If you use the drains in your home multiple times per day, you probably don't think anything of it. Water goes down the drain, and then into the larger drain pipes, and then into the public sewer lines. It's simple, really — but it does not always work! Sometimes, drains get clogged with grease, hair, food particles, or even just soap scum and lint. When this occurs, your drains need to be cleaned. But what signs indicate your drains are in need of cleaning? That can all be boiled down to the "Three S's."
#1: Slow drainage.
When you turn on the water in a sink or bath tub, the water should go straight down the drain. You should not see any pooling of water in the sink or tub, even if you let the water run for a while. If the sink or tub does hold water, then your drain can be said to be "slow." In other words, something is keeping water from flowing down the drain.
When you notice one drain is pooling water, you should do a little investigating. Try the other drains in your home, and see if any of them are slow, too. If you have just one slow drain, then that one drain probably just needs cleaning. If multiple drains are slow, then there may be debris or a blockage in one of the larger pipes that all of those drains empty into.
#2: Smelly odors.
Another sign that your drains need cleaning is smelly, unpleasant odors. This occurs when the material that is causing the clog starts rotting or molding. If the odor reminds you of fungus or mold, you may have soap scum in the drain. If the smell is rancid, then you may have a clog comprised of grease and food particles. Pouring some bleach or vinegar down the drain can fight these odors in the short term, but you will want a drain cleaning service to come remove the actual clogging material so the smells do not return.
#3: Suspicious sounds.
The third major sign your drains need cleaning is gurgling or bubbling sounds. This indicates that the water is hitting a blockage and then having to chug past that blockage. There could also be a blockage in the sewer vent pipes, which is something a drain cleaning service can also fix for you.
Whether you notice one, two, or three of these signs, your drains need cleaning. Call a service sooner rather than later. This problem only gets worse if ignored. For more information about drain cleaning, contact a local service provider.