We have all felt the dread when you flush the toilet and instead of hearing the satisfactory rushing jet flowing downwards, the water slowly creeps toward the rim of the bowl. A clogged toilet. Perhaps you have also lived the struggle of standing ankle deep in a pool of water in a clogged shower or hurriedly brushing your teeth in a clogged sink before the water overflows. Each of these cases is at least a nuisance, but can quickly become a nightmare as you adjust your living habits to avoid the clogged fixture.
The DIY Approach
Thankfully, you can usually solve minor clogs on your own. The number one tool in your arsenal is the trusted plunger. By creating an airtight seal around the clog, the pumping motion can create a vacuum that pulls debris outwards allowing water to pass and eventually clear the drain altogether. Plunge early and often. As the fixture fills with water, displacing any bit of liquid with your plunger could mean messy overflow.
What happens when the mighty plunger fails? Most folks turn to a liquid drain cleaner. A drain cleaner is usually a gel-based solvent that can eat away hair, dirt, and other debris. Unfortunately, it will usually fail to fully remove a clog. As the solvent eats away portions of the clog, the gaps in and around the debris widen and allow the gel to flow through. This leaves a partially clear drain. No doubt an improvement, but with plaque remaining inside the drain, more debris will be captured over time and the clog will return.
Calling in the Pros
So when is it time to throw in the towel and call a professional plumber? If you have tried the plunger method and come up dry, and even went with a short-term drain cleaner to no avail, it may be time to ask for professional help. An experienced plumber will have handled any number of clogs and will know the best strategy to clear the pipe, be it utilizing a snake tool or pulling out a pipe to clear it or even replace it.
You might be asking yourself why you cannot simply buy a snake or pull the drain yourself. Well nothing is stopping you. However, improperly utilizing a snake tool, which you will be buying for this one-off stubborn clog, can lead to damages or cracked pipes. While pulling out pipes may not sound too difficult, you will need to make sure you have all the appropriate tools to disassemble and then reassemble the plumbing. Failing to use the appropriate torque or specialize waterproofing materials like tape or putty can mean a leaking drain. Even a pinhole leak, which you are not likely to notice, can eventually lead to water damage and mold. Mold is a major health concern and can have serious effects, especially for children and the elderly.
If you have given it your best shot to clear your clog, but are still dealing with a backed-up drain, it is time to call in a pro. Contact Reichelt Plumbing at (219) 322-4906 to clear your clogs today!