Sink draining slowly
Causes of a slow draining sink
If your kitchen or bathroom sink is draining slowly then it is most likely that there is a blockage in the sewerage line. Kitchen sinks may block up due to grease or oil being disposed of in the sink, soap scum build up or other foreign objects obstructing the pipes.
What to do if you have a slow draining sink
If any household sink is draining slowly or is emitting a foul odour, you should contact a plumber as the pipe will need clearing. They should use a drain camera and high pressure jet rodder to clear the blockage properly. The camera will show them exactly what is causing the blockage. The high pressure jet rodder allows them to clear the blockage with ease. Once the blockage is removed, they should reinsert the camera to be sure your sink will remain trouble free.
The problem with DIY plumbing
Never try to clear a blockage using household chemicals as this will aggravate the problem further. The chemicals will sit behind the blockage and solidify, making it more difficult to clear. As household pipes are generally made from PVC the harsh chemicals will generate heat, potentially corroding or rusting any metal components and damaging rubber seals.
Some people may try to hire an electric eel to clear the blockage themself. Not only is it illegal to use an electric eel if you are not a licenced plumber, but there are risks involved with using them too. A lot of plumbers don’t use the electric eel these days as it has the potential to smash PVC pipes as it goes around the bends. If this happens, dirt and tree roots then enter the pipes and they will need to be relined or dug up to fix it. What initially seemed like a quick, cheap fix can quickly become a big job.
On top of this, only licensed plumbers are qualified to clear blockages. You may be fined up to $12,000 for conducting plumbing work yourself and clearing blocked drains falls under this category. There is a reason for this; plumbers have the correct equipment and training which includes taking necessary safety precautions and understanding how pipes function and are laid.
If you think you can clear a shallow blockage with a plunger, there is no harm in trying. This should be the extent of any DIY plumbing work.
Tips to prevent a slow draining sink caused by a blockage
- Never pour chemicals, hot oil, grease, coffee grounds or food scraps into the kitchen sink.
- Wipe out pots and pans with a paper towel prior to washing them to minimize the amount of grease going into the pipes
- Use drain screens to catch any solid materials such as hair, food and soap residue and clean them out on a regular basis