3 Reasons Why a Professional Plumber is Your Best Bet for Clogged Drains

When a plumbing problem occurs, do you call a professional? Or are you a do-it-yourselfer? Many homeowners will attempt to resolve plumbing issues on their own. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best course of action.

Even an experienced do-it-yourself should turn to a professional plumber in certain situations. If your home has clogged drains, here are three reasons you’ll want to contact a professional plumber.

1. Professional Plumbing Solutions Prevent Future Problems

Unclogging the drain is really only the beginning. Be wary of any plumbers who simply unclog a drain with no additional examination. Instead, a plumbing professional should determine the cause of the blockage. There might be an on-going issue which is causing the drain blockage.

Many internal plumbing problems originate with pipes outside the home. Sewer and water line blockages can cause leaks and flooding through the foundation. What may seem like a simple drain blockage could actually be a symptom of a larger plumbing issue.

Even a small leak should be fixed as soon as possible. The constant drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet isn’t just a waste of water; it’s also a waste of money. The cost of a visit from the plumber will be far less than the impact a leaky faucet can have on your water bill.

Left untreated, clogged and slow drains can start to emit a strong smell. Eventually, this swampy smell can stink up your entire house. Regular drain cleanings keep your pipes and drains smelling fresh.

Finally, a plumber will be able to discover any hidden leaks. Improper outside draining can result in water damage to the foundation of your house. A plumbing pro can look for specific watermarks inside your basement.

For instance, a single area with a high water mark is likely caused by surface water flowing in from the outside. Usually the solution is to extend the downspouts so water flows away from the house. On the other hand, watermarks which surround a basement possibly indicate a shift in the water table. Your foundation might be exposed to a fair amount of water, which requires pumping and interior drainage.

While a do-it-yourselfer can fix an immediate problem, only a professional is able to anticipate future issues.

2. Professional Solutions Won’t Damage Your Pipes

Generally, you want to avoid the harsh drain cleaning products found in your local grocery and hardware stores. Although they work in the short-term, many caustic drain liquids and crystals can cause long-term damage to your pipes. The acidic compounds can eventually eat through the pipes, even if they’re made of metal.

Consumer drain cleaning products can include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, lye, bleach and other potentially dangerous ingredients. You’ll need to take precautions to avoid physical contact with the chemicals. Also, be sure and only use in an area with plenty of ventilation. Keep pets and children far away.

A professional plumber only uses safe, non-toxic solutions. Electric drain machines are able to remove even the toughest clogs without harming the pipes. Plus, there’s no chemical residue left in the sink or tub.

Manual and electric sewer machines allow for powerful but precise control. The plumbing professional can also use a thin camera to study the blockage. Identifying the cause of the blockage helps prevent it from reoccurring. Cameras allow for greater accuracy, too. A wireless, handheld locator provides a detailed depth measurement.

Sewers and storm drains require professional cleaning. High-pressure water jets can flush blocked sewer lines. A professional plumber will be able to remove clogs without having to dig up a garden or lawn. Any outside plumbing issues are usually best handled by a professional plumber instead of a do-it-yourselfer.

3. Professional Plumbing Solutions Provide Expert Analysis

A thorough drain cleaning combines unique equipment with professional expertise. High-quality electric drain cleaners allow for powerful, thorough pipe cleaning. But the tools are only part of the story.

An experienced professional will have a wealth of plumbing knowledge. While most do-it-yourselfers can develop a working knowledge rather quickly, only a professional truly understands how plumbing systems work. A professional understands how the entire system connects, so they can help predict potential problems.

Plus, a professional will understand the specific needs of your area. For instance, Yonkers typically has hot summers and cold winters. There’s also a fairly high humidity content from the Hudson River. Pipes will behave differently throughout the year. A local plumber will know how to prepare your pipes for the different seasons.

What Do-It-Yourself Steps Can You Take?

As a homeowner, there’s still a lot you can do to help prevent plumbing problems. Probably the most effective tip is to simply watch what material enters your sewer system. Avoid pouring cooking oil down the drain. Don’t flush wet wipes or other heavy papers. Improper materials account for many pipe blockages, but fortunately the problem is very easy to prevent.

You’ll also want to watch for any signs of potential water damage. If paint is peeling off your wall in thin strips, there might be a leak within your wall. Additionally, mold and mildew in your basement can be a sign of excess humidity inside your house.

When Should I Call a Professional?

Too many people wait until the plumbing problem has become very severe. But you don’t have to wait until water is soaking through a wall. Small plumbing problems are best handled with professional solutions.

Schedule a cleaning every month or so. This gives a professional a chance to examine the health of your pipes and drains. Before winter begins, you’ll also want a professional to check your gutters. Water should run away from the foundation of your house.

Call a professional plumber if drains are slow, toilets are backed up or if you smell a swamp-like odor. Also, watch for how one appliance might affect others. For instance, if your toilet makes a gurgling noise whenever the washing machine is running, that might be a sign of a larger plumbing problem.


Learning how to repair and maintain the systems in your home successfully can be rewarding both personally and professionally. But plumbing issues can often be hard for a non-professional to diagnose. Plumbing problems tend to be hidden within walls and underground. Special equipment, and years of expertise, is often the best way to keep your water systems working properly.

Call a professional plumber at the first sign of trouble. A slow drain or slight smell can indicate a large issue. But simple, early treatment is often inexpensive and easy. Plus, having a professional check out your plumbing can provide peace of mind.