How to Solve Sluggish Drains Once and for All

over 3,000 reviews

There is nothing more annoying than a slow-moving drain that never works right. Just standing in a shower up to your shins in soap scum water is enough to make you want to clear out that drain. The problem really gets frustrating when every drain in the house doesn’t work right.

We are so used to having modern conveniences today. When something like a drain problem or a backup happens, it can ruin everything. If you are here because you’re looking for answers on how to solve the sluggish drain problem in your house, you’ve likely already tried drain chemicals and other methods already.

Steve’s Plumbing & A/C Service, a local Maui plumber, can tell you how to permanently get rid of your drain problem. First, you need to know what might be causing the issue.

What Causes Slow Moving Drains?

Professional Maui plumbing companies often find certain problems that cause decreased water flow in the sewer lines. The most common problem is calcification inside the pipes.

Pipe Narrowing – The inside of a sewer pipe can narrow over time when sediments build up on the surface. The calcification forms a lining on the inner surface that continues to build up until the water won’t easily flow through. It can build up so bad that there’s only a pinhole opening.

Pipe Bellies – A sag in a sewer line is often called a pipe belly. Sewer lines are installed at a slope so the wastewater travels to the sewer main or septic tank. This sag, or pipe belly, can cause problems with sewer line draining because it interrupts the flow of gravity that the system depends on.

Tree Root Infiltration – Tree roots grow into sewer lines all the time. It’s not uncommon for them to find a way in at the connections and grow inside to absorb the water and nutrients. They will eventually clog the pipe entirely.

Pipe Descaling

Pipe descaling will get rid of the calcium buildup as well as any tree roots and other hard blockages. The reason that chemical drain cleaners don’t work well is that they can only treat a clog that’s close to the drain. And unfortunately, they actually don’t do much to it. Drain cleaners are caustic chemicals that aren’t good for the pipes anyway.

Pipe descaling is done by a plumber who has the high-pressure water jetting equipment. The drains and pipes are video camera inspected to find the cause of the draining problem. The plumber will be able to clear out the limescale buildup or another blockage completely. In some cases, the sewer line may need to be relined or replaced.

Have Your Water Heater Tank Flushed Out & Tuned Up

One of the reasons that pipes get coated by scale is due to the water heater. As minerals in the water are heated by the water heater, they change into a different form that is very powdery and sticky. This is a limescale that flows through the sewer lines and sticks to the inside. It also coats plumbing fixtures. Flushing out the water heater tank will help to remove the sediments that build up inside it. Water heater maintenance should be done at least once per year if there is no water softener installed. Some households on well-water will need the tank flushed out more regularly because the mineral content of the water is higher.

Install A Water Softener

A whole-house water softener installation is the final solution to the slow-moving drain problem. Once the pipes have been descaled and the water heater tank flushed out, the water softener will be able to keep the pipes cleaner. Water softeners dissolve the sediments that are in the water supply. Whether you are on a well-water system or a city municipal water supply, there are minerals in the water.

With these four steps, you should not have a problem with sluggish drains again, at least that is until someone puts something down the toilet or kitchen sink that doesn’t belong there. Don’t put these things down the drains even if you have disposal:

  • Sanitary napkins
  • Toys
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Fats
  • Potato Peels
  • Egg Shells

So if you are looking for a professional plumber in Maui, then please call us at 808-563-4054 or complete our online request form.

What Our Clients Say

Matt was very professional and considerate as we are in a COVID world. May not necessarily be the cheapest but you are paying for the quality, peace of mind, and quick response time to my urgent matter. I will definitely call them again for my next plumbing issue.

-Elias S.

If you have any plumbing needs this is the company to use. They said they would be there at 9:30 and by gosh, they showed up at 9:28 that not a normal thing when it comes to plumbing. Both of them were not they answered all my questions without hesitation and got the job done within 45 minutes even though they said it would take an hour and a half.

-Bob J.

Brayden and Maka worked on a major repair at our home over a time period of four days. We have high praise for both of them, their professionalism, courtesy, friendliness, and reliability. Steve’s Plumbing is lucky to have these two fine employees.


Shon Bolo was very courteous. He was very informative about how Plumbing is just as important as the engine of a car. He was very respectful. Even though I wasn’t able to get everything done as expected. Shon was able to install my laundry tub to get my washer ready to drain and connected. Definitely would recommend shon bolo to friends and neighbors. Thank you very much for the wonderful job. Great service Shon!!

-Rowena H.

Want to learn more about heating and cooling?
We’ve got you covered.
Sewer Line Why Do I Have A Clogged Sewer Line? There’s nothing worse than dealing with a backed-up sewer line, especially in Honolulu’s tropical climate. When drains refuse to clear and foul odors start wafting...
Leak Detection How Do I Know If My Pipes Are Leaking Under My Floor? Water: it’s the lifeblood of our island homes and businesses. But when pipes beneath your floors spring leaks, that once-precious fluid turns into an insidious...
Ductless Mini Split AC Why Is There Ice On My Air Conditioner? Catching a glimpse of ice unexpectedly in Hawaii’s tropical climate always raises eyebrows. But when that frozen buildup appears on your home’s air conditioning unit,...