Unclogging Drains

Plungers and chemical drain cleaners are often effective for unclogging fixture drains, but both come with caveats. The suction caused by plungers is capable of damaging seals and causing leaks, while chemical drain cleaners are corrosive and can weaken pipes.

Clogs in the branch drains and main waste vent stacks can be accessed and dealt with from one of the system’s cleanout points; however, with the potential for a gout of backed-up waste to come rushing out, many homeowners prefer to hire a plumber to handle the job. In addition to their experience and knowledge, professional plumbers bring several specialized tools, including augers and drain rods, both of which are long, flexible tools that can reach and dislodge clogs farther down the drain system. Water jetting—using a long, flexible hose to shoot a high-pressure stream of water at the clog—is another effective method of drain cleaning used by professionals.