Identifying Plumbing Emergencies
With the cold weather keeping everybody inside, what can be more stressful than a clogged drain? Clogged drain cleaning could be as simple as a few pushes with a plunger, but then what if that doesn’t work? Is a clogged drain reason enough for an emergency plumber call?
When is a clogged drain an emergency?
Most clogged drains are not an emergency. However, there are times when clogged drain cleaning can only be done by a professional plumber. One example would be when a clogged drain has createdflooding, like a toilet. This can often indicate the sewage line is clogged, or worse, broken.
Can a clogged drain fix itself?
No – if anything, it will get worse, especially if this is a drain you use frequently, like a toilet or kitchen sink. Clogged drains left unaddressed will get worse, possibly backing up into your home if the drain doesn’t open up. What can happen if you ignore the need for clogged drain cleaning?
- ODORS: The odor in your bathroom or kitchen drains are flushed on through because you have water running in them. When a drain is clogged, the inside of the pipes dry and then foul odors will fill the room, and eventually your home.
- DRAINAGE: When clogged drain cleaning needs are ignored, especially with the toilet, the water will eventually start backing up into your home.
- LEAKY PIPES: Can a clogged drain cause a leak? Absolutely! A severely clogged drain can’t flow on down as intended, and if it can’t back up anymore, it will pressurize and bust the connections or even the pipe. This will lead to unexpected and expensive repairs.
- STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: Clogged drain cleaning will keep a clogged drain from backing up into or under your home. When drains back up and the pipes or connections bust under your home, the water can damage the structure, weaken it, and create more problems.
- AESTHETIC DAMAGE: The structural damage described above will lead to aesthetic damage in a short matter of time with discolored walls and water stains.
- CONTAMINANTS: Clogged drain cleaning keeps the contaminants found in wastewater washed out of your home, protecting your family’s health. Clogged drains are a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, mold, and other contaminants that can make you and your family extremely ill.
- INSECTS: Where there is the odor of foul, stagnant water, the insects will come. They will nest and breed, and even critters will find their way into your home because clogged drains are a source of food for some. You also need to factor in the diseases critters and insects carry and spread will infect you and your family.
What can you do for a clogged drain?
And what can clear a clogged drain? The nastiest of clogged drains must be addressed with tenacity! You need to get that goo dissolved so that it flows and flushes on to the main sewer line. Yes, there are the commercial over-the-counter products, but too much of those can cause further damage to pipes.
First, you want to try natural, basic household products for clogged drain cleaning. You may find yourself asking, “Can vinegar clear a clogged drain?” Yes, in fact, this is one of the first things that you should try for a clogged drain, following these steps:
STEP 1: Pour boiling hot water down the drain.
STEP 2: Pour a mixture of one cup baking soda, one cup white vinegar, and one cup water.
STEP 3: Cover the drain opening and let the mixture work for 10 minutes.
STEP 4: Pour more boiling hot water into the drain again.
The baking soda and vinegar will create a bubbling reaction that loosens whatever is clogging the drain and the water flushes it on through. You can do this once a month for maintenance instead of waiting for clogged drain cleaning.
Can bleach clear a clogged drain?
Three-fourths of a cup of household bleach is amazing for killing germs and sanitizing a clogged drain. However, for cleaning a clog out of the drain, bleach is not going to do the job. Bleach can’t eat through the layers of food, fats, grease, oils, hair, soap scum, and toothpaste that get trapped in drains and cause clogs.
How do you use a clogged drain remover tool?
Other than the plunger, you can purchase a plumber’s snake for clogged drain cleaning. This tool has a long metal piece wound up on a handheld reel. Place one end into the drain and then crank the handle on the reel, using some force to push it through and down the drain.
If you meet resistance, you’ve hit the clog. Use a little more force and get it further down the drain. After that, slowly wind it back up on the reel, and you may see some of what was clogging the drain. Wipe it off and repeat the process.
In Closing – What is the difference between a clogged drain vs a septic backup?
A clogged septic tank and a clogged drain can create similar problems. It is important to know the difference so you can perform clogged drain cleaning. Or do you need to call a professional plumber?
A septic tank is a holding tank buried underground. The wastewater from your home drains into this and fills it up slowly. When wastewater reaches a certain level, it drains out of the tank, soaking into the ground. If the pipe that leads to the drain field gets clogged, the septic tank fills up, doesn’t drain, and eventually, that wastewater will back up into the pipe and into the house.