Tureks Plumbing Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Slow Drains’

How to Speed up Slow Drains

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

slow drains

Solutions to Slow Drains 2021

There are plenty of plumbing problems that don’t seem like they need to be fixed immediately. For example, a faucet that drips or even slow drains in your home. Most Fox Valley homeowners will wait until it gets much worse before taking action. As your local plumber, trust us when we say fix the problem before it becomes an even bigger problem. This is especially true with slow drains — when water in your sinks, tube, or toilets is moving slowly, we encourage you to pay attention to that. If you have a chemical drain cleaner that doesn’t seem to solve the issue or the issue returns within a few weeks, that is a sign there is something in your main sewer line that is causing the problem. In this article, our Tureks Plumbing team shares how to speed up slow drains in your home

When To Call A Local Plumber

Most emergency plumbers will tell you that slow drains should never be dealt with lightly because they are usually in the early stages of a serious and complex plumbing issue. What may eventually happen is all of your plumbing fixtures will back up and possibly become unusable when slow drains are ignored. Slow drains could mean that there’s a growing buildup in your drain, and when there’s a buildup of anything, there’s always a risk of damage to the plumbing structure.

Slow Drains Aren’t Safe

Also, clogs can cause widespread contamination. Say, your kitchen sink won’t drain quickly; germs and bacteria from the drain and the sink will just settle and breed there. That area of your home will stink, and fungus and other unsavory elements might grow. Our friends at McQuillan Bros, who offers Twin Cities Plumbing services, agree that those experiencing slow drains are creating a bigger problem than just an inconvenience. It’s important to hire a professional if you continue to experience slow drains. 

Slow Drains Are Frustrating

That’s not the only inconvenience you’ll have to deal with; naturally, you won’t be able to use your kitchen sink for washing dishes and all the other tasks you normally use it for. Your routine will have to change, and that can affect your quality of life at home.

However, slow drains shouldn’t make your life difficult because they’re very easy to solve. Any emergency plumber can take care of this issue and restore the proper working order of your plumbing system. Whatever the reason behind it may be, the best plumbing professionals have a collection of effective solutions ready.

May Need Drain Cleaning 

For clogs in the drain pipes, emergency plumbers in the Fox Valley area use a specialized sewer camera to examine the root of the clog and to pinpoint its exact location. In an attempt to solve the problem of slow drains, they use everything from a high-pressure water jetter, to an auger, to a variety of special plumbers tools to quickly dislodge food debris, soap scum, and other buildups so wastewater can flow away from the house quickly. This is usually done from the main sewer clean-out located on the outside of your home. 

That’s not all plumbers do when they take care of slow drains and get rid of blockages in the sewer lines. They also inspect the structural integrity of the plumbing system to see if there are other issues present that may be contributing to the faulty performance of the system or issues that have developed as a result of the initial plumbing problem. For example, pipe corrosion, or something like tree root damage that may impact your sewer system. Ask Tureks Plumbing about our trenchless sewer drain repair services.

Contact Tureks Plumbing in Appleton, WI

If you’re dealing with slow drains, that’s a real problem that you need to address appropriately — right away. Call in the pros and put an end to the inconvenience it creates. If you are in need of an experienced plumber or drain cleaning service in Fox Valley, give Turek’s Plumbing a call, we are here to solve your plumbing problems and earn your business. 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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Slow Drain Septic System Problems

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Slow Drain Septic System Problems: Signs, Causes, and How to Fix Them

The bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in your home since different types of bacteria can be found here. Once you have a drainage or septic system problem, you will consider your toilet even more unsanitary and a hassle to use.

Signs of a Septic System Issue

Septic system problems are more common in houses and buildings that have already been in use for many years. Some of the signs that indicate you already have this kind of plumbing problem are:

  • Water is draining slowly from the shower, bathtub, sink, and other areas
  • The sound of gurgling from the tub or sink when a toilet is flushed
  • Water backing up in toilets, tubs, and sinks
  • Water puddles on the grounds on your lawn
  • The smell of sewage odors outdoors

Possible Causes

There are several reasons why you have a problematic or slow drain septic system. The most common one is the overuse of the system. This means that too many people are using or too much water is being used in the household or building that the usage has gone beyond the system’s capacity.

