Do you have a drain that has been slow for a while, but not plugged enough to inspire you to do something about it? While it might seem like a waste of time to address the problem while water is still flowing down the drain, this really is in your best interest. A slow drain might be an indication of a bigger problem, such as a clog in your main sewer line or a backed up septic tank. At the very least, ignoring it could lead to unwanted odors in your home and a more difficult time removing the clog in the future.

How to Address a Slow Drain

When a drain starts draining slowly, the first suspect is the drain itself and the small pipes leading to it. To clear a clog in these areas, all you typically need to do is fill the sink or tub with water, and then plunge away. Resist the urge to pour chemical drain cleaner down the drain, as this isn't very good for your pipes.  If the problem is caused by a clog in a larger pipe, the drain cleaner might just build up behind the clog and sit there, eroding your pipes.

If plunging does not clear the drain, head to your local hardware store and buy a pipe snake. This is a long, wire-like apparatus that can be used to fish gunk out of your drains. Use it according to package instructions. If you pull a lot of gunk and hair out of your drain and it now runs clearly, you can relax – you've fixed the problem, and you now have a pipe snake to use when it happens again.

What To Do When the Clog Won't Budge

If you're unable to get the drain to drain properly after plunging and using the pipe snake, there's a good chance your slow drain is being caused by a bigger problem. You should be especially concerned if more than one drain in your home is slow, as this can indicate a blockage in a larger drainage pipe.

Calling a plumber might seem silly for a problem as small as a slow drain, but now really is the time to do so. If you wait, you might find yourself dealing with a sewage leak or overflowing septic tank, which is not sanitary and is surely more costly to fix than a slight clog.

Slow drains happen. They're simply a fact of life, and most of the time, they can be easily cleared if you just take a few minutes to plunge and snake your drain. Because of the small chance that the problem could be something worse, however, you should never ignore a slow drain.

For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact RK Knight Plumbing or a similar company.