There are a few plumbing issues which you can handle on your own, such as dislodging minor clogs and improving your drain rate and water flow. But there are some cases which will require professional drain cleaning services instead.

How do you know when you need professional drain cleaning? This is a common question many people face. The most common reason you might need to hire a professional is when it comes to “FOG” in your drain.

FOG is the term used when referring to solidified fats, various oils, and food grease. All of these items can collect along the interior lining of your pipes, gather in bends, and build up over time to cause severe and difficult to manage clogs. Attempting to remedy these clogs on your own can potentially lead to more damage than you started with. Let’s take a closer look at the potential issues you may be facing, what could be causing them, and how to best tackle the problem.

A Single Slow Moving Drain

This can be a sink drain, shower drain, or toilet. When a single drain or toilet is affected, you will notice water is slow to disappear or, in the case of a toilet, multiple flushes may be needed to remove the remains.

In some cases, a simple household plunger can quickly move the clogs along and get things flowing again. Be sure to try this first as it is a very effective DIY tactic for even the most inexperienced homeowner to try.

If this does not work, or you notice dirty and foul smelling water being pushed up other drains when you apply pressure to the plunger, it’s time to call a plumber. Non-flushable items, hair, and FOG may be to blame.

Multiple Slow Moving Drains

Instead of just a single drain or toilet being slow to drain, you might notice issues with multiple drains in your home all at once. This is a sign that a larger pipe or even your sewer lateral could be blocked or damaged.

In this case, using a plunger or drain snake will not be effective and calling a professional should be a priority. The sooner you can get this issue figured out, the less chance of sewage backup damaging your home.

Poor Toilet Performance

Poor performance when it comes to flushing your toilet can be due to clogs or partial blockages in your plumbing lines. If you notice the water level in the toilet bowl rising after a flush, this is due to a serious blockage and should be called in to a plumber immediately.

If left unmaintained, a clog in your toilet can lead to sewage backing up into the bowl and potentially even overflowing onto your floor. This can lead to water damage along the wall joints, carpeting, and other areas of your home. In many cases, a plumber can have your toilet back to normal in a short amount of time.