Another common cause of this problem is the lack of or delay in inspection, maintenance, and pumping. Once your septic tank becomes full, the filter in the outlet baffle will start to plug. This plugging action will cause the water level inside the tank to rise which will restrict the flow of effluent.

Finally, your septic system may not be working properly if something is clogging the pipes or drains. Grease, food, certain sanitary products, toys, or even pieces of clothes can be stuck somewhere in the pipes and cause the slow drain or the system’s malfunction.

Getting Things Back to Normal

If the reason behind your slow drain problem is a blockage, you can remove the clog by using some tools at home. However, harder clogs and blockages will require the use of a plumbing snake; in such instances, it is best to call in experts to do the job to avoid further damaging your plumbing and septic system.

Calling in professional plumbers at the onset of a problem is always a smart idea since the contractors will know how and where to identify the issue quickly. In case you have slow draining fixtures, plumbers will check the drain-vent system. If the problem is in this area, they have the expertise, tools, and equipment to fix the issue. Also, if you already have a failed septic system, qualified plumbers will be able to detect this easily. Depending on the particular problem and design of your system, the professional plumbers will give you sound advice on whether it is best to have your system repaired or replaced.

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What to do when you have an overflowing toilet

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What You Need to Do to Stop It

You go to the bathroom to do some personal business. But lo and behold, the toilet is overflowing.

The toilet overflowing is a serious plumbing emergency that requires prompt action. Otherwise, if you allow the toilet to continue to overflow, you will be left with a bigger mess to clean up. Furthermore, you risk damaging your property.

Here are some of the things that you need to do.

The first and most important thing that you need to take care of is to stop the flow of the water going to the toilet bowl. To do that, you will need to find the main shutoff valve of the toilet. This is usually found on the bathroom wall, next to the toilet.

In some cases, the main shutoff valve is found beneath the tiles on the bathroom floor or wall. If you cannot see any visible shutoff valve near the toilet, it is highly likely that it is embedded on the wall or floor. The next best thing that you can do is to shut off your home’s main water valve. When your plumber arrives, be sure to ask him about relocating the main shutoff valve of the toilet to a more visible and convenient location.

Once the main shutoff valve has been turned off and the water has stopped from overflowing, the next thing that you can do is to clear the clog and accumulated water.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to turn the main shutoff valve because it is rarely used and because of the accumulation of rust. You can prevent this by turning the valve every time you clean the bathroom. It also helps to apply lubricant to the valve.

If you can’t find the main shutoff valve, it won’t budge, or if you do not want to turn off all of the water supply in your home, the next best thing to do is to open the toilet tank.

If the flapper is open, close it. This should stop the water from overflowing. However, if the flapper is closed or if you are unable to close it, the next thing you need to do is to find the float ball and lift it. The main function of the float ball is to stop the flow of water once it reaches a certain level. You may need to prop it up to allow it to stay in position and stop the water from continuously overflowing.

If you have an overflowing toilet, contact one of our Appleton, WI plumbers today!

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Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Issues

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Consistent sanitary practices must start in the home. Proper waste management must be observed by each and every household member, and this includes the proper usage of the garbage disposal installed under the sink.

What is a garbage disposal?

It is a device installed under the kitchen sink necessary for shredding food and grinding other waste into very tiny pieces, allowing them to pass through the sewerage system.

Essential parts and function of a garbage disposal

  • Hopper Chambers – There are two parts: the upper chamber for storing food waste straight from the sink, and the lower chamber for collecting shredded and pulverized garbage.
  • Insulated Motor – This is necessary for spinning the flywheel and impellers fast enough to obtain processed garbage. This is generally connected to the electrical switch for ease and safety.
  • Shredder Ring – This is the teeth-like shredder located right after the upper hopper chamber. It is the garbage disposal blade.
  • Flywheel and Impellers – These two main parts are responsible for bringing the food waste to the shredder ring. They work hand in hand with the shredder ring to efficiently grind and pound the garbage.
  • Reset button – This is found underneath the device. It plays a very crucial role in troubleshooting an overheated garbage disposal unit.
  • Waste Line Connector – This is where the processed garbage passes through when flushed down the sewer or septic system.

