Plumbing problems can get increasingly expensive, especially as a building ages. If you manage a building in the Chicago area, plumbing and drain issues can mean late night phone calls and the potential for extensive property damage. Because plumbing is a network, problems seem to be seldom isolated. Many times one issue can lead to another.

Here, we want to more fully explore clogged drains and their common causes, signs of a clogged drain, and whose responsibility they are to fix.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains

One of the most common causes of clogged common area drains are foreign objects. Ask any plumber and they will likely have all sorts of stories of objects found in drain pipes. Paper products are an issue but so are toys, hair, kitchen utensils, tools and just about anything else that can fall into a drain or flushed down a toilet. Grease can also be a problem as it solidifies once making its way down your building’s drain pipes.

Broken or incorrectly installed pipes can also cause clogs in a plumbing drain system. Pipes may not be properly fitted or the appropriate size. Heavy rains can cause clogs as well as water backs up into drain pipes.

Signs of a Clogged Drain

The most obvious sign of a clogged drain is backed-up or standing water. Bubbles and gurgling from drain pipes are also a sign of pending problems. Clogged common area drains can cause unusual and unpleasant odors. If a toilet is flushed and it doesn’t return to its original level quickly, that too can be a sign of a clogged drain.

Whose Responsibility are They to Fix?

Generally speaking, if a pipe serves just one unit, it is the responsibility of the unit owner to fix. Clogged common area drains and main drain pipes are generally the responsibility of the building owners. It is important that problems are addressed quickly so they are not compounded, negatively affecting multiple units. In most cases, clogged drains can be fixed by snaking or jetting, but in severe cases pipe replacement may be necessary. In the case of older, corroding drain pipes, pipe relining may be an option.

Nu Flow Midwest

Nu Flow Midwest offers an innovative alternative to invasive pipe replacement – pipe restoration. We start by making sure drain pipes are clear of debris. Where drain pipe jetting is required we work alongside Chicago’s Althoff Industries, licensed plumbers who can quickly resolve clogged drain problems. Pipe’s interiors are then scrubbed using an abrasive compound. Once rinsed and dried, an epoxy coating is introduced. This coating fills any weak spots or leaks. Once cured, this coating leaves behind a durable, smooth interior pipe surface conselho. Installation is guaranteed for 10 years but the product has been tested to last decades longer. Pipe relining with Nu Flow is also available for pressurized potable water supply pipes as well. If you would like to learn more, contact Nu Flow Midwest today.