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If you’re a new homeowner, soon you’ll realize that cleaning your drains is a normal part of your home maintenance routine. Just as you need to mow the lawn, water your plants, change the air filters in your HVAC system, clean the carpets, and dust the blinds, your drains need to be cleaned periodically too.

In our experience, most people have learned how to work a plunger; some of them have also made a trip or two to the hardware store to buy a harsh chemical drain cleaner. Sometimes though, these “go-to solutions” aren’t good enough to clear a stubborn clog in a toilet, a bathtub drain, or a kitchen sink drain.

When a handy plunger or chemical drain cleaner won’t do the job 100%, usually it won’t clear the clog at all, or it will clear the clog, but it will come back within a few days or weeks and the same drain will continue to re-clog, driving the homeowner batty. This usually happens when something unusual has been pushed down the drain or flushed down the toilet. For example, a toddler flushes a toy car down the toilet, or a fourth-grader flushes a wad of paper towels down the toilet after cleaning the bathroom.

Clogs are very common in households with small children, but even adults can misuse their garbage disposals, kitchen sink drains, bathroom drains and toilets merely due to a lack of education about plumbing – it happens.

When Your Attempts Fail

If you’re like most homeowners, you’ll try to clear a clog on your own before calling a plumber. If you encounter a stubborn clog and no amount of plunging or drain cleaner will clear the clog, you have no other choice but to have your drains “physically” cleaned. The first thing to do is to feed a plumbing snake down the pipe and see if that does the trick.

If you’re cleaning a sink drain, we recommend covering the overflow valve because this allows pressure to build up so the clog can be broken through. If a snake doesn’t clear the clog, you’ll need to use a power auger, which is more effective at cutting through clogs. Usually, power augers are used by people with basic plumbing knowledge. If you don’t know much about plumbing, you could accidentally damage your plumbing system with this machine.

If you’re in over your head, it’s best to call a professional plumber; it’s often the best and most cost-effective decision. If you’re looking for a licensed Cedar Park plumber, contact Excalibur Plumbing today to schedule a service call!