What to do when things go wrong?

When you are well-informed about the different parts and functions of your unit, you’ll generally know how to troubleshoot simple and common garbage disposal issues such as overheating, clogging or jamming, and having no power at all.

It is also recommended that you become aware of the warning signals that your disposal is unable to function properly. Signs include a foul odor, leaks, and a strange noise coming from the unit.

Determine if the problem can be fixed with simple troubleshooting or if it requires professional help.

An overheating garbage disposal unit may simply require pushing the reset button. If resetting doesn’t work, check the source of power. Something might have gone wrong with the circuit breaker.

A jammed garbage disposal can be fixed by helping the impellers move. Before touching the inside of the unit, turn off the circuit breaker for safety. Then you can proceed and try to dislodge the blockage underneath.

A foul odor indicates that the unit may be clogged or blocked. It means that the unit is unable to do its function of grinding food waste into pieces, which is why they don’t get flushed down the drain. This may also indicate that the blades or shredder aren’t sharp enough. Situations like these will need professional services.

Finally, a strange noise and water leaks must also be checked immediately by trained professionals as these signs indicate a much more serious problem. Call us today if you’re having a problem!

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Common Plumbing Issues

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Out of sight, out of mind.

Your home’s plumbing system is quietly working in the background, bringing you fresh water when you need it and disposing of waste water.

In an ideal scenario, your home’s plumbing system should be just that, all the time: working quietly and efficiently. But in the real world, plumbing issues can arise when you least expect them.

What are the most common plumbing problems homeowners may face at one time or another?

According to many plumbers, one of the leading issues faced by homeowners are clogs. Clogs can occur in the sewer, sink or bathtub. And although clogs may seem like a large problem, in most cases, these are not.

Toilets often back up. Your garbage disposal system can cause the sink to clog. Fortunately, most of these can be easily prevented by avoiding throwing large foreign objects into the sink, tub, and toilet. And in most cases, a clog can be undone with the aid of your trusty plunger.

However, there are instances wherein you will need some professional assistance.

For example, in severe situations, pipes may need to be replaced or walls or floorings may need to be torn down.

Another common problem homeowners face is related to the sewer and septic tank. This is one problem that, more often than not, requires the attention of professional plumbers. Apart from the stench, septic tank issues can cause damage to your property and cause health problems for your family.

Some septic tank-related problems can stem from clogs. In other cases, the problem arises form issues related to a section of the system’s pipes.

Whatever problem you may be facing, it is critical that you act as quickly as possible.

That can be as simple as using a plunger to unclog your toilet or calling in professional plumbers to assist you.

This is why it is important that you find a reliable plumber who can attend to emergencies even before you need one. Remember: Every second that your plumbing issue is left unattended and unsolved, the more likely that the problem will worsen and become complicated, resulting in further damage and added costs.

Do yourself a big favor and conduct your search for a trustworthy plumber as soon as you possibly can; this way, you won’t be scrambling to find one when you actually need a plumber, or settle for the first one who answers your call during a plumbing emergency.

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7 Ways to Effectively Prevent and Clear Clogs in Your Drain

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Clogs in the drain are household inconveniences that can be avoided. Since many are easily disgusted by the backflow of murky water caused by a clog in its usual path, it’s important to know what shouldn’t be done in order to prevent these blockages from building up inside drains.

As such, professional plumbers in Wisconsin have listed seven effective ways to prevent clogs below, as well as solutions to clogged drains that you can apply.

Don’t pour cooking grease into the sink.

It may be liquid in form when you pour it in, but an instant change in temperature can cause it to solidify. In Wisconsin, where it’s often cold, grease poured down the sink will harden in drain tubes right away, according to professional plumbers who service Applegate and Fox Valley residents.

