How to Tell if I Need Professional Drain Cleaning Services

Although it is hidden far out of sight in the walls and floors and under the sink, your plumbing is just as important to your home as your venous system is to your body. Even a small problem in the pipes can cause a chain reaction, leading to bigger problems that can be harmful to your home and expensive to fix. Sometimes a small clog can be easy to diagnose and fix, but if you notice recurring problems or the usual fixes don’t work, it is time to contact a professional in Massachusetts for your drain cleaning needs. 

Drain Problem Locations

Your plumbing is an intricate system that runs through the home, and a problem in one area can cause problems in multiple different locations. Here are a few of the locations that you may notice problems, as well as a few common causes. 

Toilet Stoppages

Toilets in all homes can occasionally become clogged. Oftentimes all that is needed is a minute with the plunger. However, more severe clogs can occur when anything is flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t be there. Common items that cause clogging are paper towels, napkins, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, dryer sheets, and too much toilet paper. 

To keep the toilet unclogged, it is important to only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Many homeowners in the Berlin or Framingham area choose to use toilet paper that dissolves quickly and is more septic friendly. 

Clogged Drains

Depending on where the drain is in the home, different causes can be the culprit for clogs. In bathroom sinks, hair can build up over time and eventually clog the drain. In the kitchen, clogs are commonly caused by food buildup or soap buildup. Homes with hard water can sometimes contend with mineral buildup in the pipes which can be difficult to remove through ordinary means. 

Laundry Drains

Laundry drains can often take the brunt of stains, oils, and dirt that are washed off of clothing. As a result, pipes can be clogged with these materials as well as soap residue from laundry detergent, dryer lint, and other small materials that are knocked off of clothing or towels during washing. These clogs can be extremely frustrating and difficult to remedy without the proper tools. 

Tub Shower Drains

The drains in the tub can become filled with soap, conditioner, hair, and dirt. Clogs in other parts of the sewer line can cause back-ups in the tub as well. Depending on where the clog is, water from other areas such as the sink or toilet can get backed up into the tub. A simple hair clog can be easy to access from an opening in the tub, but clogs that are affecting multiple areas will need more specialized services. 

Floor Drains

The most common cause of clogs in the floor drain is foreign materials or other debris. Whether the drain is in the bathroom, garage, or kitchen, debris such as dirt, hair, grease, food particles, and more that collect on the floor can end up in the drain. As the particles accumulate, a clog can develop causing standing water or slow draining. 

Other causes may be broken pipes, incorrect installation, badly designed drain and piping, or a clog in another part of the home. When basic measures fail, it is important to get the help of a professional to find the source of the problem and fix it quickly. 

Common Indications That You Need Drain Services

Regardless of where the problem is located in your home, there will be several indications that drain cleaning services are needed. For homeowners in the Milford, Natick, Hopkinton, or surrounding areas, it is important to find a reputable plumbing service provider to help when any of these warning signs are present:

Slow Draining

Pipes that are taking an unusually long tie to drain, whether they are in the sink, the tub, or the floor drain, are a good indication of a needed repair. In the kitchen sink, tub, or bathroom sink, water should drain almost as fast as it comes out of the faucet, leaving no pool of water as it descends the pipe. If it seems slow, it is important to take action before a small problem turns into a bigger one. 

Standing Water

If you are using your shower and find yourself standing in a pool of water within minutes of turning on the water, this could be the sign of a simple hair clog near the opening of the drain. However, it could be an indication of something more serious. If standing water is accumulating in your tub, sinks, or on the floor next to your floor drain, it may be time to contact a professional. 

Gurgling/Bubbling Noises

Under normal circumstances, water will drain fairly quietly into the pipes below the sink or tub. However, if a clog is present, the water may gurgle or bubble on its way down as it struggles to make it past the clog. If you begin to notice unusual sounds, even if the water does not seem to be draining much slower, this is a good sign that you should call a plumber for a drain inspection. 


There is nothing more frustrating than an elusive odor that lingers in the bathroom or kitchen. If you have scrubbed all of the surfaces in your home and are still noticing a bad odor, it may be coming from your drains. Plumbing services can help to rid your pipes of the smallest particles, bacteria, fungus, and algae, helping your home to smell good again. 

Pest Accumulation

Some insects such as fruit flies, drain flies, fungus gnats, or cockroaches can be attracted to the same smells in drains that are repulsive to us. The sudden appearance of pests hovering around drains may be a sign that food and other particles are becoming trapped in the pipes. Getting the pipes professionally cleaned can solve the problems of smelly drains and unwanted pests in one easy appointment. 

