4 Signs of a Serious Drain Clog

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Clogged drains become a serious problem when homeowners can’t fix them with a plunger or manual extraction. Drain-cleaning chemicals can sometimes aid in this process, but the hazards and potential downsides of using them often outweigh the benefits. That’s why it’s important to know how to recognize a serious blockage so you can contact a qualified plumber before it gets worse.

Increasing Drain Issues

A clog that only impacts one sink or toilet isn’t usually an emergency unless it’s the only one in the house. However, these clogs can continue to grow and may slide further down into the system if they aren’t resolved. If drain problems start to expand to other parts of the home, then the clog is probably serious and needs a professional.

No Progress with a Plunger

It’s tempting to get over-zealous with the plunger when the first few attempts fail. This isn’t always a good idea though. If you can’t make serious progress with a plunger in 30 seconds, then you should stop and reassess the situation. Over-plunging can push the clog even further into the system, which can make manual extraction that much more difficult. 

Cracks and Leaks

Even partial drain blockages are a primary cause of plumbing leaks. They create areas of uneven pressure within the pipes, which can weaken connections between the many different pieces. The longer you leave drain problems unaddressed, the more stress and potential damage is done to the entire system. Any signs of water damage around the home can be a sign of a serious plumbing issue, which means you should contact a residential plumber immediately.

Massive Overflows

Toilets are the common culprits when it comes to overflows, especially when people don’t practice good flush etiquette. Many of the most serious clogs are the result of flushing products that shouldn’t be in the sewer system. This is particularly important for homeowners with septic fields because certain types of debris can cause serious blockages that could require costly maintenance to correct. Overflowing sinks are another obvious sign of a serious clog because it indicates that both the drain and the fail-safe pipe are obstructed.

Almost all clogs are preventable if you keep your system in good shape and handle it with care. The most important thing is to educate everyone in the home about what should and shouldn’t be flushed. You should also know what to do when faced with any kind of blockage to keep it from escalating.

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