If your kitchen sink drain seems to back up on a daily or weekly basis, despite all your efforts to minimize the amount of grease and detritus that makes its way through the strainer, you may be wondering whether you should attempt a DIY repair or simply call the plumber to have your drain professionally cleaned or replaced. Chronically clogged drains can have several causes, all of which are fairly easily repaired. Read on to learn more about some of the common causes of drain clogs that don't stay gone and how you'll want to go about fixing this issue for good.
What can cause drains to quickly reclog?
There are a few different things that can cause a drain to work nearly perfectly one day and back up with water the next. If the bulk of material clogging your drain is highly absorbent, it may expand when it contacts water, then shrink when it dries. This means your drain may seem to work for short bursts of water or even a few seconds of a steady stream, only clogging after prolonged exposure to water.
In other cases, you may have an extra-narrow P-trap or an awkward curve in your drain pipe that is causing clogs to form deep within your pipe. These deep clogs can often create the appearance, if not the reality, of a functioning drain, making it seem as though your drain is in working order for a few minutes before it suddenly stops allowing water flow. Unfortunately, not much can be done to limit the clogging of a misshapen pipe if you're already taking steps to maximize flow, which is largely why your DIY unclogging efforts may seem to be ineffective.
What are your best repair options?
The use of household drain cleaners and even physical devices designed to unclog drains can sometimes result in a temporary fix, but are unlikely to resolve deeper drain clogs that have taken years or even decades to create. Instead, you'll need to pinpoint the primary issue and work to fix it directly.
If your P-trap is narrow or the pipes under your sink are in an awkward position to allow for drainage, you may want to consider replacing the P-trap or even rerouting your pipes. Often, under-sink plumbing can be several decades older than the sink itself, and the plumbing of previous generations often isn't quite enough to handle the drainage needs of today's larger sinks. In other cases, the addition of a garbage disposal to a drain that isn't quite equipped to handle the extra grease and chopped food and organic waste can lead to clogs even if you're careful to not put too much down the disposal.
Rerouting your pipes to straighten any narrow twists and turns or replacing your P-trap with a larger one that can accommodate a greater flow of water and solids may be all you'll need to keep your drains free-flowing for years to come. Handy homeowners who have access to some tools can often DIY this repair, although having it professionally performed can save you a weekend and a load of laundry.
On the other hand, if your drain clog appears to be due to a clog deep within your pipes, your best bet is to contact a local plumber who has the specialized equipment necessary to break this clog loose and send it on its way. The use of high-powered hoses, augers, and telescopic cameras can allow your plumber to visually identify the clog and destroy it without the use of chemicals that can throw your septic system off-balance or add caustic content to your local sewers.
For more information, visit a website such as http://www.LewisPlumbingSantaBarbara.com.