It's not abnormal for drains to clog every now and then. Typically, if you plunge the drain or pour some hot water down it, that gets things flowing again. From time to time, however, you should have the sewer lines leading through and out of your home cleaned by a professional service. Here are five signs it's time to schedule this sort of maintenance.
1. Frequent Clogs
If your drains are getting clogged more than a couple of times per year, something is amiss. There may be some grime sticking to pipes further down the line, grabbing onto materials like toilet paper and causing frequent clogs. The clogs will keep coming back if you don't have the sewer pipes cleaned, since plunging only removes the loosest clogging material—not the gunk that's sticking to pipe walls.
2. Nasty Odors
Do you feel like you're in a sewer each time you get a whiff of your drains? There could be some sewage stagnating in the pipe and giving off these odors. Another possibility is that grime in your sewer lines is blocking the sewer vents. As a result of the blockage, odorous gasses have nowhere to escape but through the drains.
3. Gurgling Noises
When your sewer lines are clear and working well, everything should drain down freely and without making a sound. If there's some gurgling and bubbling each time you put water down the drain or flush the toilet, this is not a good sign. There may be a blockage in the sewer vent lines, or there may be a blockage in the sewer lines themselves.
4. Slow Drains
Sometimes, your drains may all still be working, but you'll notice that they've all slowed down in the past few weeks or months. Water may build up in the sink before working its way down, or it may drain slowly if you use more than one drain at once. This could be a sign of a blockage or just sludge lining your sewer pipes in general.
If you ever come into the bathroom and find grime in the bottom of the sink or tub—and you're not sure how it got there—this is a sign that sewage just backed up into the drain. Backups are a sure sign that something is blocking your sewer pipe and needs to be cleared away by a professional.
Contact businesses like Two Men and a Snake for more information about sewer and drain cleaning.