Are your home's drains clogged? Whether the bathroom tub backs up or the kitchen sink is slow to drain, it's clear that something needs to change. Before you break out the plunger or snag a snake from your neighbor, take a look at what you need to know about plumbing backups, drain cleaning, repairs, and when to call a professional.
Why Do Pipes Clog?
There isn't one reason for every plumbing clog. Instead, there are a few common culprits that can result in restricted flow and backups. According to the Plumbing Association of Greater Chicago, clogs are the most common reason for plumbing contractor service calls.
Debris can stick to the inside of pipes, building up over time and eventually causing your drain to slow or stop. The typical type of debris that causes a clog depends on the fixture. You aren't likely to find a hair-based clog in your kitchen sink. But this plumbing issue could affect your bathtub.
Some of the top clog-causers include hair, fats/oils, coffee grounds, sanitary wipes, feminine hygiene products, cat litter, food debris, and soap. These items should not go down the drain. But sometimes you might accidentally wash the remains of your dinner down the kitchen sink drain or forget to cover the shower drain with a hair catcher.
If these clog-causers repeatedly go down a drain, they can build up and cause backups. Along with this list of culprits, poorly installed pipes, mineral buildups, and tree roots can also clog drains and cause problems for your home's plumbing system.
When Should You Call A Plumber?
The answer to this question depends on the severity of the clog, how it affects your plumbing system, and the potential for additional damage—either to the rest of the plumbing system, a specific fixture, or your home. Even though many plumbers only work weekday, daylight hours, you shouldn't allow a serious backup to wait until the morning or a Monday. An emergency plumber can provide you with sewer drain rodding or other similar services immediately. These plumbers work on a 24-7 schedule and can provide services outside of what you might consider normal or typical work hours.
If you're tempted to unclog your toilet tub, sink, or another part of your plumbing system by yourself, consider the cause and your knowledge level. A plunger or pipe snake won't always remove a clog. The wrong method could force a clog deeper into the plumbing system or cause a messy overflow. Instead of a DIY fix, call an emergency plumbing provider for an inspection, diagnosis, and drain cleaning service.