If your older home's plumbing clogs, in some respects, you're not facing a different problem than owners of new homes. But in other ways, cleaning a clogged drain in an older home can be very different. Find out how to tackle a clogged drain and preserve the integrity of your older home's plumbing system.
When It's the Same
Old or new, home plumbing systems can get clogged up due to having too much hair go down the pipes, from soap residue or other buildup. In these cases, it's possible to use a plunger in the sink or clear out the drain trap to get rid of the problem. On occasion, using a plumber's snake can also do the trick.
The problem with these approaches is that a novice - meaning you, the homeowner - has no clue what's really causing the backup. These fixes may work for a while, but your temporary joy over clearing out the clog may be clouding the real source of the problem, which could likely be further down the plumbing pipes.
How Older Homes Are Different
For an older home, you must take more care cleaning a clogged drain due to a number of factors:
- The plumbing system is just plain old. As a result, it's more susceptible to problems like tree root intrusions. Over time, tree roots are drawn to the water source that runs through the pipes. Eventually, as the root gets nutrients and grows, it pushes on the exterior of the pipes, forcing its way through the pipe wall and creating hairline fractures. As time goes by, the roots will grow across the perimeter of the pipe, catching hair and debris thus creating a blockage. No amount of plunging will resolve this problem. You'll need a professional with a drain camera and the right tools to remove the roots without damaging the pipes.
- The plumbing design is poor. Back in the day, plumbing system design wasn't near what it is today. As a result, older home plumbing systems often suffer from sharp pipe angles, which tend to collect debris. If this is the case, you may need to repipe some sections of the home or hire a plumber every year or so to thoroughly clean out all of the pipes.
For professional help cleaning a clogged drain in your older home, contact your local plumbing experts. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.