You have a plunger in your home for a reason. If the toilet becomes clogged, or even a bathroom or kitchen sink, acting quickly with a plunger and some persistence may get the clog out. This is the first method we typically recommend when you have a clogged drain. Of course, plumbers are around for a reason too.
Qualified plumbers not only have advanced drain cleaning equipment, but also have the skills to use these tools efficiently and effectively. So when should you call a plumber, and when should you keep trying to do it yourself and avoid those fees? In general, you should call a plumber when the problem is something you cannot take care of yourself, but we give more information below.
When the Plunger Won’t Work
As we mentioned, a plunger tends to be the most effective weapon against small clogs—or large ones—located near the drain opening of a toilet or sink. Our best advice for using a plunger is to be persistent! We’ve shown up to unclog drains after a homeowner has attempted plunging first, only to inform that homeowner that they just needed to give it a few more tries.
Make sure the plunger is locked into the drain, with a bit of water inside of it. For a toilet, you usually need a special toilet plunger with an extra flange (cupped attachment) to accomplish this and create the perfect seal. Don’t be afraid to try plunging a few dozen times! If this doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a plumber’s help.
When You Don’t Have a Home Drain Snake
Home drain snakes are “hit-or-miss” for most drain clogs. If you’ve got a bit of hair stuck near the drain opening, a small home drain auger might do the trick. However, most severe clogs require better, stronger equipment than this. A flimsy home auger might not be able to get past tough blockage, while a plumber can use motorized equipment to penetrate clogs of any material.
If you don’t have a drain snake, going out to purchase one may not be your best option, as there’s a good chance it won’t work and you’ll be more frustrated! We recommend trying a mixture of baking soda followed up by vinegar to “clean” the drain opening. If this doesn’t work, call in a plumber!
When Multiple Drains Are Clogged
When you notice that one drain in the house is clogged up, you’ll do yourself a huge favor if you check the rest of the drains throughout the home as well. If these are blocked up as well or else running slowly, there’s nothing you can do without high-tech equipment and professional training.
This constitutes a drain emergency, and you should call in plumbers ASAP. In case you are unable to use your faucets and drains, or if sewage is backing up into your home, you can find local emergency plumbers available 24/7!