Clogged drains can lead to several issues. This includes delayed draining, backups, unpleasant odors, and potential damage to the plumbing system. Drain cleaning services often employ specialized equipment and techniques to clear blockages and restore drains to their original functioning state. 

This guide will provide all the information you need about maintaining and resolving drain issues in your home or business. We’ll cover the common causes of clogged drains and the signs that indicate you may need drain cleaning services.

What Are Drain Cleaning Services?

Drain cleaning services are specialized solutions plumbing specialists or businesses offer to unclog or unblock clogged or blocked drains. These services are crucial in alleviating drainage system obstacles, ensuring correct water flow, and addressing associated plumbing concerns.

How Do You Tell If You Need a Plumber?

plumber with toolbox

Recognizing the signs of a clogged drain and preventing further damage and expensive repairs is critical. Using store-bought drain cleaners might provide temporary relief, but they can also cause harm to your pipes over time. Here are some common indicators that it’s time to call a professional plumber:

Slower Drainage

Suppose your kitchen or bathroom sinks take longer than usual to drain. This could indicate that debris has accumulated in your drain pipes, hindering the water flow. This slow drainage is usually the first indication of a clog and should not be ignored.

Constant Clogging

Frequent clogging is another common sign of a serious problem. If your drains are constantly getting blocked, there is likely a buildup of debris, such as hair, soap residue, or grease. Regular drain cleaning services can help eliminate this buildup and prevent future clogs.

Bad Smells

Unpleasant odors from your drains can be more than just a nuisance; they can indicate a severe clog. This smell usually arises when food debris gets stuck in your drains and begins to decompose. 

Gurgling Sounds

The gurgling sounds from your plumbing system are another tell-tale sign of a clogged drain. This noise is created when water struggles to pass through the clog.

How Much Does Drain Cleaning Services Cost?

average cost of snake a drain

When faced with a clogged drain, you might consider handling it yourself. However, hiring a professional plumber for the job is often more beneficial. They have the right tools and expertise to do the job quickly and correctly. 

But how much does this service cost? Here are several factors to consider that could influence the overall cost.

Snaking a drain is a common technique used by plumbers when unclogging. They use a flexible auger tool, also known as a “snake,” to break up or remove blockages in the pipes. The cost of snaking a drain depends on the clog’s complexity, the drain’s location, and the time required to complete the job.

According to Forbes, the average cost to snake a drain professionally is around $250 nationwide. Simple clogs can cost as low as $100, while more complex clogs may cost $360 or more.

It’s important to note that plumbers usually charge a fixed fee for unclogging drains. However, if they encounter additional problems during the process, you might be charged extra labor fees, billed by the hour. You may also need to cover the cost of any replacement parts required.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Unclogging a Drain

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Location

The accessibility of the location of the obstruction plays a significant role in the cost. More remote access points, such as the main sewer line, take longer to identify and clean, resulting in more labor hours and higher prices.

Number of Clogs

Multiple clogs in different areas of your home, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basement, usually indicate a problem with the main line. Clearing multiple clogs will naturally increase the overall cost of the service.

Severity

Simple blockages can often be cleared within a few minutes using a snake. However, dealing with multiple clogged pipes or a severe main line clog can take hours and may even require a video camera inspection.

Cause of Blockage

Blockages in drains are usually caused by the accumulation of soap residue, hair, or trapped food and debris. However, corrosion can also be a factor that causes blockages. In such cases, resolving the issue requires more than just using a drain snake, which can result in higher costs.

Labor

Plumbing estimates vary depending on job size, travel distance, region, and season. You can expect to pay between $45 and $125 per hour for labor, with additional costs for necessary parts and supplies.

While the cost of hiring a professional plumber might seem high initially, it’s often a worthwhile investment. Professionals have the knowledge and tools to effectively clear your drains, helping to prevent future clogs and potential damage to your plumbing system. 

How to Unclog a Bathroom Drain?

plumber-unclogging-bathroom-drain

Various clogs can occur in a bathtub drain. One of the most common issues is when hair accumulates and creates a blockage. Therefore, inspecting your bathtub drain regularly for excessive hair buildup is crucial.

A simple way to remove this type of clog is by using a plunger. However, this method may not work for more stubborn clogs.

