DIY Drain Repair Vs Professional Plumbing Help: How to Handle Clogs

Clogged drains can eventually become broken drains, and if you don’t have plumbing experience, it’s not always a good idea to tackle drain cleaning and repair yourself. Care for your plumbing by knowing when to call in a professional.

Sometimes, plumbing clogs build up slowly over time. You might even notice water draining slower and slower. In other cases, you might wake up one morning to discover that your toilet won’t flush or your tub won’t drain-or worse, that water and waste are flowing out onto the floor. Clogged plumbing can range from inconvenient to a true nightmare, and obviously you want the problem fixed as soon as possible.

But should you rush to get out your plunger and drain opener liquid, or immediately grab the phone to call a plumber? It depends on the situation-and on your knowledge of plumbing ins and outs. Weigh the severity of the problem, your experience level in resolving similar issues, and your financial situation to make a decision.

DIY Drain Fixes

Minor clogs – especially when the drain is not completely blocked-can often be resolved with a standard plunger. However, you can’t just plunge haphazardly and expect good results. Fill the sink, tub, or toilet with enough water to cover the plunger head, and then place the plunger over the drain to create a complete seal. Pump the plunger up and down quickly, forcing water in and out of the drain. Then, pop the plunger off to break the seal. This action should loosen and flush away minor clogs. You can repeat several times, but the more stubborn the clog, the more likely you’ll need to call in professional help. Note that while you can use chemical drain opening liquids, even while following all directions on the package, the caustic Sammamish plumber ingredients can actually harm some plumbing fixtures.

Professional Plumbing Service

Plumbers work on pipes for a living, which makes them much more qualified than you are to fight stubborn and dangerous drain clogs. Not only do they have experience and training in resolving plumbing issues, they also have a variety of tools at their disposal. For instance, a plumber can spiral a drain snake or drain auger down into the affected pipe until the end reaches the clog, displacing it. Rooter service takes this idea to the next level, cutting through blockages, including tree roots, to open the pipe. An even more high-tech method is hydro-jetting, which shoots a powerful stream of water through pipes to remove years of accumulated sludge and clog material. If plunging and drain snaking fail to restore normal function to your drains, it might be time for your plumber to bring out the big guns.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

If you’ve just had your drains and pipes professionally cleaned or you simply want to avoid the whole problem of blocked drains, you can take steps to keep your drains clean long-term. For instance, cover shower and sink drains with a strainer to keep hair and other materials from going down the drain and forming a clog. If your kitchen sink is prone to clogging, avoid pouring cooking grease down the drain: it can harden inside the pipe and trap food particles. Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper and similar “flushable” materials down the toilet. And, of course, you can make a regular part of your home maintenance plan.

You may not think about how hard your plumbing works until it’s no longer doing its job. However, taking good care of your pipes and drains now can mean a healthy plumbing system for years to come. Worrying about small problems when they happen can help you avoid worrying about major blockages and backups down the line.

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