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7 Causes of Slow Drains (and How to Fix Them)

There are a number of benefits to having a septic system rather than having municipal sewer lines. However, septic systems require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure that they are working properly.

If you are experiencing slow drains and have a septic system, it either means an issue with your system or a clog in the pipes. Let’s take a look at seven different potential causes for slow drains when you have a septic system.

What Are Common Signs That Your Septic System Has a Problem?

Slow drains are one of the common signs that you are having a septic system issue. This might mean that water is draining slowly from your sinks, bathtub, shower, or elsewhere in your home.

Here are some of the other signs that your septic system is having problems:

  • A gurgling sound from your sink or tub when the toilet is flushed
  • Water puddles on your lawn
  • Water backing up in tubs, toilets, and sinks
  • The smell of sewage outside of your home

No one wants to have septic system problems. Catching the issue early can ensure that you don’t have to worry about using your septic system or about unsanitary consequences.

1. Overuse of the System

The size of the septic system installed in your home is related to how many bedrooms are in the house and how much use is expected. If the septic system is being overused, it can cause slow drains in the home. Overuse can either mean too many people have been living in the property and utilizing the system or the residence has been using too much water.

2. Delay in or Lack of Pumping, Inspection, or Maintenance

It’s important to perform regular maintenance and inspection of the septic system. If a septic tank becomes too full, the effluent flow will be restricted by the rising water level inside.

3. It Rained a Lot Recently

If you are wondering “why am I drains running slow?” And your area that a substantial amount of rain recently, it’s possible that the drain field is just not able to drain efficiently at the moment. If the ground is saturated with water, it means that the ground might not be able to absorb any more water right away.

If this is the cause of your slow drains, you simply have to wait for the ground to dry a little more. In the meantime, limit how much water you put down the drains as much as possible.

4. You’ve Used a Lot of Water Recently

If you are drain issues only started happening recently, you may be experiencing a temporary backup. This can happen when a lot of water has entered into the system to quickly. If a bunch of family members just took showers or you just as multiple loads of laundry, this could be the cause.

Do you have an emergency septic situation? You can learn more about our emergency septic services here.

5. Slow Drains Caused By Clogged Hair

Sometimes so drains in the home are caused by something clogging the pipes.

Human hair commonly contributes to slowly draining drains or clogs, particularly in the bathtub, shower, laundry, and bathroom drains. This is also true of other stringy material like dental floss and animal fur.

Hair is particularly likely to clog or slow a drain because of the way that it can not up and catch other substances in its web.

To fix this problem, the first thing you want to do is try plunging. You can also try using a drain cleaner, but it’s important to know that if these are used regularly, they can cause damage to your pipes. For a safer alternative, you can make your own drain cleaner using vinegar and baking soda.

If a clog is particularly stubborn, you might need to use a plumber’s snake.

To help prevent the situation from occurring, you can use a hair strainer drain guard and clean it regularly.

6. Clogged By Grease, Oil, and Fat

Blockages in your pipes can be caused by grease, oil, and sat solidifying in the pipes. It is not enough to run hot water if you are pouring fat into your drains.

If you end up with a clog due to oil and grease, the first thing you can try is plunging. The next thing you can try if this doesn’t work is to mix hot water and detergent and poured down the drain. This can help to dissolve the oil that has solidified.

Next, after pouring the mixture down the drain, you can try to plunge again. If the solution does not work, then you might need to use a commercial drain cleaning product.

To prevent this from happening, wipe up small amounts of oil and throw it away or onto your compost pile. When you have larger amounts of fat, you can let them solidified in a jar on your counter before throwing them away.

7. Other Slow Drain Causes: Clogged By Soap, Diapers and Wipes, Food Waste, and More

There are a number of different things that can clog your drains and cause your drains to run slowly. Even something like so can build up soap scum in your pipe, reducing its diameter and slowing down the speed at which water drains.

Food waste is a common cause of the slowly draining kitchen sinks. Even if you have a garbage disposal, foods can still clog your pipes.

Diapers and wipes should never be flushed down the toilet, but sometimes it still happens. These can easily block your pipes.

Is It Time to Get Your Water System Looked At?

Slow drains might just be a clogged pipe, or it could indicate that your septic system is having issues. Either way, clearing up the problem is essential to ensure that your septic system is operating properly and that further damage isn’t done.

Is it time for you to get your septic system looked at? At Blair & Norris, we offer septic tank cleaning, pumping and more. You can learn more about our septic system services here.

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