Don’t dump coffee grounds in the sink.

Sure, these won’t harden in the drains and can be pushed down by the strong flow of water, but they can build up over time, especially if they get caught in hardened grease.

Don’t flush hair down your bathroom drains.

Hair doesn’t deteriorate and it can get entangled with the different elements present in your drain. Use a drain cover and throw away hair in the trash instead. It’s nasty, but what’s nastier is fishing out a huge hairball from your drain that’s preventing water from flushing away from your house.

If grease is already clogging your drain, the quickest solution to use is boiling hot water.

The hot temperature will turn grease into liquid again and it will mix with hot water and flow down the drain easily.

Another solution for clogs created by grease and soap scum is a solution of baking soda and vinegar.

This solution will corrode clogs and clear the drain. Not only that, baking soda and vinegar have disinfecting properties too, so if your drains are getting to be really stinky, the solution can take care of that as well.

To get rid of soap scum and hair, you can also try lye.

If you’re not familiar with lye, it’s a chemical that is used to perm the hair and it’s also used for soaps. Since it’s potent enough to alter the shape of or even burn hair, it’s effective in dissolving clogs in the drain. Make sure that you only use a small amount of lye because it’s a caustic substance.

For clogged garbage disposals, try filling an ice cube tray with equal parts of vinegar and water. Freeze the mixture of vinegar and water, and when you have ice cubes, dump them in the garbage disposal. The acidity from the vinegar will clean the drain and its chips will scrape grease off the drain walls. 

If you’re suffering from a clogged drain, schedule an appointment with us today!

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What Not To Put Down Your Drain

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

There are simple things that you do can do to prevent a clogged drain.

In a landmark study undertaken by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2002, it was discovered that wastewater coming from residential, agricultural and industrial sources contained low levels of human and veterinary drugs, natural and synthetic hormones, insecticides, fire retardants, detergent metabolites, and plasticizers.

Of these chemicals listed, one or more were found in 80 percent of the streams which were a part of the study. Furthermore, half of the streams were found to contain seven or more of these chemicals. Roughly a third of the streams contained 10 or more of the aforementioned chemicals.

Quite simply, this means that homeowners, farmers, and industries have contributed greatly to water pollution which does not only undermine water quality, but also adversely affects fish and wildlife.

In the residential setting, plumbers regularly caution homeowners about throwing foreign objects down the drain as these can clog pipes and cause unnecessary damage, not only to the plumbing system but in other parts of the house as well.

But according to the Watership Environment Foundation, the consequences of throwing foreign objects down the drain causes far-ranging effects beyond your home. According to the foundation, throwing foreign objects down the drain can also lead to health problems and environmental problems.

Plumbers say that homeowners should not treat the drain like a trash can and list what not to put down your drain.

These include:

  • Sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Baking goods
  • Food scraps
  • Lard
  • Shortening
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine

Throwing these down the drain facilitates the blockage in the sewer pipes when grease sticks to these. And once the grease continues to build up, it can block the optimal flow of water.

Expert plumbers advise against throwing grease down in either sinks or toilets. Homeowners should also make it a habit to scrape off food particles and grease from plates, pots, pans and other cooking utensils and implements. Invest in a strainer or basket and install one in the sink drain to catch solids and empty these into the trash can.

Other items that should not be thrown down the drain or toilet include:

  • Used oils
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grinds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Condoms
  • Flammable substances
  • Medications
  • Acidic or caustic substances
  • Rags
  • Solvents, paints, polish remover, turpentine and similar products.

If you have a clogged drain, contact us today to set up an appointment!

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Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Do Not Flush These Objects Into Your Toilet

There are only two things that need to be flushed down a toilet: human waste and regular toilet paper.

There is one reason why a clogged toilet is one of the leading plumbing problems in a household. People throw things into the toilet that they shouldn’t.

