Common Drain Problems that Require a Plumber

Fixing a drain problem

Healthy drain pipes should not run slow or clog frequently. Sometimes it may be hard to notice the signs of a drain problem, and when you do, routine use of home drain clearing remedies or over-the-counter chemical products can exacerbate the problem or damage your pipes.

Taking the responsible approach to homeownership often means finding the signs of a drain problem and considering a solution that’s more costly upfront to avoid the higher expenses of chronic, long-term repairs.

Here are common drain problems to look for that require a plumber:

Slow Drains

Healthy pipes should not run slow. When they do it is likely you have a clog. One of the most common clogs is a grease clog. The type of clogs typically develop because of improper drain usage. Many grease clogs form from years of pouring old cooking oils, grease, and other waste down the drain. As with most other types of chronic drain problems, they usually begin with seemingly minor issues. If you find that a pipe consistently runs slowly or frequently backs up, then you may have a grease problem.

These clogs can become ongoing problems as grease accumulates on the inner walls of your drain pipes. More fat, food waste, and other debris can then stick to the existing deposits, creating a severe blockage. You may be able to temporarily clear the worst part of the obstruction with caustic drain cleaners, but the problem will soon return if any of the grease deposits remain behind.

Over-the-counter chemical drain cleaners may be an expedient solution for clogs of this type, but using them repeatedly can damage your pipes. A professional can inspect your drain pipe to determine if grease clogs have caused your problem and then more thoroughly clean them to remove the deposits. Once they are clean, you can prevent future clogs with more careful drain usage.

Frequent Clogs

Another telling sign that you have a drain problem is that you frequently get a clog. This can be from grease, thick food particles, or debris that was tossed in the drain. Shall any of that ring a bell, you will need to reach out to a local plumber for assistance. They can quickly unclog and clean the drain without any damage to your drainage system.

Unpleasant Odors

Do you notice a foul odor? That can potentially be food particles tuck in your drain which can cause a serious drain issue if it is not addressed right away. Not only that, but the smell may attract pests and other critters you do not want in the kitchen. these all can pose a threat to your friends and family so it is best to have this fixed as soon as possible. 

Strange Noises

Another common drain problem you may have encountered was hearing strange sounds from your system. This likely means that one of the pipes is broken or not working as it should. It specifically roots from air flowing by the water in the sink trap, and this issue can be fixed by a licensed plumber.


One of the more obvious signs that you need the help of a plumber is when your drains are flooding or water is shooting back up your sink. This stems from having a clogged drain which causes the water to push back up and out causing the flood. If this is happening, your best bet id reaching out to a local plumbing company to fix it before a bigger plumbing problem arises.

Root Infiltration

Surprisingly, the root of a drain issue may be an actual tree root. Roots tend to seek out sources of moisture, and they can be strong enough to make their way through sewer or septic system plumbing. Roots grow toward pipes that have tiny cracks that allow small amounts of water to seep into the soil. Although these leaks might be too small to cause problems on their own, they can lead to root damage.

Once roots enter a pipe, they will quickly begin to grow out of control. Initial symptoms may include slow-running drains or occasional clogs. These clogs usually develop as waste accumulates around the roots. Typical drain-cleaning solutions may temporarily solve the problem by breaking the blockage free, but they will do nothing to remedy the underlying cause.

If your plumber believes you have a root problem, then they will usually begin by using a drain line inspection camera or similar device to confirm their suspicions. Professional plumbers will then choose an appropriate removal method based on the severity of the problem. In extreme cases, they may need to dig out the root and replace the affected section of plumbing.

Improper Plumbing Installation

Poor plumbing installation can lead to disastrous problems in the future. Your home’s drain pipes must be sloped when running horizontally to prevent waste and debris accumulation. Improperly sloped pipes will clog more often, requiring frequent visits from plumbers and drain cleaners. If the problem is bad enough, the pipe may even cause wastewater to back up into your home.

No easy or cheap solution is available for dealing with a pipe suffering from a back pitch issue, but dealing with the problem sooner rather than later will still save you money. The one-time cost of repairing the slope of your drain line will prevent countless future clogs and may save you from costly interior damage if the line backs up.

Whatever the underlying cause, you shouldn’t live with chronic drain problems. Valley Plumbing can help you to discover and resolve the core issue, saving you time, money, and frustration over the lifetime of your home. Get in touch with us today if you’re ready to get to the root of your drain problems.