Drain Clogged? Toilet Stopped Up?

cat in bathroom playing with toilet paper

What To Do If Your Toilet Is Stopped Up

All plumbing systems can develop clogs. There are minor drain clogs that are inconvenient and major drain clogs that will shut you down from using any of your water services until they are resolved. If you have a clogged drain we can help. Clearing sewer lines is the least glamorous part of the plumbing profession but it is part of our mission.

Our mission statement includes ensuring the health and safety of our community and this includes helping you maintain an efficient operating sewage system. Cholera and Dysentery are well known to be caused by non-functioning sewer systems. If your drain is clogged the stuff you want to go down, won’t.

Warning Signs

When your toilet begins to gurgle or sewage backs up into your tub or shower it indicates a major sewer line back up. If the house or building has a cleanout on the side of the house and it pops off, it is also a signal that you have a clogged sewer main and it is imperative to address it promptly.

Due to all of the canyons in central San Diego, roots from mature trees have a way of cracking the old cast iron sewer lines. The lines themselves are also deteriorating from the inside out. So, the line may look good from the outside but inside is it flaking and rotting away with the debris going down the drain. Roots pulled back from any sewer line indicate a breach in the system. After we clear out the roots from the line, they will immediately begin to grow back because the roots seek the nutrient-rich water source provided in our dry region. So a broken sewer line supplies them with what they need.

Sewer Line Camera

When you have repeated sewer stoppages, we recommend that you have the drain cleared then inspected with a sewer line camera inspection. We offer this service as a flat-rate service call including our technician’s time and the camera. The camera comes with a tracking mechanism that works on the surface to help find the trouble spots. We will mark the area and show you what we find during our call or by sending you still photos of the problem area or the video by Dropbox.

Avoiding Minor Drain Clogs

There are ways to avoid clogged drains. The first step is to limit what you put down the drain. Overstuffing your garbage disposal can clog your kitchen line. Grease should be avoided down the sink as it will coat the pipes. Grease can build up over time. We recommend that you put grease into an old container such as an empty orange juice or soup can then throw it in the trash.

In the bathroom, feminine products, wipes, or paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet despite advertisements that state this differently. These items can easily get clogged and attach to the inside of the drain pipes. We do not recommend “flushable” wipes because they don’t break down. These items often will not be cleared with a plunger. You will most likely have to call us to clear them.

To avoid hair clogs, use a strainer in the bathtub or shower or by using a product such as Bio clean to regularly treat your drains and keep them flowing smoothly.

Do-It-Yourself Products

Bio-Clean, as seen on Innovative Television, is an environmentally friendly way to maintain the serviceability of your drains including the kitchen, bathroom sink, and shower/tub. While it is inert, it is a friendly bacteria mixed with enzymes and comes dry. Once you mix it with warm water, the solution will eat away at soap scum, toothpaste residue, hair, and fats in the soap or from foods. Use it for several days in a row if the drain starts to become slow. Then use it as a preventative once a month. We sell Bio-clean in a 2 lb container and it will treat 100 drains.

When the sink drain or toilet are plugged using a plumbers helper or plunger will eliminate most clogs. Partially fill the bowl with water. If it’s a sink, stuff a wet rag into one drain opening while you plunge the other side, or for your bathroom sink, stuff the rag into the overflow hole. The rag helps deliver the air pressure from the cone of the plunger directly to the clog. Then start plunging with vigor up and down several times before quickly pulling the plunger off the drain opening. You will feel some suction when you pull the plunger up which will help dislodge the clog.

When All Else Fails…

If you can’t clear a clog after a few attempts, turn the job over to Powers Plumbing. Exerting too much force can permanently damage a pipe or fixture. Contact us if you need assistance or more information on keeping your drain systems in optimal functionality. Powers Plumbing offers repair services or relining services.

Since 1914, Powers Plumbing has been on a mission to provide exceptional high quality plumbing services for the San Diego communities we serve. We are deeply connected to our historic Mission Hills community and are proud to serve multiple generations of families throughout San Diego.

We continue to strive to be the best plumbing shop in San Diego by living up to high ethical standards that have been passed down to us through generations of honorable service.

We hope that you will call us and choose us to assist you with your plumbing needs.