There’s an old saying in the plumbing industry, “every drain will someday clog.” Actually, it’s not a saying; I just made that up. But there is truth to this bold claim, and this blog will help the homeowner answer the question, “when should you call a plumber for a clogged drain”?
Toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, washing machines, dishwashers, and garbage disposals all empty from individual drains into our sewer lines. We are continually testing the limits of our home’s plumbing by expecting it to carry a larger and larger waste load as our families grow, and the result is often one (or several) clogged drains.
Why Do Drains Clog?
This one’s easy. Drains clog as a direct result of what we put into our toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, washing machines, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. Every bit of food waste, soap residue, dirt, and scores of unmentionables is pulled into our drain and sewer lines, often leaving behind a sticky film that adheres to the pipe walls, restricting water flow.
Over time, this film will collect more and more waste residue, reducing the overall diameter of the pipe from the outside walls inward, until there is a complete blockage of the line.
Can I Unclog My Own Drain?
Taking care of your own clogged drain is a point of pride for some folks. Most toilet clogs can be dislodged by a plunger, where sink and tub drains can be cleared with a plumber’s snake or even a coat hanger.
While there are many products available to the homeowner for clearing clogged drains, Nick’s Plumbing and Sewer Services recommends NOT using any type of chemical drain cleaner. These products are made of highly caustic materials, like hydrochloric acid and lye. If misused, they can generate toxic fumes, and any splashing of the drain cleaner can cause burns to the skin and eyes.
Preventing drain clogs from happening can be accomplished by being aware of what you’re putting in your drains. Scraping your plates into the trash before rinsing them in the sink will help keep your garbage disposal and sink drain clear. Running hot water into your drains for 2 – 3 minutes every so often can also help dislodge debris clinging to the pipe. Using a biologic based drain cleaner like BioOne® on a regular schedule can also keep your drain and sewer lines clean.
When Should You Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain?
So, here you are, looking at a plumbing company blog and wondering, “when should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?” We can assume one thing, and that is, you probably have a clogged drain. That or you have a fascination with plumbing blogs.
Nick’s Plumbing and Sewer Services has been Houston’s drain and sewer pipe experts since 1979, clearing clogs and restoring your pipes to like-new condition. We offer free estimates and free second opinions on any plumbing work, and we back our work with a warranty.