There are instances when a blocked drain is something that you feel can be fixed on your own. But that is really not true all the time. In some cases, these drains call for repairs that include specialists like plumbers. No doubt that regular work can be done at home for clogged drains using your classic home remedies like lemon and vinegar combined with baking soda or using hot water, mild home-based drain cleaners, etc. can be used as well. But the truth is that, more often than not, the clogging is still there deep within the layers of the pipe. Hence, you won’t get the desired results.
Instead of trying to repair the blocked drain yourself, it is advisable to call for a plumber for the following reasons:
• You have tried repairing or unclogging the blocked drain and yet there is no respite. So one of the first warning signs is that there is still a very strong gurgling or swirling sound coming from the pipes. In such cases, the pipes are still clogged way down and you are probably not aware of it. If in spite of your cleaning efforts, you continue to hear these sounds then don’t delay. The chances are that you are continuing to clog your drain, though it may just seem a bit cleaner on the top layers.
• If there is constant overflowing in the kitchen or toilet sinks in spite of cleaning your blocked drain using home remedies, then you should call a professional. An overflowing sink, toilet or other forms of drainage are never a good sign. It is indicative of clogging in the pipes, which just seems to be getting worse. You can of course give it a shot or two but in the long run, delaying this would mean further damage to your pipes.
• Considering the season and the time of the year is also very important here. Blocked drains that are caused because of frozen pipes or similar conditions like a storm, leads to extreme clogging with tree branches or even leaves that you cannot manage at home. In such cases, it is best to call a plumber rather than delaying repairs. Often, the damage caused to the pipes could be irreparable, which also implies that you have to pay a fortune for this.
• Nothing seems to be helping your clogged drains. You have tried it all from home remedies to commercial solvents and even the plunger. All of these are indicative that your blocked drains need special attention. Calling a plumber earlier would ensure that you are able to fix the issue from the root. Else, you may be just cleaning your drains superficially without even knowing the main source of the clogging.
Apart from these above-mentioned suggestions, you should also bear in mind to-
• Avoid throwing things into the drain, be it your kitchen or the toilet. These items can include grease, flour, plastic items, etc. Ensure that you get a drain that works as an efficient blocker, preventing pipe clogging.
• Watch for early signs of drainage problems that are listed above.
It is true that a blocked drain is best prevented rather than cured. You can also hire plumbers who would come and do regular cleaning and unclogging of your pipes. For a nominal charge, you can sign a contract where in the plumber would come and clean your pipes or sinks every 3 months or as per the contract - thus preventing the entire issue all together and saving you a lot of clogging hassles.
Guest Contributor, Mary Mathis