Upgrading Your Pipes

Five Signs You Need A Professional Drain Cleaner

Nearly everyone deals with sluggish or clogged drains on occasion. Most of them can be fixed easily with a plunger, but sometimes you need the services of a professional. Knowing when to pick up the plunger yourself and when to call in a plumber is important to keeping your plumbing operating smoothly. Some common signs that indicate the problem requires a plumber are the following:

1. Problems With Multiple Drains

More than one drain clogging or becoming sluggish is often a sign that you have a clog in your main line. When this happens, your efforts with a plunger or drain cleaner aren't likely to solve the problem. Sometimes plunging will alleviate the problem to one drain only to cause another drain to become clogged. Take this as a sign that your efforts are moving the clog around but aren't getting rid of it. Your plumber can get to the root of the problem and remove offending clogs so that all your drains run smoothly.

2. Persistent Odor

Occasional odor from the kitchen sink is normal, especially if you have drained cooking water from strong-smelling foods like broccoli, fish or onions. These odors can typically be eliminated by flushing baking soda or lemon juice down the sink. But if your drains emit a foul odor that won't go away, you may be smelling sewer gases. This can happen if a joint breaks or comes lose and the fumes come back up the pipe. Other causes of persistent odors from the drain include a buildup of bacteria in the gunk that lines the inside of your pipes. A professional plumber can troubleshoot the cause and correct the problem for you.

3. Slow Drains

Slow drains are easy to overlook because they tend to happen gradually as sludge and gunk builds up in the pipes. If you notice that your sink or bathtub isn't draining as quickly as it used to, you probably have a buildup in the pipes. Clean out the drain strainer and remove any hair or other visible debris from the drain to see if that corrects the problem. If your drains continue to be sluggish, even after you have cleaned them, your problem is likely further down the drain. Your plumber has the experience and expertise to remove the clogs and get your drains flowing smoothly again.

4. Backup in the Bathtub or Shower

Sometimes a clog in the drain will cause waste water to seek another route when you flush water down the bathroom sink. Because the drain to the bathtub often sits lower than the drain in your sink, water that cannot run freely through the pipes to the exterior of the home is often diverted to the bathtub. If you have a major clog in the main plumbing line, waste water from the kitchen sink may also backup in the bathtub. Ignoring the problem can be risky, as it will likely get worse over time and may actually overflow the tub and cause water damage to your home.

5. Sewage Backup

When the sewer drain gets clogged, waste from your toilet can back up in your basement. If you notice water on the basement floor or near floor drains, you probably have a blockage in the sewer drain. Toilets that clog frequently or need to be flushed more than once to clear the bowl are a warning sign of problems with your sewage drain. Contaminated sewer water poses a health risk to your family and needs attention right away. Do not flush the toilet until your plumber has evaluated and corrected the problem, and follow all safety guidelines for cleaning up sewage.

Knowing when to call the plumber to clean your drains will help you avoid future problems with your plumbing. If you are experiencing any of these issues, call a professional plumber, such as those at Backlund Plumbing.