It happens all the time. The teenager bathes a golden retriever in the bath tub. A cook pours a skillet full of bacon grease down the sink. The proud bearer of long silky tresses finds the shower drain clogged. A toddler flushes something down the toilet that doesn't belong there. Sometimes just the accumulation of little bits of this and that add up to a massive clog. No matter what the cause, everybody who depends on the plumbing wants it draining effectively, and not belching up anything disgusting.
Household drain cleaners and plunging have utterly failed, or only improved things a little. That's when it's time to call in a professional. A trained and experienced plumber
can locate the blockage, choose the proper tool, and decide what, if anything, needs to be disconnected or dismantled in order to reach the problem.
One familiar tool is the plumber's snake -- a coiled length of flexible steel cable cranked from a spool. It takes a bit of skill to navigate to the clog and break it free, and an experienced plumber will have the touch.
The toilet can be trickier. Sometimes a closet auger, similar to a snake but encased in a rigid, specially-shaped shaft, will do the trick. Other times, the toilet must be carefully drained and removed to get at the object that's causing the trouble.
Problems deeper in the plumbing system
, such as tree roots blocking outside drain pipes, require equipment such as a power auger, which can get through nearly any of the most stubborn blockages.
Tackling a plumbing job that's beyond your skill might result in damage to your pipes and leave you with an even more expensive plumbing bill. When in doubt, your best tool remains your telephone and the number of a reliable plumbing expert