Plumbing Basics: How Do Drains Work?

Drains. We have them all over our house. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the basement, but where Hillside Drainage Problems does that water go once it has been used and goes down the drain? How does it leave the house?
Our homes have a built-in drainage system and some may be surprised to know that it does not work with water pressure, but instead by gravity. All waste water tries to get to the main sewer line and so all drain pipes flow that way. Of course water will flow faster through lines that run vertically from the fixture to the drain pipe than those that run horizontally, but this is not always possible. Horizontal pipes must be angled in such a way to allow the water to keep moving, as standing water will pose a problem over time. The build up of hair, shampoo and soap residue in bathroom drains for example, can eventually lead to a back up into your bathtub if the drain pipes aren’t angled to get that water moving down toward the main drain line.
All of the drains in our house have what is called a drain trap on them. This stops sewer gas from coming up the drain pipe and into our homes. These traps are U shaped and are located on each water fixture. It makes the water that is draining go down and then up and water can only go uphill if it has more water behind it pushing it along. This is how drains work. When the device has stopped draining, there will be some water still in the U shape, which stops the gases from the sewer line.
Drain pipes work with gravity so all lead down the drain pipe and out into the sewer pipe that will take it the waste water away. A roof vent allows air to enter the system and keep the water running down and out of your house freely.
A drainage problem may just be a problem with the venting system behind or beside your water fixture. This would be an easier fix than Both Bathroom Sinks Are Clogged a problem with the actual drainage system and a plumber will be able to assess and confirm any problems before any work is started.
Keeping your drains running smoothly will let you avoid clogs and other problems with your drain system. Sometimes just watching what we wash down the drain will do the trick, other times we need to call in the professionals.

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