Is a Clogged Drain an Emergency?

drain with a clog

Dealing with a clog

Several things can be aggravating, but a clogged drain is in the top two. What causes clogged drains? Below are the eight typical household clogged drain causes:  

  • HAIR: Probably one of the two most significant drain clogging culprits because it binds with the other big drain clogging substances – grease and food, both sticky substances. 
  • SOAP: Most of us don’t realize that fat and grease are ingredients used to make soap, and when soap is combined with minerals in the water, it creates soap scum, a hard residue that clogs pipes and stains bath fittings.  
  • DIRT: As you wash the dirt off your clothes and hands, it can build up inside the drain and cause clogs. 
  • FOOD WASTE: Food should not be washed down the drain, especially coffee grounds, or tea leaves because they do not break down, nor does grease or oil.  
  • MINERAL BUILDUP: As minerals dissolve in hard water, they build up and create masses that are insoluble and block drains. 
  • SMALL OBJECTS: If anything beyond human waste and toilet paper is flushed or go into a drain, like a small toy or other objects, they become wedged and create a clog.
  • TOILET PAPER BUILDUP: When too much toilet paper is used at one time, it will clog the toilet drain. 
  • TREE ROOTS: If the sewer pipe has any crack where water is leaking, tree roots will find it and bust into the pipe, clogging it, or totally bust it. 

Blocked pipes and clogged drains will start as a minor issue, but a clogged drain and emergency plumbing can happen quickly if the clog isn’t addressed and repaired early. A clogged drain slow water draining, corrode water pipe, cause flooding, and sewage backup. Clogged drain and damage can create costly repairs, so practicing ways to prevent clogs is the best thing you can do. 

How do you clear a clogged drain pipe?

Every homeowner needs to know how to clear clogged drain because waiting on a plumber isn’t always possible. It is also essential to understand when doing clogged drain cleaning is something you can do or if you need to call a professional plumber. 

Before you make that phone call to a plumber, try these household remedies to open up clogged drains: 

  • Baking Soda and Salt – Pour equal amounts of each ingredient in the drain and allow to sit for thirty minutes, then run hot tap water for fifteen-minute. 
  • Lemon, Salt, and Vinegar – Mix equal amounts of salt and vinegar in a small bowl, then pour in half that amount of lemon juice in the bowl and let sit thirty minutes.
  • Hot Water and Salt – Pour half cup of salt, then one cup hot water in the drain, and allow to sig for thirty minutes. 
  • Clothes Hanger – Using a wire clothes hanger, straighten out, leaving a small hook on one end. Then stick down in the drain and “fish” around for what could be clogging the drain.
  • Household Plunger – These are available at any grocery store or home improvement store and always handy to have around just for these times. 
  • Auger or Drain Snake – You can purchase these at any big box home improvement store. Follow instructions on how to clean a table.
  • Shop-Vac – using a wet/dry shop vac, hold the open hose end, then stick the nozzle over the drain and turn it on suction. 

What can I pour down a drain to unclog it?

There are a host of things on the shelves today that are made to open clogged drains. Some people prefer not to use them because of the environment. If you’re concerned about the environment, we recommend using the following mixture of household products: 

  1. Pour one up boiling water in the drain.
  2. Pour one cup of baking soda mixed with half cup water and half cup vinegar. 
  3. Place a cover over the drain or the drain plug and wait ten minutes.
  4. Pour one cup boiling water in the drain again
  5. Test the drain by filling the sink or tub with water. If still clogged, repeat the process.
cleaned out sink

What do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Professional plumbers have a few tricks on their trucks for clear clogged drains

Manual Drain Snake

The drain snake or plumber’s snake is a small, rotating auger is equipment that the plumber will push through the clogged drain. This piece of equipment is one that most plumbers use most because it clears clogged drains and clogged toilets too. It dislodges any debris and allows it to pass into the sewer system.

Motorized Drain Snake

The motorized drain snake works on clogged drains from the outside at the sewer cleanout port. These can reach into a clogged drain up to 150 feet and clear out more extensive blockages than the manual snake. 

Hydro-Jetting Machine

If the first two methods and processes don’t clear the clogged drain, a professional plumber will have a hydro-jet that will blast the clog with high pressured water forced through the pipes. They will perform an inspection with video equipment first to makes sure the problem isn’t something more than a clogged drain. 

So, you’re not able to open the clogged drain, and you called a plumber. How long does it take plumbers to snake a drain? Will it be an all-day job? If the clogged drain is the sink, toilet, or tub, using a plumber snake, they can open a clogged drain within five minutes, maybe ten at the most. For a more severe clogged drain like at the main line, it can take several hours. 

A clogged drain can create more problems than being inconvenient. It isn’t something to be ignored. Signs that you have a clogged drain would be: 

Signs of a clogged drain:

  • Sounds of bubbling coming from the toilet
  • Water backed up into the bathtub, shower, or toilet
  • Water leaking from under the toilet 
  • Water draining slow from bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet 
  • Drains have a bad odor coming out 
  • Water puddled on floor near bathtub, laundry area, shower, or toilet
  • Water coming from a clean out

Let’s get started on unclogging your drain today! Call DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING at (310) 901-2120.