Common Causes of Slow Drains


Slow drains can be a nightmare and may increase the time you take to complete tasks. For instance, you may take twice the time to wash dishes. Learn about the main reasons why your drains are slow.


Mildew and Mold

Your drains have dark, damp, and warm spaces that can support mildew and mold growth. If water stagnates in the drain, mildew and mold spores could germinate and block the drain. The blockage traps more water and encourages mold and mildew to grow along the drains.


Soap Scum Buildup

Soap scum can enter the drains via kitchen sinks and accumulate in the actual basin. Over time, the soap scum will build up in the drain stopper and the drain itself. Excess soap scum requires regular cleaning to prevent slow drains.


Grease, Oil, and Fat

Tiny amounts of grease and fat can wash down your kitchen drain when you wash kitchen utensils. The tiny amounts will begin to build up on the pipe walls. With time, the grease and fat will combine with other particles to form thick sediments. 


The sediments block water flow and can lead to slow drains. The alternative is to carefully remove grease and fat from utensils and dispose of them in the garbage bin.


Food Scraps

Even if your drain has a garbage disposal unit, keep food scraps from washing down your drain. The garbage disposal unit may only be able to collect and dispose of tiny food crumbs. If the food particles are large, such as rice, pasta, eggshells, coffee grounds, and fruit seeds, they may clog the drain.


Tree Roots

Trees will always grow towards moisture and water. If your sewer pipes have a crack, the leaking water can attract three roots. Tree roots are a major cause of slow drains and sewer main blockage. This problem is more common if your home is in a wooded area or surrounded by many trees.


Once the roots reach the pipes, they can expand the cracks and cause blockage. As a result, you may hear a gurgling sound emanating from your water drains. The solution is to hire a plumber to inspect the pipes and determine the location of the root invasion.


Kleenex and Tissues

Many types of toilet paper have a unique design that helps them decompose after getting wet or flushed down the drains. While Kleenex and tissues are soft, their design doesn’t make them ideal for your drains. The design includes a complex woven that doesn’t easily come apart even when the tissue or Kleenex is wet. Instead, the tissue and the Kleenex can build up in your drains and interfere with the proper movement of water.


Feminine Products

Most feminine products, such as tampons, will expand after becoming wet. If you flush feminine products down your toilets, they can cause clogging. The solution is to follow the usage directions on the package that comes with the product.


Toilet Paper

While this might be surprising, even toilet paper can cause slow drains. The problem usually happens when you flush large amounts of toilet paper at a time. The solution is to be conservative with the amount of toilet paper you use. Also, flush several times to help break the toilet paper apart.


Mineral Buildup

Hard water contains several minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. Some of these minerals may deposit in the drains when the hard water passes along your pipes. Common solutions include using a water softener and hydro jetting your drains.


If you have slow drains, let a professional plumbing company find the cause and fix the problem. At Quality Plumbing, we provide quality plumbing services, drain cleaning, and water heater repair issues. Contact us today to get a quote.