When it comes to maintaining a functional home, keeping your drains clean and free-flowing is essential. However, sometimes things go wrong, and you need emergency drain cleaning services. Learn what causes clogged drains, the signs of a clog, and the benefits of calling a professional plumber for help.
What Causes Clogged Drains?
Knowing what items clog drains is the first step toward preventing plumbing emergencies. Here are the usual culprits:
- Hair: This is one of the most common causes of clogged drains, especially in bathroom sinks and showers. Hair binds with soap scum, grease, and other substances in the drain, leading to significant blockages.
- Grease and fat: These substances may be liquid when hot, but they harden inside the drain, forming a goopy sludge that narrows the pipe’s inner diameter and eventually causes a blockage.
- Food waste: Some small scraps are perfectly fine to grind up in the garbage disposal, but others, like coffee grounds, corn husks, pasta, and eggshells, can accumulate and clog the kitchen drain.
- Soap scum: When soap combines with minerals in the water, it forms a hard residue that clogs pipes.
- Foreign objects: Small items that accidentally go down the drain, such as marbles or jewelry, can sit in the pipe and cause blockages around them.
- Toilet paper buildup: Excess toilet paper use can lead to clogs, especially if the sewer line is already partially obstructed.
- Tree roots: Invasive tree roots can block water flow through the main sewer line, causing major plumbing issues.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
Clogs usually form slowly. It’s easy to ignore the early signs of trouble, but acting quickly may help you avoid a full-blown emergency. Here are the telltale signs that your drains need professional attention:
- Foul smells: Unpleasant odors from your drains are never a good sign. Decaying food particles in the kitchen sink could be to blame, or a more serious problem like a backed-up sewer line might be the underlying cause.
- Odd noises: Gurgling or bubbling sounds from your drains or toilets are not normal. These sounds indicate trapped air in your plumbing system, often caused by a blockage.
- Slow or no drainage: A sink or bathtub that drains slowly or not at all is a classic sign of a clog. Hair, soap, and other debris can accumulate over time, causing significant blockages. In more severe cases, this could point to a problem in your main sewer line.
- Recurring clogs: Dealing with a persistent clog that affects the same drain repeatedly signals a deeper problem within your plumbing system. Multiple simultaneous clogs are also a concern, as it means a single sewer problem may be affecting plumbing fixtures throughout the house. Persistent and simultaneous clogs require more than just a plunger—they need professional tools and techniques to clear the blockages and prevent them from recurring.
- Standing water: Pooling water in your yard is a red flag. It could indicate a severe blockage in your drainage system, leading to water backing up and surfacing on your property. The sewer pipe might also be leaking, a problem that requires professional sewer line repair.
- Toilet issues: Frequent clogs, sluggish flushing, or an overflowing toilet bowl could indicate a blockage in your sewer line. This is often caused by flushing non-degradable items or a buildup of toilet paper and waste. These issues can escalate quickly, so seek professional intervention before the sewer line backs up!
- Sediment or rust: If you live in an older home, you may have iron drain pipes prone to rusting on the inside. This narrows the pipe’s diameter and reduces water flow, eventually causing clogs and the need for sewer line cleaning. Only a sewer camera inspection can reveal this issue.
- Sewage backup: When wastewater is unable to flow away from your property, it has no other place to go than back up into your home. Dirty water rising from your sinks and bathtub drains is alarming. What’s more, potential exposure to sewage presents a serious health hazard. This problem requires immediate professional attention to prevent extensive damage and health risks.
The Need for Professional Drain Cleaning
It’s certainly possible to clear minor clogs yourself, but if your DIY efforts fail, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed plumber. Here’s how enlisting a professional’s help can benefit you:
- Expert assessment and diagnosis: Professional plumbers can accurately identify the root cause of drainage issues, ensuring the problem is fixed correctly the first time.
- Use of specialized tools and techniques: Experts have access to advanced tools like sewer cameras, hydro-jetting equipment, and heavy-duty drain snakes, which are far more effective than consumer-grade solutions.
- Safety: Professionals know how to handle drain cleaning tools safely. They also prevent you from exposing yourself to potential health hazards.
- Long-term solutions and prevention: Once a plumber unclogs your drain, they’ll offer solutions that help prevent future problems, saving you time and money in the long run.
- Convenience: Hiring a professional saves you the time and hassle of fixing the problem yourself. Your plumber can quickly and efficiently resolve the issue, letting you get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
- Peace of mind: Many plumbers offer warranties to demonstrate their commitment to quality. This puts your mind at ease, knowing that the job is done right.
Partner with Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating
There’s nothing more urgent and frustrating than a plumbing emergency. If you spot signs that you need sewer drain cleaning, trust Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating for a job well done. Our family-owned business has served the Seattle area for over 20 years, offering quality service at a fair price. We are available 24/7 for emergency services, ensuring we’re always there when you need us. Our skilled and fully licensed plumbers deliver unbeatable work and a positive customer experience every time. To schedule emergency drain cleaning in Seattle, contact us at (206) 938-3219 today.