How Do I Know If My Drains Need to Be Cleared?

Ah, the age-old question that has plagued homeowners for generations. Okay, maybe not “plagued,” but it’s certainly a common concern. Drains are like the unsung heroes of our homes. They whisk away wastewater, ensuring our homes remain clean and sanitary. But like all heroes, sometimes they need a little help. So, how do you know when your drains are sending out an SOS? Let’s dive in.

Cartoon of a clogged kitchen sink in Brooklyn

1. Slow Drainage

The most obvious sign that your drains need some TLC is slow drainage. If your sink is taking longer to empty or your shower floor is turning into a mini-pool, it’s a clear indication that there’s a blockage somewhere down the line.


2. Unpleasant Odors

Got a whiff of something not-so-pleasant near your drains? That’s not just a random bad smell. It’s likely trapped food particles, hair, or other debris decomposing in your pipes. If left unchecked, not only will your nose suffer, but it can also lead to more significant blockages.


3. Gurgling Sounds

If your drains are making gurgling sounds, it’s not because they’re trying to communicate with you (or are they?). Gurgling usually indicates trapped air in the pipes, often due to a blockage.


4. Frequent Clogs

If you’re regularly reaching for the plunger or drain snake, it’s a sign that there’s a more significant issue at play. Frequent clogs can indicate a buildup of debris in your pipes that needs professional attention.


5. Water Backup

Nothing screams “clear me!” louder than water backing up out of a drain. If water is coming up instead of going down, it’s a severe blockage that needs immediate attention.


6. Multiple Clogged Fixtures

If more than one fixture (like sinks, bathtubs, or toilets) in your home is clogged, it could indicate a blockage in your main drain system. This is a more serious issue and might require professional equipment to address.


7. Presence of Fruit Flies or Drain Flies

These tiny pests are attracted to the gunk and grime that can build up in drains. If you notice them hovering around, it might be time to give your drains a good cleaning.


8. Water Stains in Basement

Water stains or damp spots in your basement can be an indication of a blocked main drain line. If the main line is blocked, water can seep out and cause these stains.


9. Changes in Plant Growth

If you notice an area in your garden where plants are suddenly thriving more than others, it could be due to a leak or blockage in your underground pipes. Plants love the extra nutrients from leaking sewage.


10. Regular Maintenance Schedule

Even if you don’t notice any of the above signs, it’s a good idea to have your drains professionally cleaned every so often. Think of it as a spa day for your pipes. They deserve it! Click to learn more about our routine maintenance services.



In the bustling borough of Brooklyn, where life moves at a breakneck pace, the last thing you need is a plumbing issue slowing you down. By keeping an eye (and nose) out for the signs mentioned above, you can ensure your drains remain in tip-top shape. And remember, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call in the professionals. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry (or soggy!).

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