When you’re a NYC plumber, you get all kinds of questions from people. Yesterday, a Brooklyn homeowner told us that periodically there will be a foul-smelling sludge that appears in their bathtub. Building maintenance told them it’s not a big deal and it can just be washed back down the drain. The homeowner wants to know if that information is accurate or if they need to be concerned.
Let’s start by talking about what that foul-smelling sludge is. All of your home’s drainage pipes go one place: into the lines that feed into the sewer system. This means your bath water, kitchen sink water, laundry water, and the water and waste material that is flushed down the toilet all share the same route. It’s supposed to be a one way journey. This sludge is a result of the drainage pipes backing up somewhere: if your bathtub drain is the most opportune port for escape, the sludge will emerge there.
Now, if you, your children, or pets are going to be in this tub, you want it to be clean and sanitary. The interior of a home’s drainage pipes contain many things that you probably don’t want coming into contact with your loved ones. The sludge in the tub may very well have germs and bacteria in it that remain even after you wash the tub out. You can use disinfecting cleaners to restore your tub to a usable state, but to truly solve the problem, it’s time to have a NYC plumber address why the drainage pipes are backing up.
Sometimes the issue is surprisingly simple. Sewer drain cleaning is one of those building maintenance tasks that sometimes slips off the radar – if it has been more than two years, it’s probably time – especially if you’re having recurring issues like sludge in the tub, a slow flushing toilet or a sink that will only drain very slowly. Other times, there may be concerns with the way drain pipes are installed. Having your NYC plumber bring those pipes into a proper configuration can address the sludge concern.