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Should You Call a Plumber for a Drain Clog?


Clogged drains are unpleasant, inconvenient, and smelly. But do they really require a professional plumber? It’s a good question, but the answer “sometimes” is a little vague. We’ll go over what options you have for dealing with drains yourself and give you a clear rundown of when you should definitely call a plumber.

How to Fix Your Own Clogged Drain

If you have a single clogged drain in your home, it’s probably due to a buildup of a specific type of substance in that one location. For example, a clogged kitchen sink is likely to be caused by food waste and congealed grease, but the clog in your bathtub drain is primarily composed of hair and soap scum. There are two great, safe options you can use to try to resolve this problem yourself.

  • A Plunger: No, not the one you put in your toilet. A small, clean sink-sized plunger can be purchased at any hardware store and will probably set you back less than ten dollars. With enough water in the sink or tub to cover the area, place the cup of the plunger over the drain. Keeping it upright, pump it repeatedly to cause enough pressure to dislodge the clog.
  • A Drain Snake: This could be a thin whip of plastic with little legs that can catch hold of hair in your drain, or a simple hand-cranked drain auger that can reach farther and work its way through some serious grease or soap scum. Either way, you may be able to physically grab or break up the blockage.

How NOT to Fix Your Own Clogged Drain

Liquid drain cleaner is extremely caustic. It can burn your skin, and the fumes are very irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. It can even damage the interiors of your pipes, leaving a roughened surface that makes it even easier for clogs to accumulate in the future. It’s simply not a safe or effective option.

When to Call a Plumber

  • Repeated Clogs: If these home methods work, but you find yourself dealing with another clog in a matter of weeks, it’s possible that the main blockage is deeper within your plumbing.
  • Multiple Clogs: If you have more than one drain in your house experiencing clogging, the problem may lie with your sewer pipe, which connects all the home drains to the sewage system.
  • Bad Odors: A smelly kitchen sink can often be resolved with a quick fizz of baking soda and vinegar, but a lasting odor, or one that comes from multiple drains in your home, can be a sign that the sewer gasses are not venting properly. This is a major health hazard, so call a plumber in Tucson right away!

Professional Methods

  • A Motorized Auger: Much like your home drain snake, but larger and much more powerful, a motorized auger can reach deep into your plumbing and break up blockages.
  • Video Pipe Inspection: Like something out of a spy movie, a camera can be inserted into your plumbing to locate and assess clogs and other problems.
  • Hydro Jetting: Using highly-pressurized water, your plumber can blast the buildup out of your entire drainage system, from your sewer pipe right up to your sink.

Contact Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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