Ask a plumber: professional drain cleaning
How to tell if it’s a simple DIY job, or if it should be left to the professionals
Earlier in this series, we featured an article called Ask a Plumber: How to Unclog a Drain. However, sometimes all of the research and elbow grease in the world is not enough to take care of a plumbing job yourself. Instead of feeling defeated and frustrated after an unsuccessful attempt, continue reading to see if you should skip straight to a professional.
Signs that your drain needs more than a little TLC
Slow drainage is caused by a number of factors, the most popular being hair. If these things have not built up for a long amount of time and/or are relatively small, you should be able to buy products at your local hardware store that will take care of the job. But, there are more serious signs to stay alert for, especially if you notice one or more becoming a trend.
If there is a drain that repeatedly gets clogged after you seemingly “just took care of it,” the issue is probably a lot more serious than you think.
If you notice multiple clogged drains in your home, it is possible that they are coincidences. More than likely, though, your pipes are suffering from a clog in the main drainage system. This is definitely a case for a trained Commercial Service technician.
Do you have a stinky sink you cannot seem to get rid of? This may be the result of a drainage backup issue, which calls for immediate assistance from a Commercial Service technician.
– Jack Byrnes, Meet the Parents (2000)
While all of the conditions listed above can exist on their own, if your home is suffering from one or more of them, they could be pointing to a potentially disasterous problem: a sewer drain clog. By the time you receive confirmation that your sewer drain is backed up, it is usually too late, and you are dealing with the flooding of waste into your yard and maybe even home. If more than the recommended time has passed since your last drainage clearing, be on high alert for the following signs that could lead to a backed up sewer drain.
Multiple fixtures are clogging
As mentioned, you may experience multiple drains clogging at once, and this is a very obvious sign. Toilets in particular are prone to this, but other fixtures can be involved. If you suspect that you have a sewer drain clog, start by checking other drains in the house.
Unusual reactions when using fixtures
Another thing to look for when you suspect a sewer drain clog is any unexpected or unusual reaction when using plumbing fixtures. This can include problems like water rising in your toilets when you flush, water appearing in your tub or sink when when you flush, or the water bubbling when you run the sink closest to your toilet.
Drainage at the clean-out
If you have a main line clean-out, you have an additional way of verifying a sewer drain clog. Locate the clean-out if you do not already know where it is. Open the clean-out by either unscrewing or pulling to remove the cap. Check the clean-out for any waste or water that may be backing up there. Normally, no water should be coming up the clean-out pipe. If water is flowing up and out of the clean-out, or is standing in the pipe, this confirms you have a main line sewer stoppage.
While you can always do smaller pipe cleaning and maintenance on your own, it never hurts to have a trained Commercial Service technician come out and clean your drains regularly. If you want to set up a cleaning, or are in need of emergency service, call Commercial Service at 812-339-9114.