Drains Clogged From Above, Dueling Pipe Metals: The Science A Professional Plumber Knows | Atlanta, GA

Drains Clogged From Above, Dueling Pipe Metals: The Science A Professional Plumber Knows | Atlanta, GA

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Water pressure and drain flow are just two of the many physics principles that a professional plumber needs in order to properly install plumbing and diagnose problems in existing pipes. Our plumbing experts at Peach Plumbing & Drain, serving Atlanta, GA, and the region, have knowledge and experience that helps them think ahead to avoid trouble in the future and solve challenging puzzles in the present. They deal with issues like venting for drains, pipes connected together that react due to different metals, and changes in your plumbing system due to temperature variations. This is one important reason for using a professional, licensed plumber: when they do the work, they know to avoid hidden surprises. And when they come to fix a plumbing problem for you, they understand the subtleties and can perform detective work that’s pretty amazing.

A Bird’s Nest in the Drain Vent

If you have trouble with your toilet flushing or other drain problems, most people assume that there’s something blocking the drainpipe on the way down to the sewer line. That’s usually the case, but plumbers know that there’s another piece to the puzzle. Drain vents, usually on your roof, ensure that water and other material flowing down the drain pipes doesn’t create a vacuum in the system and get stuck because it can’t pull air. Did you ever try that trick where you pull soda up into a straw and then put your finger over the top? The soda doesn’t drain out. That’s the basic principle behind the drain vent, to let the air flow into your drain pipes and keep the wastewater from being suspended or flowing poorly, often making lots of gurgling noises as it does. In addition to birds’ nests, other material that’s been blown into the vent, or a damaged vent or vent mechanism can cause trouble down below, and it’s actually serious trouble. The toilet and sink backups and dangerous sewer gas accumulation in your home are coupled with the risk of backups into the vent lines, which make a mess and are typically very expensive to repair. If you suspect vent line problems, it’s time to call a plumber before things get much worse.

The Chemistry Between Metals Can Be Important to Your Plumbing’s Longevity

From ancient clay pipes to modern plastics such as CPVC, PVC, and PEX, pipe materials have varied over the years. The metal pipes plumbers have used include lead, cast iron, copper, brass, and galvanized steel. Professional plumbers have to know how to connect new plumbing materials to older ones, with a wide variety of joint techniques and concerns. In some cases soldering is appropriate, gluing in other cases, and the end result has to meet extensive plumbing standards for durability, longevity, and safety. Connecting different metals to each other, or even letting them touch as they cross or run in parallel, can actually cause some significant problems. It’s a matter of the types of metals and how they interact, sometimes producing an effect called galvanic corrosion. Expert plumbers can tell which metals can be used together without concern, but in general, combining metal pipes can lead to interaction between the different metal types and accelerated corrosion leading to failure. Since quality pipes can last decades, this is something to avoid.

When Your Drain Pipes Are Nice and Level, It’s Time to Check for Trouble

Since gravity is generally the force behind drain operation, a level drain pipe is one that’s going to accumulate material, leading to sewer gas odors and blockages. A slight slope in drain pipes is a good thing, and in fact, it’s carefully specified in plumbing codes because while it needs to be sufficient, too much slope produces an effect where water races ahead of solid matter, leaving it to cling to the pipes and, again, develop gassy smells and cause clogs. Your professional plumber will follow these requirements when necessary, and in some cases may recognize insufficient pipe slope as a source of some of your drain clog problems.

Your Vent Pipes Have Slope, Too

Since water vapor is present in vent pipes, you’ll get condensation that needs to flow down and into your drain pipes. To enable that flow, your vent pipes need to have sufficient slope, just like the drains. There are actually lots of vents in a typical home, and they all need to slope properly and have clear vents or vent mechanisms allowing air to enter. These days, there are actually many ways that venting is implemented, so it may take asking your plumber to identify where yours are located and how they work. Since they vent sewer gas, wise HVAC installers don’t put air intakes near plumbing vents, by the way.

The Value of an Expert Plumbing Inspection

The art and science of plumbing require that our team be detail-oriented, and that makes us a great resource for plumbing inspections and problem diagnosis. Just as vent problems from above can affect drain clogs that seem to be below, the cause of your plumbing problems isn’t always clear unless you have the training and experience to know what’s not right. This is especially true for long-term and intermittent problems and ones that could have many causes such as discolored water or water pressure issues. Our team has the latest tools and training to perform leak detection with a minimum of intrusive work, even under the slab and in walls and ceilings. We have the video equipment to check the insides of your pipes for a clear diagnosis, even of your sewer.

Have Our Plumbing Experts Put Their Skills and Science to Work for You in Atlanta, GA

We’re Peach Plumbing & Drain, serving the Atlanta, GA area with skilled home and commercial plumbing services. We’re glad to help you with plumbing problem diagnosis, repairs, upgrades and fixture replacements, and remodeling projects. Give us a call and find out what we can do for you.


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