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DIY vs. Professional Plumber: When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain


Clogged drains can be so frustrating, especially when you’re not sure what to do about them. Should you use liquid drain cleaner? Should you call a plumber? We’ve got a primer for you on what you can safely do at home to unclog your drain, and how to know when a plumber is actually necessary.

Unsafe Home Methods

Here’s what you definitely shouldn’t do: buy liquid drain cleaner and pour it into your sink or shower. These products are made of extremely caustic chemicals, which can burn your skin and cause irritation to your eyes and your respiratory system. They’re even caustic enough—higher on the pH scale than even oven cleaner—to damage your plumbing. They can corrode the inside of your pipes, leaving a rough surface that makes it easier for food grease, soap scum, or other substances to cling to your pipes, so new clogs will form even faster. And as you can see from the bottle they come in, they don’t dissolve plastic. People often don’t realize if a clog has formed around a small plastic item such as a drinking straw or picnic knife, which liquid drain cleaner can’t help with at all.

Safe Home Methods

You don’t have to call the plumber just yet! Do you have a small sink plunger? Don’t use the one that you put in your toilet. Hardware stores have little plungers that are perfect for drain clogs, and they’re generally under ten dollars. With some water around the drain, hold the handle vertically and thrust firmly several times. If your clog is still stubbornly in place, consider a drain snake. There are cheap plastic ones and hand-cranked metal models, either of which might snag the offending blockage with no need for a plumber. But if you still can’t get to the root of the problem, it’s time for professional assistance.

Professional Plumbing Methods

When you call a plumber for a clogged drain in Spring Branch, TX, they come equipped with not only years of experience dealing with problems like this, but also with tools more powerful than what you can buy at the hardware store. A motorized drain auger is like a small hand-cranked drain snake, but with a lot more power behind it. And if even that doesn’t do the trick, a hydro jetting machine can clean not just that drain but your whole drain system, right down to the sewer pipe. High-pressure water is sprayed through your drains, clearing away your clog and any other buildup, even mineral scaling from hard water. 

Warning Signs of Bigger Problems

The other time to call a plumber right away about your drains is when there are indications that a bigger problem exists. These signs include frequent clogs, clogs in multiple drains at the same time, or odors wafting up from drains that can’t be resolved with baking soda and vinegar. There could be a serious issue with your sewer pipe, causing havoc with your drains, or your sewer vent could be blocked, allowing dangerous gasses to float out of your drains. 

Contact D’Spain Sales & Service with any concerns about your drains.

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