Bathroom sinks serve various functions, but over time, they can fail to drain quickly, which can lead to problems. The most common include overflows, sewer backup, and a foul odor. If your fixtures have problems and you want to know their sources and prevention tactics, read on to discover common causes of slow sink drains and their solutions.

Soap Scum

Most U.S. households rely on tap water, which is easily accessible and affordable. According to statistics, 85% of the nation uses hard water with dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium. When you use hard tap water, the minerals in it react with soap and form an insoluble substance known as scum. You may have seen it in your bathroom sink, and it often looks like a white, chalky residue or gray film layer.

When soap scum goes down the drain, it ends up in the pipes. This material builds up over time and interferes with drainage. Moreover, scum may also attract mold and mildew, which make your sink drain even slower. If you want to reduce the buildup of scum in your plumbing system, switch to soft water or products designed to produce no residue, like gel body soap.

Faulty Vents

Plumbing fixtures, like bathroom sinks, need a vent to function optimally. When water flows down the drain, it can cause negative pressure, which may allow sewer gases to enter your home. Vents equalize pressure in the pipes. Vents also allow air and pressure to leave your plumbing system. Consequently, they prevent gas buildup and allow water and waste to flow freely.

Unfortunately, numerous issues can affect your vent’s functionality. For instance, trash, bird nests, rotten carcasses, and other debris may clog it and undermine its ability to equalize pressure. That, in turn, may lead to sinks that take forever to drain.

Also, poor installation can undermine your vent’s effectiveness. For example, the trap arm located between a trap and its vent may not be sloped correctly, which can lead to drainage issues.

Accumulated Hair

Hair can get in your sink drain in various ways. First, it can fall out in clumps when you are in the bathroom. The problem may exacerbate when you are stressed or sick. Additionally, you may notice strands in your sink drains as you age and lose hair.  

When hair ends up in the bathroom sink, it may get stuck in the drain. Entangled hair will likely trap an assortment of debris and form large clumps that can clog your pipes and make your sink drain slower. Luckily, hair catchers, which are protector covers that fit on your sinks, can help you stop hair build-ups in your plumbing system.  

Worn Out or Corroded Pipes

Plumbing pipes have limited lifespans. For instance, components made from galvanized steel last 20-50 years. If your home has fixtures that have exceeded their lifespan, replacements are necessary.

Moreover, metal pipes corrode over the years. The problem may set in prematurely or after many years. The actual rate depends on factors like a pipe’s properties and the environmental conditions where it’s installed. For example, if your fixtures are in a humid area, they may rust faster than components in a dry environment.

If left unchecked, corrosion and wear and tear will affect your plumbing system’s ability to drain water and eventually cause extensive blockages.

We Can Help

Slow sink drains are incredibly frustrating and can lead to significant issues like backups. Apollo Heating, Air & Plumbing can help you fix this issue within no time. We are plumbing experts with vast experience. Our company offers the best plumbing installation, maintenance, and repair services in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Contact us to get started.