Most people think the drainage system is part of the plumbing. Technically they’re right, but we believe the drainage system needs to be separated from the plumbing system. The plumbing systems handles the “incoming” water and the drainage systems handles the “outgoing”.
Whether you have a private septic system or use city sewer, there isn’t much you can do to inspect the drainage system once the waste water leaves your home. No hardware store sells a device that will allow you to see your underground septic system or the pipe connected to the city sewer. You can inspect everything up the outgoing pipe.
Check under sinks for signs of leaks. Every sink and tub should have a P-trap. It’s that S-shaped pipe that’s directly under the drain in your sink. The trap is designed to hold water to prevent sewer gases from flowing back into your home. Many leaks occur that this trap. If you suspect that the trap is leaking, gently jiggle the pipe to see if any water escapes. Be careful to not disconnect the pipe from the sink or drain pipe under it.
A slow-draining tub or toilet that doesn’t completely flush could be a sign of a serious problem. On the main level of your home, the tub and toilet drain directly into the main stack or waste pipe. If the tub or toilet drain slow, the pipe going to the stack could be plugged. It’s very common for this pipe to become clogged. If the tub is draining too slow, remove the drain hardware. It isn’t difficult to figure out. Hair often becomes caught in the drain. More specifically, there’s a little arm that moves when you close the drain in order to fill the tub. Hair gets caught on the arm and quickly builds up. Remove any hair or debris in the drain and reattach the hardware. If the tub still drains slow, the drain pipe running to the stack is probably clogged.