Unless a person is incredibly diligent about caring for their drains, they’re likely to run into clogging issues at some point. But what do you do when a drain keeps clogging? What does it mean? Maybe you’ve tried pouring drain cleaner down the drain and it’s still backing up. What’s going on? Let’s take a look at what the problem might be.
The most obvious and most likely answer is: it’s a blockage. Whether or not you’ve tried using drain cleaner is irrelevant. It could still be a blockage. Not all blockages are caused by things like hair and grease that a drain cleaner will dissolve. Sometimes it’s a bigger issue than that.
It could be something as extensive as broken pipes with roots growing into them. This happens quite frequently with old plumbing at a city level. If the plumbing isn’t maintained sufficiently, the pipes can begin to crack. Cracks in pipes will leak water into the soil and tree and plant roots will be drawn to it. Those roots, in their hunt for nutrients, will barge into whatever space they like without care for the trouble it causes us. This kind of problem will only be truly solved when the damaged pipes are replaced.
There are other kinds of blockages as well, but if drain cleaner didn’t remove it, it’s something you need a professional for. For the record, drain cleaners are bad for your pipes and will damage them by eating away at the metal. You should avoid using them if you want to keep your pipes intact.
The other possibility, in a similar vein, is that the pipe has broken somewhere. If a pipe is old or not well maintained, it can crack and burst. A pipe that breaks where it runs underground will allow ground to collapse on top of it. This is, of course, a kind of blockage, but it involves a lot more maintenance than something that can be removed with a snake.
An underground break can be an expensive fix. If this is something outside of your property, you can inform the city for them to take care of it. However, if this is something that’s part of your personal plumbing, you’ll need to hire someone yourself. This is absolutely not something that you can fix yourself unless you’ve been trained to do so.
A backup is different than a clog but deserves just as much professional care. If your shower or tub is having problems draining suddenly, it could be caused by a backup. A sure sign is if there’s any water coming out of the drain. No water or any other substance should be coming out of your drain. This is the kind of situation you should call a plumber for immediately. A backed up septic system or backed up city drain is nothing to scoff at. It can cause serious damage to your house if it backs up past the edge of a tub or toilet.