5 Signs That Indicate You Have a Clogged Drain and What to Do Next

Any home may experience clogged drains, which are typical plumbing problems. Food, hair, excessive toilet paper or items that don’t belong in the drain can cause blockages.

A clogged drain can also attract pests like fruit flies and drain flies, so it is important to address the problem immediately. If you hear gurgling noises, it could mean that air is trapped in the pipes and needs to be released.

Unpleasant Smells

When a smelly drain develops in your home, it’s time to call a professional. While the cause of the odor may be as simple as a dried-out P-trap, it could also be a sign that there is a more serious problem in the sewer line that requires attention immediately.

The foul odor is often caused by food particles that rot in the drain pipe. This can be prevented by regularly using your garbage disposal and disposing of food scraps in the trash or compost pile. Another potential culprit is plant roots that have grown into the sewer line, which produces a rotting, musty smell.

In most cases, a bad smell is one of the first signs that you have a developing clog. Pour half a cup of table salt, followed by boiling water or baking soda and vinegar (half a cup of baking soda and a couple of cups of hot water), down the drain if the smell is persistent. The bubbling action can help to break up some blockages.

Slow Drainage

If you notice that your drain is slowly filling up or that water doesn’t go down the drain quickly anymore, this is a sign of a clog. A clog in the main line will stop wastewater from flowing through and could result in broken pipes and expensive damage to your home.

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If your shower, bathtub or sink drains slower than normal and you have yet to try simple methods like baking soda, it may be time to call a plumber to assess the situation. The clog may be much more severe than you think, especially if it’s a long-standing problem.

A snaking tool can be helpful for homeowners who want to try to fix the clogged drain independently. If you don’t have a tool on hand or are not comfortable using it (it involves bending a wire coat hanger into one thin, straight piece and maneuvering it into the clogged drain), you can also use pliers to bend a wire hanger into a “U” shape. This should dislodge any hair and debris caught in the drain.

Water Pooling in the Sink or Bath

A pool of water in your sink or bathtub needs to be better. This means there is a serious drain blockage, and it’s time to call the pros.

If you haven’t still need to do so, turn off the water supply to the fixture. This keeps the clog from getting worse while you work on it. In the worst-case scenario, it also prevents your clogged drain from flooding your home with contaminated water, sewage, and septic waste.

Try using a plunger to remove the obstruction. Make six consistent up-and-down thrusts while maintaining the seal between each one. You can also pour a cup of boiling water down the drain (it helps dissolve softer buildup like soap scum and cooking grease) or use a wire coat hanger for further reach and leverage. If these DIY tactics don’t work, try cranking the handle on your power auger to see if it dislodges the clog. If not, the clog is probably farther down the pipe in your P-trap or the sewer line. It’s time to schedule a professional inspection and cleaning.

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Unpleasant Smells in the Toilet

A toilet that doesn’t drain properly can be a sign of a serious problem. Often, it means a blockage somewhere in the sewer line. This is a significant problem that needs expert care to avoid expensive damages.

Unpleasant smells from clogged drains typically signal that something is decomposing inside the pipe. Food scraps, hair, or other items that have become lodged in the drain and are starting to rot could cause this. These smells are one of the first signs of a clog, so it’s important to fix them as soon as you notice them.

If you notice that a drain smells bad, consider using a natural cleaner instead of the conventional chemical-based ones. You can use baking soda and white distilled vinegar to help eliminate the odor. Pour in one cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, plug the drain with a rag, and wait an hour before running boiling water down the drain.

Water Leaks

A water leak is an extremely serious problem that can cause severe and expensive damage. When a clog isn’t addressed quickly, it can result in water overflowing from the affected drain and leaking into your home. If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill or have standing water around the sink or bathtub, call us to schedule a professional drain cleaning.

Organic material that decomposes in a clogged drain can produce foul odors. The smell may be carried throughout the house and is especially strong in areas with less ventilation.

A clogged drain can attract flies and other insects. Fruit flies are attracted to food stuck in the gutter, while drain flies are attracted to sewage and other rotting debris. If you see more flies than usual or have noticed an increase in fruit flies in your kitchen, this could be a sign that your drains are clogged. Frequent clogs require immediate attention to prevent major problems. Call us to schedule a drain cleaning today.