It’s not uncommon for a bird building its nest to cause havoc in your plumbing. It might sound strange at first, but that’s because most homeowners don’t know much about the vent system that helps their drains function. At Tioga Contractors, serving the Bedford, TX area, we’re glad to help you understand what’s going on with your plumbing system when we come to fix it. In this case, if your home drain system has been experiencing clogs and backups more often than you might expect, there might be a problem that goes beyond simple material stuck in the lines, and your drain cleaning service may make this strange comment or something similar. There are advantages to having a professional plumber take a look at your drains and other plumbing problems since some issues are inherent in your plumbing system design and construction, or from unexpected influences such as your plumbing vent system. Here are some common and not-so-common causes of drain problems that homeowners might not be aware of, and that professional plumbers know all too well, problems that are important for your drain cleaning service to be able to recognize.
A Bird’s Nest in the Vent Pipe
Some diagnoses are more challenging to explain to the homeowner than others, and since the plumbing vent system typically goes unnoticed by the average homeowner, this one can be difficult. The issue is a matter of physics: when gravity helps your wastewater and other material go down to your sewer, there’s “negative pressure,” kind of like a vacuum, that is created in the pipes from the suction of material flowing away. To relieve that negative pressure and also to safely release any sewer gases accumulating in your drains, the vent system is installed, usually on your roof, to let air flow in and allow sewer gas to escape. These days, there are many types of vent mechanisms, so your plumber or expert drain cleaning service technician can explain what your home has. It’s quite possible for most systems to become blocked, and one common source of blockage is a bird who has found the warmth and convenient location of your plumbing vent pipe to be a great place to build a nest. In addition to complete blockages of your drain system that seem like clogs, partial obstruction by the nest can lead to gurgling sounds when your sink empties or your toilet flushes. Because of the risk of messy and potentially infectious backups as well as dangerous sewer gas accumulation indoors, a blocked plumbing vent system is a plumbing emergency that should be tended to right away.
Just the Right Amount of Slope
It’s important for your home’s drain lines to have a bit of a tilt so that your water and waste flow well. Without this required slope, there will be material lingering in the pipes, producing foul sewer gas whose odors may return up through your drains in addition to exiting through the plumbing vents. This material may be the start of a clog, building further down the line where it’s harder for your drain cleaning service to address it. The slope requirement is not much, but it makes a big difference, and sometimes in replacing plumbing or even in new construction, somebody doesn’t remember to include it. This is another reason why a professional plumber or a well-informed drain technician is important for your drain service, as it too can be an unexpected influence on what might seem to be a simple clogged drain problem. You might also make frequent drain service calls if your pipes have too much slope, as there’s a range that’s just right and if you go too far, you get the water flowing freely downhill but too fast to carry solid waste with it. This leads to, you guessed it, material gathering in the pipes, creating clogs, and leading to problems that any drain cleaning service can fix on a periodic basis, but only ones that know what to look for can diagnose and suggest a long-term fix for.
Snakes and Vermin in Your Toilet
Some creatures in the Bedford, TX area just go where they’re comfortable without much consideration, and your toilet, usually cool and moist, can be a welcoming place for snakes and vermin, rats and mice, to cool off and get a drink. The same goes for sinks, tubs, and showers, but the toilet has the best chance of getting blocked by one of these as sinks and showers often have strainers to block objects from falling down them. Ask your plumber or drain cleaning service provider, and you’ll probably hear some interesting stories about what they found when they cleaned a particularly blocked line. You have to be ready for anything in the drain cleaning service business!
Cement and Kitty Litter
Occasionally a homeowner will try to block an unused drain with cement, a good idea in terms of keeping backups and sewer gas from creating big problems, but cement doesn’t always stay where it is intended to go. Just as water and sludge can back up into another sink or toilet, so the cement can wind up flowing into frequently used drains, creating unexpected drain cleaning service calls. It can be kind of awkward when the technician realizes something really challenging is blocking this particular drain. For pet owners, too, kitty litter down the drain is a really bad idea, whether toilet, sink, or otherwise because it tends to become like cement. Some “clumping” brands are even designed to absorb moisture and harden, another expensive plumbing fix that few people would have anticipated.
Your Full-Service Plumber and Drain Cleaning Service
Serving Bedford, TX, and the surrounding area, our Tioga Contractors technicians and expert plumbers have seen a lot and are the perfect choice for tending your home’s drains. If you have plumbing issues or drain problems, call us today.
Photo By DiveIvanov at Shutterstock