As Boise’s leading plumbing services company, we’re familiar with the questions and concerns our customers have about clogged drains and drain repair. The function of your drains directly impacts your health and safety. To help put you at ease, here are answers to the most common questions we get:

Essential Drain Repair FAQ’s

How Can I Be Sure I Have a Clogged Drain?

If a drain or the pipe under it is clogged, water will drain more slowly. A sink or tub may not drain at all when there’s a total blockage. Trapped hair, food, grease, and other materials can start to smell, so odors are another sign of a clog. However, if flushing the toilet causes water to back up through your sink or tub drain, a sewer line may be blocked.

Is There an Easy Way to Deal with Clogged Drains?

You can get by without calling a plumber, but that depends on the nature and scope of the problem. Store bought liquid clog removers may break down the clog when poured down the drain. However, commercial drain cleaners come with risks. They can not only cause eye and skin irritation, but also damage drains and pipes. Be sure to use the product per the manufacturer’s instructions, and for the right places (most drain cleaners aren’t suited for toilets).

Can I Fix a Clogged Bathroom Sink?

Bathroom drains are vulnerable to clogs from soap, personal care products, and hair. Debris often builds up in the J pipe. If you’re able to remove the J pipe with a wrench, you could pull out whatever is clogging it. But if you’re not comfortable doing so or this method doesn’t work, call a trained plumber to address the matter.

How Do I Prevent Kitchen Drain Clogs?

It’s best not to allow food, oil, grease, and other waste get into your drains. Buildup can be prevented or slowed by using a garbage disposal. When your kitchen drains do become clogged, a professional drain cleaning by a skilled plumber can get things flowing again, and avoid the need for more extensive drain repair.

What’s the Ideal Drain Cleaning Method?

There are various ways to unclog drains. A drain snake is an effective tool. While some people know how to use one, it’s best to hire a plumber, as it can break pipes if not used properly. A mechanical auger has a metal coil that’s pushed through the drain and into the pipe to dislodge the clog.

Professionals also use high-pressure water jets to push clogs through the system. Additionally, water jets can clean buildup from interior pipe walls, such as soap, grease, and hair. And if the issue isn’t resolved or its source is unknown, camera inspection provides a first-hand look from inside your pipes.

When Is It Time to Call a Professional?

Contact a plumbing professional if:

  • Water continues to drain more slowly over time.
  • Water/waste will not drain from your sink, tub, or toilet.
  • Foul odors are coming from your drains and fixtures.
  • You hear gurgling sounds from pipes and no fixtures are on.
  • Sinks/tubs back up when the toilet is flushed.
  • Multiple fixtures are backing up.

Do I Need Drain Repair If a Floor Drain Smells?

Located in the lowest part of your home, basement, garage, or laundry room drains remove water from the building. They have traps that are normally filled with water, which prevent sewer odors from backing up. But even if the trap is filled, drains may still be slow or back up; in these cases, call a professional plumber right away.

What Problems Can a Video Pipe Inspection Find?

During a video pipe inspection, a camera attached to a flexible line is inserted into your plumbing system. It allows a skilled plumber to view the interior of pipe on a video monitor and determine the best course of action to fix any issue found. They can spot cracks, broken or collapsed pipes, leaky joints, shifted pipes, corrosion, intruding tree roots, and grease buildup, objects, and other blockages.

How Do I Know If an Outside Water Pipe Is Clogged or Broken?

There might not be direct evidence inside your home. But water from a leaking exterior pipe may flood your yard or turn it into a muddy mess. You may hear running water when not using any plumbing fixtures. Another sign of trouble is when your water bill is high, yet usage hasn’t increased and the utility company hasn’t raised prices.

How Are Drainage Problems with Outdoor Plumbing Addressed?

Homeowners are often concerned that, when outdoor plumbing problems occur, expensive, time-consuming digging will be necessary. But we don’t necessarily have to dig up your yard. Our experienced plumbers have advanced methods to locate outdoor drainage and sewer pipes and any blockages or damage. We can then employ state-of-the-art, non-invasive methods like pipe bursting and trenchless sewer repair. These save a great deal of time and money.

Is Hard Water Causing My Drain Problem?

Hard water minerals can build up within drains and pipes and slow water drainage over time. These minerals aren’t harmful but can stain plates and silverware and cause dry skin. A plumber can perform tests to determine if hard water is the cause and whether sediment or flaking pieces of metal from old pipes are a problem.

Who Should I Call for Drain Repair?

The licensed and trained plumbers at Express Plumbing Heating & Air can troubleshoot and fix any drain problem in your home. Schooled in our own training center, our technicians learn the latest drain repair and cleaning methods and how to provide the quality service we’re known for. We are available to schedule, and do everything in our power to protect your home, are committed to 100% satisfaction, and strive to make drain cleaning and repair affordable.

To request service in your Treasure Valley area home, schedule your appointment online or call (208) 398-0309 today.

Brad Jordan

company icon