Backed Up Sewage

There is nothing like the sinking feeling that comes when you flush the toilet and find the contents come gurgling up through the drain in the tub. Backed up sewage can happen when there is a clog deep in the sewer pipes that doesn’t allow sewage to properly drain. When this happens, the sewage finds the closest outlet, which can be your tub, sinks, or other drains. 

Backed up sewage is an indication that immediate attention is needed. It usually means more than just a surface clog, and will take professional services to find the source of the problem and resolve it. 

Basic Steps Aren’t Working Anymore

Some problems can be pretty easy to resolve and can be done by anyone with basic knowledge of a plunger, a snake from the nearest grocery store, and some basic drain cleaner. But if any of these basic steps fail, it is best to leave the resolution to a plumber to avoid damaging pipes and wasting money on ineffective treatments. 

Multiple Drain Problems

When more than one drain in the home is affected at the same time by slow draining, bad odors, or backing up, this usually means that there is a clog in a more inaccessible area of the sewer line. Professional plumbers can use specialized products, knowledge, and technology to quickly find the clog, saving the homeowner money and time. 

Recurring Clogs

If you have fixed what you thought was a basic clog only to have the problem return several days later, there might be something more seriously wrong than a surface level hair clog. Recurring clogs are a good reason to contact a trusted plumbing service. This type of problem shouldn’t be ignored but should be diagnosed as quickly as possible. 

Other Causes of Drain Problems

As mentioned before, some drain problems can be caused by the basic buildup of debris. However, some clogs may be the result of something more serious. Here are a few other causes that will need immediate resolution. 

Broken Pipes

There are many different things that could cause a broken or damaged pipe in your sewer line. Tree roots and bad plumbing are some of the most common causes and they will require replacement of that portion of piping. Pipes can also burst when exposed to freezing temperatures. 

Weather Damage

Heavy storms can cause pipes to become clogged with outside debris such as leaves and dirt. If your clogging problem has occurred after a large rainstorm, or if the clog is causing pools of water or sewage outside, it is time to contact your plumber. 

Weather Improper Installation

Plumbing requires a high degree of design to get right. An inexperienced plumber might not take gravity into account enough when installing piping leading to improper flow and frequent back-ups. If gravity is the problem, you can get the help of an experienced and licensed plumber to redesign the system and make it work correctly. 

Foreign Objects

Anyone who has had children knows that foreign objects sometimes end up in the plumbing. Whether by accident or on purpose, items can fall into the toilet or the sink drains and cause blockages. Getting this fixed quickly will resolve the drainage issue, and may just get you that valued object back. 

Drain Cleaning Methods

Once you have determined to call a plumber to come help with your clogged drain, you may be wondering what they will use to fix the problem. When a simple plunger or a short snake does nothing to help the problem, your plumber has several different methods available for finding and solving your plumbing problems. Here are a few of the methods you can expect during your appointment. 

Professional Grade Snakes

Some clogs are deeper than a normal store-bought snake can reach. Your plumber may use a professional grade snake to quickly and efficiently remove clogs that have settled deep into the pipes. 


Your plumber may use a drain cleaning system such as BioOne. This type of treatment is great for treating and preventing grease clogs and more. Many plumbers recommend using this product monthly to keep pipes clear and clean. 

Reasons for Using a Professional Plumber

It may be tempting to try to fix clogs and leaks on your own. However, it is important to hire a professional and licensed plumber to take care of any drainage problems that you may have. Draining problems can actually be a huge health hazard for your family as any clog may mean that dirty water is backing up into your drinking water. 

Additionally, you can save a lot of money and trouble by hiring a professional who can get right to the source of the problem. Many people waste money on solutions that are short-lived or that don’t get rid of the problem at all before finally calling for help. 

Finally, a plumber can help by finding any small issues that may turn into bigger issues later. Small leaks can become big leaks that can damage your property, and cleaning out a small clog can prevent messy and destructive back-ups. Instead of attempting a DIY plumbing fix, schedule an appointment with a plumber who has the tools to fix the problem immediately. 

There are many warning signs for clogged drains. If you are beginning to notice slower-moving drains in your Massachusetts home, or if the pipes are beginning to develop an odor, it is time to make a call and schedule an appointment. Your plumber will be able to find the problem, fix it, and help you avoid the larger problems that inevitably arise when a small problem is ignored. Doing so will help to protect your family and your home, and will save you money in the long run. 

At Sharp plumbing, we provide customers in the Milford, Framingham, Natick, and Berlin areas with quality plumbing and heating services. We are clean, friendly, and on time. We provide flat-rate pricing, are certified and licensed, and offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed to all of our valued customers. 

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