When Should You Call a Plumber For a Clogged Drain?

Let's face it. Your drains will clog at some point. They can often happen when you're in the midst of your holiday celebration and have a house full of family celebrating with you. When they happen, you have to decide if you're going to be able to handle it or if you should call in a plumbing professional.

When you have a mess on your hand, you want to handle it as quickly as possible. So, you will probably get right to work to resolve the problem. Take a moment to check out these tips, and you could save yourself a massive headache or find a solution to your drain clog.

A Few Simple Methods

The first step is determining just how severe the problem is and knowing how to handle it. This often requires trying a few simple methods to clear the drain. Start with removing the drain cover and pulling out whatever you can reach with gloved hands.

You may be tempted to reach for the drain cleaner. While it seems like a quick fix and inexpensive, that could damage your pipes leading to having a more expensive problem on your hands.

Those with metal pipes can boil a pot of water and slowly pour it down the drain, loosening mild clogs. If you have PVC pipes, Bio-Clean may do the trick. This enzyme and bacteria-based de-clogger are just $10 a bottle and available at your local plumbing supply store.

If your clog is in your sink, disassemble and clean out the trap— the U-shaped pipe in the cabinet under the sink. Place a bowl there to catch anything that comes running out upon opening the chute.

Give this Howell Services blog post a try when you're trying to solve simple kitchen sink clogs.

Give a plunger or auger a try next. The plunger will help to loosen clogs, and the auger will break up the clogs. Choose a flat head plunger for sinks and rounded heads for toilets.

Is this a DIY Fix?

If you have a huge mess on your hands, call the plumber immediately. Once it gets out of hand, it is time to call in the pros before the backup causes damages to your home. If every drain in your home is backed up, the clog is happening in the main drain, and the fix can only be handled by a licensed professional.

Before you give those DIY methods, visit our blog to avoid making these plumbing code violations.

When to Call the Plumber

Any time is a good time to call a plumber. It is often hard to determine how severe the clog is; plumbers will be able to handle any level of severity, so it's a good idea to have them come out to diagnose and repair the problem quickly. But these are the more obvious signs that you need a plumber.

  • If you have more than one drain in your home that is backing up or there is a scent of sewage in the air, it's time to call the plumber out to snake your drain line as soon as possible.
  • If you have tried the plunger and it isn't clearing the drain with vigorous plunging, you will need a plumber.
  • If you don't have a drain snake on hand. Even if you have one, plumbers' auger is more powerful, and they can infiltrate stubborn clogs.

Recommended Tools

There a few tools that can help you as you discover those clogged drains:


This should always be your go-to tool for drain clogs. Make sure you get a tight seal and work it for about 60 seconds. If this doesn't work, try your auger.


Also called a "plumber's snake," should be fed into the pipe in a clockwise motion.

Other Helpful Drain Tools:

Home Depot and Walmart sell tools to loosen clogs that are perfect for your sinks, shower, and tub drains. The Drain Weasel Hair Clog Tool, 20 inches, Plastic Hair Snake, and the Cobra Hair Snake Flexible Stick Drain Opener can all be used to clear stubborn clogs.

Keeping Clogs at Bay

Prevention is the best way to deal with drain clogs. Make it a household rule that only water, natural waste, and toilet paper goes down your drains. Let everyone in the household know that:

  • Tissue, paper towels, sanitary supplies, and baby wipes are for the trash, not the toilet.
  • Cooking oil and grease should be disposed of in a newspaper and thrown into the garbage, not down your drain.
  • Potato peels and scraps left over after cutting up veggies should also head to the trash.

Howell Services is Here to Help

Getting to the bottom of plumbing backups is best left to plumbers. Howell Services is ready to help with your drain clog. Our licensed, insured, and bonded plumbing professionals are prepared to help even after hours. Give us a call now to handle your plumbing issue in Sugar Land and the surrounding communities. Check out the full list of services we provide.

Visit our website for more information.

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