Troubleshoot Your Plumbing: Common Toronto Drain Problems and How to Fix Them

Kitchen sink backed up and filled with dirty water

Got a problem with your Toronto home’s plumbing? Do you keep putting it off?

If you think you can ignore a slow drain or a little leak, think again. These smaller things can lead to bigger issues, like pipe damage or flooding.

Water damage is an increasingly common insurance claim. The good news is that there are cheap options you can do to help prevent flood damage.

What if your issue doesn't get out of control? Maybe you just have one leaky faucet in the guest bathroom that you'll get to some other day.

That can end up costing you a lot over the year. Up to 10% of homes have a leak that wastes almost 100 gallons a day. That's a lot of cash that's drip, drip dripping away!

Troubleshooting plumbing problems can seem daunting, and there's always an appropriate time to call a professional. There are, however, a few tasks you can take on by yourself.

Today we're going to look at a few common drain problems and what you can do to solve them.

What Happens With A Clogged Toilet

Let's start right off the bat with one of the most common plumbing drainage problems you'll come across at least once in your life - the clogged toilet.

There are many reasons why your toilet will clog. The most common is the improper disposal of materials that don't easily break down in the toilet plumbing system.

Here's a common list of items people flush down instead of throwing them away in a bin. Are you guilty of flushing any of these?

  • Baby wipes

  • Cotton swabs and cotton rounds

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Dental floss

Pretty much if it's not toilet paper, it doesn't go down the drain. So what can you do when your toilet stops up?

Troubleshoot a Toilet Clog

First, grab your plunger. Make sure that you're using the right one, though!

There is a type of plunger with a cap over the suction section that's made just for toilets. The accordion plunger is also a safe bet. The common type of plunger -- with just a small red rubber cap -- is best for sinks.

If plunging doesn't work, you'll have to go to a snake or an auger to break up the blockage. If both of these things still don't fix the plumbing clog, it's time to call in a pro.

Bathroom and Kitchen Sink Clog

The next two areas that see a lot of action and are likely to stop up are your bathroom and kitchen sinks.

Bathroom sinks get a lot of hair, cosmetics, and skin flakes down their drains. Kitchen sinks get cooking oil, food, and soap scum.

You can break them both up with the same method: hot water, soap, and a plunger. Here's how:

  • Pour very hot water down the drain.

  • Add soap and wait for a few minutes to give it time to dissolve the clog.

  • Break out the drain plunger and see if you can get it unclogged.

If it doesn't work the first time, try the cycle once more. Still no luck? You can try a chemical drain opener, just use it with caution. These chemicals can be dangerous and toxic.

One Versus Many Drain Problems

Do you have one drain backing up or do you have several? Both of these mean different things and have different ways of fixing them.

If you've just got one drain problem, that means there's a plumbing clog in just that area. You can probably undo it with a few of the methods we've mentioned before.

Have multiple plumbing drainage problems, especially in the same area of the house? That's a bigger job to tackle.

One of your vent lines or branches has an obstruction. You'll have to use either a pressure device or an auger that can reach three to five feet to dislodge it.

Clogs That Come Back

So you had a clog, cleared it, and life went on. But then, much like a zombie in a B movie, it just won't go away.

There are a few things you can do to make sure you get rid of the problem for good and there are no more bad sequels.

First, determine what keeps causing the clog. Sometimes, it's just a matter of what the drain is used for.

For example, if you keep pulling out tons of hair from your shower drain, you can solve that problem easily. Just purchase a small rubber hair catcher that can prevent the plumbing clog from coming back.

A little bit of TLC, like pouring hot water down your kitchen drain along with some soap even when there's not a clog, will help prevent issues, too.

If you really can't get rid of the problem, it's time to call in a professional.

Odors From The Drains

Stinky drains are a common issue, and one you want to tackle fast. Here are a few tips and tricks to deal with this odorous issue.

Sometimes a smelly drain is caused by rotting food or build-up inside the pipe. Try pouring vinegar and baking soda into the drain to see if it takes care of the issue. Let it sit for a while, then flush it with hot tap water.

Detach the P-trap and see if anything is stuck in it. Sometimes it just needs a good cleaning to make the smells go away.

Haven't used a sink for a while? There might be water lingering inside of it that's gathering bacteria or slowly evaporating. Simply run the tap every once in a while or use some bleach on it.

If All Else Fails, Call In The Pros

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to clear drain problems on your own. Many of them are inexpensive and will take care of the issue fairly quickly.

While it's empowering to be able to deal with minor plumbing issues by yourself, sometimes the problem is bigger than you can handle. At that point, you need to call in the pros.

Luckily, Mr. Rooter Plumbing Toronto is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our emergency line any time and we'll take care of your plumbing problems!

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