If you have a clogged bathtub drain that causes standing water, it is likely caused by a buildup of soap residue. A mix of hot water and vinegar can be helpful in such a situation. 

To use this method, pour equal parts of hot water and vinegar directly into the drain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. After that, flush the pipes with boiling water. While this method may dissolve the buildup causing the blockage, it is important to note that it may only provide a temporary solution.

When Should You Call a Plumber for Bathtub Drain Issues?

If you notice recurring clogs or bad odors, or if your DIY attempts fail to resolve the issue, it’s time to call a professional plumber. They can clear the current clog and identify any underlying issues contributing to the problem.

Unclogging a Shower Drain

plumber-repairing-bathtub

Shower drains can easily become clogged due to the accumulation of hair, soap scum, and debris. While household remedies like vinegar and baking soda can help with minor clogs, persistent blockages require professional assistance. A plumber’s expertise can ensure that the clog is completely removed, preventing future recurrences and maintaining the optimal functionality of your shower drain.

When Should You Call a Plumber for Shower Drain Issues?

If you notice that your shower is draining slowly and water is collecting in pools, it is important to seek the help of a professional. A plumber has the tools and expertise to remove stubborn clogs and ensure water flows smoothly down the drain. They offer a comprehensive solution that addresses the underlying cause of the blockage, which helps prevent potential damage to your plumbing system.

How to Unclog Your Kitchen Drain?

dishwasher cleaning

The kitchen is the heart of any home, but a clogged drain can quickly disrupt your day-to-day activities. Whether it’s your dishwasher or sink drain that’s giving you trouble, understanding how to handle these issues can save you time and frustration.

Steps to Unclog a Dishwasher Drain

Dishwashers are incredibly convenient appliances but are not immune to drainage issues. Slow draining or complete blockages can occur due to food debris or other obstructions. Here’s how to tackle a clogged dishwasher drain:

  1. Disconnect the Dishwasher: Safety first! Always disconnect the dishwasher from its power source before starting any maintenance work.
  2. Remove the Bottom Rack: This will give you access to the bottom of the dishwasher, where the drain filter is typically located.
  3. Locate and Remove the Drain Filter: The drain filter catches large food particles to prevent them from clogging the drain. It can usually be unscrewed and removed manually.
  4. Clean the Drain Filter: Use soap and warm water to clean the drain filter thoroughly. A soft brush can help to dislodge any stubborn debris.
  5. Replace the Drain Filter: Once cleaned, screw the drain filter back into place.
  6. Reconnect and Run a Cycle: Reconnect the dishwasher to the power source and run a quick cycle to check if the issue has been resolved.

When Should You Call a Plumber for a Dishwasher Drain?

While the above steps can help with minor clogs, there are times when professional help is necessary. You should call a plumber if:

  • The dishwasher drain remains clogged after trying the steps above.
  • The drain is clogged with grease or other hard-to-remove debris.
  • The dishwasher drain is leaking.
  • You have a water softener, and the dishwasher drain is clogged with hard water deposits.

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain?

plumber repairing sink

A clogged kitchen sink can be just as disruptive as a clogged dishwasher. Here are the steps to unclogging a kitchen sink drain:

  1. Remove Standing Water: Use a cup or bowl to remove standing water from the sink.
  2. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar.
  3. Cover the Drain: Use a stopper or rag to cover the drain opening.
  4. Let it Sit: Allow the mixture to sit in the drain for about 30 minutes.
  5. Flush with Hot Water: Flush the drain with hot water to remove the baking soda, vinegar, and any dislodged debris.

When Should You Call a Plumber for a Kitchen Sink Drain?

There are situations when a DIY fix might not be enough for a kitchen sink drain. It’s time to call a plumber if:

  • The sink drain remains clogged after trying the steps above.
  • The drain is clogged with grease or other hard-to-remove debris.
  • The sink drain is leaking.
  • You have a garbage disposal, and the sink drain is clogged with food particles.

How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain?

A clogged basement floor drain can lead to serious flooding and water damage. Here’s a guide on how to unclog a basement floor drain and when to call a professional.

