Clogged Drain in Raleigh — D.I.Y. or Call a Plumber?

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Clogged drain in the Raleigh area? Sometimes you can tell it’s coming. The water in the shower takes longer and longer to drain. But sometimes, it catches you by surprise. The toilet suddenly backs up—typically while you’re preparing for guests.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

Most drain clogs result from debris that accumulates in drainpipes over time. In the bathroom, dead skin cells sloughed off in the shower, soap scum, and hair are common culprits.

Toilet backups are often caused by excess toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and baby wipes. Many small toys also accidentally make their way down a toilet drain.

In kitchen sinks—even ones with garbage disposals, food can build up in the pipes. Some of the most frequent causes of clogs are grease, which begins as a liquid but solidifies as it cools, coffee grounds and egg shells, which get heavy when they mix with water, and pasta, rice, potatoes and beans, which expand when they mix with water.

How to Clear a Clog

Clearing a clog is technologically simple. You have to dissolve or dislodge the blockage. But getting that done isn’t always easy.

The first line of offense is a plunger. Place the plunger firmly over the drain and push it up and down vigorously several times. For even more effectiveness, if the blockage is in a double-bowl kitchen sink, insert a wet towel into one drain opening. If the blockage is in a bath sink, put a towel in the overflow hole.

Another approach is to open up the stopper and use a straightened wire hanger, work it down the drain and see if you can pull out the clog and remove hair and soap scum from the stopper.

If the first two methods are not effective, you may need to use a plumber’s snake, also called a cable auger. This long, coiled tool is effective in reaching clogs that are deep in the pipe, to break them up and dislodge them.

When to Call a Professional

Although many homeowners reach for bottled drain openers to dissolve clogs, the harsh chemicals in these products can damage your pipes and fixtures. But other methods to clear a drain, such as using a plumber’s snake, can also damage your pipes. If you have tried using a plunger to no avail or if your trusty plumber’s snake isn’t making a difference, it’s time to call in a professional.

With specialized equipment, like a drain machine, a professional plumber can get rid of blockages that most homeowners can’t.

If you need clogged drain repair in Raleigh or Durham, NC, we can help. NC Plumbing Services provides complete plumbing services in the Triangle, and Wake, Harnett and Johnston counties. If you’ve got plumbing questions, call the professionals at NC Plumbing Services at 919-868-3585.