Drains are an integral part of every home. Unfortunately, it is often left forgotten and ends up getting clogged. We have to admit that not all of us are experts at drains but a good insight can help us avoid these costly hassles. Obviously, we first need to know what drains are in order to understand them. It’s not really rocket science and just about anybody can pick up a thing or two.
The basic idea or principle of a drain is simple. Water starts at the high end and goes through a pipe or down a trench by the aid of gravity into the low end where it then flows out into a ditch or a sewer. Today’s homes are a little bit more complicated though as they require three things to work properly. These are the trap, the stack and the clean out.
Here are a few things about the drains that we regularly use. Because we use these drains often, it is only right that we know more about how they work so that we can have a easier time assessing the problem if ever it comes to that.
The Sink Drain
One of the most common everyday drain that we see and use often. We do a lot of things here and it is only right that we learn something about it. Every drain in the house ultimately leads to a sewer or septic tank. If you see a curved piece of metal that is shaped like an “S” or a “P”, that is called the trap. What it does is, it prevents the sewer gases from getting up the drainpipe and into our homes by the use of the water that it holds at its lowest point. It also traps solid objects like rings that might get dropped accidentally into the drain. A word of caution though. These traps can also trap other solid wastes that could eventually lead to clogging. There is a “clean out” at the bottom of the trap that you can open to release the clog or whatever that is causing it. Simply unscrew it and let the water come out of the drain. This allows you access to the low end of the drain.
Another thing that most modern drains have is a vent. It is important to most drains as it allows air to get in above the water allowing it to flow smoothly along the pipe. What it is, is an open pipe that is connected to other vents from all the drains and runs out to the top of your roof. Aside from that, vents are part of building requirements for safety because they allow gases in the pipes to escape as well as taking the pressure off the pipes. If you notice that your drain is flowing intermittently and water is “burping” its way out of the pipe, you may have an improperly connected vent. Oftentimes, we see a few novice do-it-yourselfers attempt to fix or modify their drains and forget to connect the vent then wonder why it isn’t working right.
A little know-how can go a long way and the few things that you have learned here will be the start of a good foundation for a hassle-free drain in the future.