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Clogged Sewer Lines - When to Call a Professional

No one enjoys clogged drains. Signs of a clogged drain could mean there is a problem in your sewer line, which needs to be seen by a professional plumber as soon as possible. So, how do you know when it’s something you need a plumber to tackle? Here we share warning signs that may indicate a more serious plumbing issue.

Consistently slow: Most of the time, slow drains can be taken care of with a plunger or safe drain cleaner. Typically, it’s a hair clog or something minor. However, if your drain is draining slowly often it could indicate that it’s something more serious. Old pipes sometimes need help from special equipment. Since older pipes can be delicate it’s always best to have a professional handle the situation. Too much struggle on your end could potentially damage your pipes and turn it into a serious issue.

Gurgling sounds: This is a red flag. If you hear a gurgling coming from your sink, toilet or shower drain, it probably means there’s a clog. Clogs can accumulate pockets of air over time and when they escape they can create the gurgling that you hear. While some of these clogs can be plunged, they are not always that easy to handle. Another possibility is a clogged sewer drain is sending gas up your pipes. This results in similar sounds. For either occasion, it’s always best to call a plumber.

Black Sludge: Skin cells, hair, toothpaste and other materials that get flushed down drains can eventually accumulate bacteria. That bacteria can create a black sludge that sometimes works its way back up pipes, usually due to a clog. It can produce an awful odor and it doesn’t look any better than it smells. If you have noticed black sludge coming up from your drains, this is likely the culprit. You may be able to plunge the clog, but if not, you’ll need to call a plumber to remove it.

The Clog is Located Deep in your Pipes: Surface-level and drain clogs can often be fixed with a plunger and a bit of work. However, if you’ve tried a plunger and cleaned out your drain but still have a clog deep in your pipes, it’s time for professional help. Deep clogs can be removed with tools like drain snakes or by disassembling your pipe framework. However, these solutions are typically best left in the hands of experienced plumbers. If you don’t know what you are doing with a drain snake, for example, you can easily damage your pipes or make the clog worse.

You Have Leaks or Pools: A serious pipe clog can damage your plumbing, back up water, and generally make itself known through leaks and pools of water that appear on your floor or walls. If you notice any sign of these leaks in conjunction with a clog, call a plumber right away. Moisture damage is very serious business, and you need a professional to identify the source and fix the problem as soon as possible.

You Use a Lot of Drain Cleaner: Drain cleaner can harm your pipes over time. Instead of turning to drain cleaner over and over again, call a plumber for a safer and more effective solution.

If you are experiencing anything like this in your home be sure to contact a licensed plumber immediately. Here at Johnson Heating & Cooling, we are happy to assess your situation, answer any of your questions and provide you with a free estimate. Contact us today.