  1. Locate the Drain: This is typically found near the lowest point on the basement floor.
  2. Find the Cleanout Plug: The plug is usually near the floor drain. You can remove it using a pipe wrench or pliers.
  3. Inspect the Drain Pipe: Use a flashlight to examine the inside of the drain pipe for any visible blockages.
  4. Use a Plunger: If you notice a blockage, use a plunger to try and dislodge it. Push down firmly several times to create suction.
  5. Use a Drain Snake: A drain snake may be more effective if the plunger doesn’t work. Insert the snake into the drain, rotate it clockwise to catch the clog, then gently pull it out.
  6. Flush Out Remaining Debris: Once the blockage has been removed, flush the drain with water to remove any remaining debris.
  7. Test the Drain: To confirm that the clog has been removed, test the drain with water. If it flows freely, the clog has been successfully cleared.

When to Call a Plumber

Recognizing the signs that indicate the need for professional intervention is crucial. You should contact a plumber if you notice:

  • There is a gurgling sound when you flush your toilet, especially a basement toilet.
  • The smell of sewage in your basement.
  • Flooding or clear water backup, especially when it rains.
  • Sewage backup into your basement.
  • Stains on your floors or walls.

How to Unclog a Slow-Draining Toilet?

toilet-plunger

A slow-draining toilet is not just an annoyance; it can also lead to potential water damage if not addressed promptly. Here are some steps to unclog a slow-draining toilet:

  1. Plunger Method: Ensure enough water is in the bowl to cover the plunger. Then, place the plunger over the drain opening and push down firmly. After that, pull up sharply to create suction and repeat this process several times until the water drains.
  2. Chemical Drain Cleaners: Toilet-specific drain cleaners can be effective for some clogs. Always follow the product instructions carefully to avoid damaging your plumbing system. These chemicals can be harsh and may cause damage.
  3. Auger/Snake Method: A toilet auger or snake can physically break down the clog. Insert the auger or snake into the drain, rotating it to break down the clog. Carefully pull out the snake, ensuring the clog is removed.

Remember, these methods are typically effective for minor clogs. For persistent or recurring issues, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

When to Call a Plumber

plumber-working-on-a-clogged-toilet

Knowing when to call a professional plumber can save you from minor issues escalating into major plumbing disasters. Consider contacting a professional if:

  • DIY Methods Fail: If your attempts to unclog the toilet are unsuccessful, it’s time to hire an expert. They have the tools and expertise to handle stubborn clogs effectively.
  • Frequent Clogs: Frequent clogging could indicate a deeper issue within your plumbing system that requires a professional assessment.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Persistent unpleasant odors emanating from the toilet could suggest a problem within the pipes that needs immediate attention.
  • Slow Draining Throughout the House: Slow drainage in multiple areas, such as the toilet, sinks, and other drains, may indicate a more widespread issue. A professional plumber can identify and address these complex problems.

high-angle-view-male-plumber

Dealing with clogged drains in your kitchen, basement, or bathroom can be daunting. However, understanding how to unclog these drains and when to call a professional can make the process smoother and more efficient. 

While DIY methods can be effective for minor clogs, it’s important to recognize when a problem requires the expertise of a professional plumber. Frequent clogs, unpleasant odors, and slow drainage throughout the house are all signs that it’s time to call the professionals. 

Remember, timely intervention can prevent minor issues from escalating into major plumbing disasters. So, don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you’re dealing with persistent or complex clogging problems. Your home’s plumbing system is crucial to its overall functionality, and proper maintenance is essential for longevity.

Drain Cleaning Service and Emergency Plumbers in Birmingham, Alabama

If you’re based in Birmingham, Alabama, and are dealing with such persistent plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to contact Drainblaster Plumbing Service. As an established plumbing company in Birmingham, we pride ourselves on providing consistent, high-quality service on large and small jobs. Whether you require basic fixture repair or more extensive plumbing work, our team is ready and equipped to help.

We understand that emergencies require immediate attention, and a clogged drain can escalate if not addressed promptly. You can rely on our experts to respond swiftly and efficiently to your plumbing emergencies. We know dealing with plumbing issues can be incredibly frustrating, so we’re committed to offering a seamless, hassle-free service.

Don’t let minor plumbing issues turn into major disasters. Trust the experts at Drainblaster Plumbing Service to provide the solutions you need. Contact us today to enlist our services and ensure the longevity and functionality of your home’s plumbing system.