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What Does it Mean When Black Stuff Comes Out of Your Drains?

Drains are an important plumbing component of your Birmingham, Alabama, home that you may not realize you use every day. That is until a problem arises. From cooking to cleaning, drain issues can cause complications in your daily routines, and some can be downright gross. If you notice black sludge coming from your bathtub, shower, or kitchen or bathroom sink drain, you may be wondering what this is and how can you get rid of it, fast!

At Douglas Cooling & Heating, our licensed plumbers are ready to help you address every issue facing your home’s drains. In this blog, our experts will break down what it means when black stuff comes out of your drains and how to address it.

Contact our friendly team for expert drain cleaning service if you notice any unusual substances coming from your drinks or if it’s not draining properly.

What is Coming Out of Your Drains?

Both your kitchen and bathroom drains experience a lot of use. Each time you cook, wash dishes, clean your hands, or brush your teeth, you’re sending biological materials such as hair, phlegm, skin cells, nails, and oil, and other materials like food scraps, soap, and lotion down the drain.

Over time, these materials attach to the side of your drainpipe and build up a thin layer of film which becomes an ideal spot for bacteria to grow. As bacteria and mold grow, the combination of waste turns into a nasty black substance. When this substance comes loose or grows out of control, it can end up coming back out of your drains.

How Does Black Sludge Come Out of Your Drain?

While the black stuff originates in your drainpipe, there are times when it can make its way back up and out of your drain where you will see it in your sink or tub. There can be several causes, such as the bacteria growth becoming large enough to grow back out of your sink or shower drain. Other times, black sludge in your drain can be a sign of a more serious problem, including:

  • Clogged Drain: When your drain is clogged, the flow of water and waste slows down. As a result of drain clogs, loose bacteria film can float to the top of the water as it drains away, getting closer and closer to your drain until it comes out as the clog gets worse.
  • Vent Pipe Obstruction: A vent pipe regulates the air in your plumbing system to help waste and water flow away from your drains. When your vent pipes are obstructed, wastewater filled with black sludge can flow back up your sink’s drain pipe and through the opening.
  • Sewage Backup: In some rarer, but more serious cases, the black stuff from your drain could actually be sewage that has backed up throughout your home. While it often starts in basement drains, a backed-up sewage system could spread to all the drain pipes and drains in your home.
  • The Importance of Drain Cleaning

    Want to avoid gross, potentially harmful, buildups in your drains? The best way to ensure black stuff doesn’t appear in your plumbing lines and out of your drains is to regularly clean and maintain your plumbing systems with the help of a professional team like the one at Douglas Cooling & Heating.

    When you clean your drains, you’re removing the buildup of skin cells, soap scum, and other biological material so that bacteria doesn’t have a surface to grow on in the first place. The following types of drains can benefit from routine cleaning and emergency declogging by a professional plumber at Douglas Cooling & Heating:

    • Kitchen drains
    • Main sewer lines
    • Shower/bathtub drains
    • Bathroom sink drains
    • Toilet drains
    • Floor drains

    DIY Drain Maintenance

    While cleaning your drains may seem simple enough, you have to be careful not to use too many harsh chemicals or a possibly ineffective homemade drain cleaner. Follow these tips from our experts about how to keep the drains in your Birmingham, AL, home as clean as possible to avoid clogs and other buildups.

    1. Keep large food scraps and hair out of your drain pipes by installing a screen over your drain
    2. Once a week, run hot, boiling water down the drain for several minutes to flush out films
    3. Never rinse grease down the drain
    4. Regularly clean your drain and sink stopper
    5. Plunge your drain when needed
    6. Make your own safe drain cleaner with items such as baking soda and white vinegar.
    7. Call a plumber with Douglas Cooling & Heating

    When you notice your drains are in need of a cleaning or black sludge and other substances are coming from your drains, it’s always best to get a professional opinion and service from friendly, highly-trained technicians at Douglas Cooling & Heating. Call us today to schedule your drain cleaning appointment.

    Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating for Expert Drain Cleaning Today

    At Douglas Cooling & Heating, we have years of experience in clogged and backed-up drains and plumbing fixtures in homes across Birmingham. We’re proud to offer our customers the most innovative technology in the industry to address all of your plumbing needs from drain clogs to black slime production, and so much more. Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating today for drain cleaning services you can trust.

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