have a backup. This is often noticeable when you have an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine running or are using another fixture. You will then start to hear gurgling or see water come up in a drain in the same area or even in another room. This is a tell-tale sign that you could have a clog in a secondary line. If you hear gurgling but don’t see problems in other fixtures, you could have a clogged air vent or improperly installed p-trap. Contact your local plumber to determine and fix the problem.
Persistent sewer odors coming from a drain are never a good thing. They can signal major damage in your sewer line. In some cases, your lines might need a good cleaning to break up the waste. But it is more likely that wastes have built up in your line and are now at a point that you need the expertise of a profession. Sewage is filled with nasties that are hazardous to your health and the health of your family. Make sure to get everyone out of an area if you see or smell sewage and call the plumber. In more serious situations, your lines may need repair.
If you have a problem with your toilets and drains, don’t wait to get the problem fixed. High Priority Plumber is available 24/7 for emergencies and can handle all types of plumbing issues. Call our Atlanta office at 770.860.8110 or our Savannah office at 912.373.7707.