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Assessing the Severity of a Drain Clog Issue

Assessing the Severity of a Drain Clog Issue

If you've noticed that one of the drains in your plumbing system is backed up, remedying this situation as soon as possible will naturally be your top desire. Doing so might be a pretty quick process in many cases, but in others could be much more prolonged and costly - how do you tell which is the case in your situation? 

At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we offer the best drain cleaning services and other plumbing solutions you'll find in Utah. Here are some of the simple ways you can assess the severity of a drain clog once you notice it, plus some basics on how to respond based on what you find.

How Slow is the Drain?

The first question to ask, and to try and answer as best you can, is exactly how much the clog is slowing down your drain. In some cases, you may initially believe there's a significant clog, but upon closer inspection realize that water is still draining relatively quickly - just not quite as quickly as it used to.

If you're having trouble determining how slow a drain is working, there are a few tools at your disposal. The first is a simple visual: In cases where water simply is not moving whatsoever, it's likely you have a major clog. In cases where water is moving, timing how long it takes for the sink or tub to drain could provide you with an even more precise idea of your current blockage status.

In other cases, if simply looking at or timing the drain is not possible, you can also try to use a plunger. If plunging yields minimal results or no result at all, chances are you've got a noticeable blockage in your pipes.

One Drain or Multiple?

Next up, one of the most important questions to ask is if your clogged drain problem is limited to a single pipe, or if multiple drains are experiencing issues. If only one drain on your property is backed up, chances are the blockage is localized and thus less complicated to address - however if more than one of your drains have noticeable slowdowns or backups, it's possible the problem is more systemic, and could require further investigation.

For instance, many cases where multiple drains are clogged actually trace back to your main sewer line, which can be much more labor-intensive to fix than a localized blockage. If the main sewer line is the issue, it's best to call in a professional who will be able to assess the problem more closely and make sure it's taken care of correctly.

Get the Plunger Out

As we alluded to above, one of the simplest ways of both assessing clog severity and often remedying the issue right away is by using a plunger. Plunging can be effective for minor drain blockages, as the suction created helps to dislodge any debris that may have become stuck in your pipes and is thus slowing down water flow.

It's important to realize that there are different plunger types out there depending on the nature of the blockage and the size of your sink or tub. If you don't have one, you can usually pick up a plunger from your local hardware store for relatively cheap - and if not, it's definitely worth having one on hand in case this happens again!

If your plunging efforts clear the blockage, then voila! You're good to go. If plunging seems to move things along somewhat, but doesn't entirely do the trick, then you may want to consider a more professional approach. And in any case where plunging has no impact whatsoever, then you may want to call in a professional right away.

Accompanying Issues

There are also a few accompanying issues that, if you notice them along with a significant clog issue, could be signaling a more serious problem. These include:

  • Significant odors: If you're noticing strong or distinct odors coming from your drain, this could indicate a larger issue in your pipes.
  • Gurgling noises: If your drains are producing gurgling noises when water is draining, this often indicates an air bubble that's been created due to the blockage.
  • Mold/mildew growth: A clogged drain can also lead to moisture buildup, which in turn can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth.

These accompanying issues could indicate that the blockage is more serious than initially anticipated - however with a bit of logical investigation you should be able to accurately assess the severity of your situation and take necessary steps towards resolving the problem.

With the right knowledge and approach, unclogging your drains can be a far less stressful experience than you might think! Use the tips above to help you assess and take care of your current clog situation in the best way possible.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our plumbing services and programs, speak to our plumbers a Neighborly Plumbing & Services today.

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To serve our Wasatch neighbors in their plumbing, drain, and renovation needs. We are committed to giving you a reliable, fair, and ethical service with our local, experienced team. We strive to ensure that once our services are done, you will never need to call another plumber again.
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