Some people think of the toilet as another trash can where they can dispose of anything they like. But when you throw foreign objects into the toilet, you will not only cause clogs in the toilet. Apart from that, you can experience other problems like damage to the septic tank and pollution. Furthermore, you will need to spend money to fix these problems.

What are the objects that you should not throw into the toilet?

Food and cooking oil/grease

Some homeowners think that it is all right to throw grease into the toilet because it is a liquid. However, grease can congeal when it cools down. And when that happens, the solidified grease can clog the pipes.

Cleaning pads and wet wipes

Plumbers from around the country have seen a marked increase in toilet clogs and backups in sewage pipes. The culprit? Wet wipes.

Instead of throwing used wipes into the toilet, find a trash can and throw these there.

Dental floss

Dental floss is non-biodegradable. Over time, as more of this item accumulates in the toilet, it can cause clogs.

Cotton balls and Q-tips

Cotton does not break down after you flush it down the toilet. Instead, it accumulates and forms clumps which then cause clogs, especially in areas where the pipes bend.


Diapers expand when these are put underwater, making them difficult to flush down toilets. However, if you manage to flush one, it can get caught in the bend of the pipe and cause a clog.

Expired pills

If you find expired pills in your medicine cabinet, do not flush these down the toilet. Although these will not cause the toilet to clog, it can cause water pollution. And when the water you flush down the toilet finds its way to the groundwater supply, it can harm wildlife.

Tissues and paper towels

If you prefer to use paper towels and tissues, do not throw these into the toilet. Unlike regular toilet papers, these do not dissolve in the water.

Cigarette butts

If you must smoke in a bathroom, dispose of your cigarette butts properly. When you throw cigarette butts into the toilet, these will simply float on the water. And when the water flushed down the toilet gets to the groundwater supply, that water will be loaded with lots of harmful chemicals.

Have a clogged toilet? Contact us for help!

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Slow Drains Could Be a Sign of a Larger Problem

Friday, March 18th, 2016


Fox Valley Plumber FAQ

Slow Drains in my Appleton, MI Home

Slow drains are often caused by the accumulation of debris, hair and soap scum. If you notice that the water in the shower or kitchen drain, or the sink in your kitchen or bathroom, isn’t going down as quickly as it used to, you should act fast before the problem worsens.

Often, the best solution to a slow drain is to remove the hair and debris that have accumulated. For this task, you can use a pair of needle nose pliers or a clothes hanger bent into a hook shape. After removing the debris blocking the drain, you should run hot water down the drain. In most cases, this will effectively solve the problem at hand. However, if the water is moving slowly, you may have a bigger problem at hand.

What could slow drains mean for my home?

In some cases, a slow drain is an indicator of a larger problem. It is one thing to notice a slow drain occurring in one part of the house, and it is an entirely different matter if you notice slow drains happening all at once in different places in your home .If you notice other symptoms like bad smells and gurgling sounds coming from the drain, it is best to call in expert plumbers to properly diagnose the problem at hand and enforce the appropriate solutions.

There are times when a slow drain indicates an issue in the main sewer line which will leave your plumbing and sewer system unusable. Main sewer problems can also lead to flooding and backing up of dirty and unhealthy water. In other cases, a slow drain may be a sign that your septic tank needs to be pumped out. An expert plumber can determine whether the septic tank does need to be pumped out or if the symptoms you are seeing are indicative of a different problem. Apart from pumping out the septic tank, your plumber may recommend a few other solutions, including the use of an augur or a high pressure water jet.

Slow Drain Solutions

An augur is a mechanical device that is powered by an electric motor. This device slowly spins inside the drain in order to remove the accumulated debris which impedes the proper flow of water. A high pressure water jet, on the other hand, can scrub the interiors of pipes in order to remove accumulated debris, including hair and soap scum. In some cases, your plumber may recommend cutting off tree roots which have damaged a section of your home’s pipes.

Again, if removing the accumulated debris in the shower or kitchen drain or sink does not do the trick, or if you notice unusual noises, call in the professionals to help solve the problem for you. Do not attempt to do it yourself.


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