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3 Signs You Need to Call a Professional Drain Cleaner

Mar 10, 2017

Unless you work in the plumbing industry, chances are you rarely give much thought to drain clearing —or your plumbing system at large.

Yes, you know frequent drain service is vital to the optimal performance of your home—whether that’s a house you own in La Jolla or a condo you own in Del Mar.

But drain clearing? Put it up there with the water heater, sump pump, sewer line and furnace repairs—it’s something best left to professionals.

And for good reason: when your bathtub or sink drain is seriously clogged, expert help is required. If not, you’ll find yourself frustrated and bewildered, bent wire hanger in one hand and an empty bottle of liquid drain cleaner in the other.

What’s more? You may find yourself with an issue that calls for far more than baking soda, vinegar, and a plunger. Left ignored, a drain pipe problem can lead to a flooded floor or an inability to use your sink, toilet or bathtub.

Think of it this way: the drains in your home face a not insignificant amount of…well, traffic. From food scraps to flower stems to coffee grounds, your drains must process mighty amounts of grease and debris—to say nothing of the occasional paper towel that makes its way into your kitchen sink.

When your plumbing is in tip-top shape, a minor drain clog won’t necessarily cause a major headache. A severely clogged drain, however, is something to keep an eye on—and something to act immediately upon.


Through a professional diagnosis, a seemingly straightforward clog may be indicative of a larger problem with your main sewer line. For example, does your toilet back up when you flush? Or does water back up in your bathtub when you’re showering? If so, it may be time to call a plumbing pro.

After all, small clogs can be deceitful. A sewer line failure may be at the crux of your clog, which places your home at risk—meaning, raw sewage can back into your residence. And who wants their home to look like a construction site while that sewer line is dug up and repaired?

Considering calling a San Diego plumber? Here are 3 signs that your drains require more than a YouTube tutorial and an empty milk carton:

1. Strange Sounds

How many of us have taken a bath that’s accompanied by an odd, even disconcerting gurgling sound? Or were disturbed by a warble when trying to kick it in our outdoor hot tub?

Whether it’s hair or shaving cream, the drain in your bathtub is asked to handle more funk and gunk than you probably realize. (That hot tub drain has stories of its own.)

Gurgling sounds often suggest that something is amiss with your main line and may not be visibly detectable until you see your bathtub backing up or your hot tub water getting cloudy.

Take it from the minds over at InspectAPedia: “That “blub blub” or “glug glug” noise you hear from a drain might mean that there is a problem with the drain system itself, such as a partial drain blockage, a drain venting problem, a drain odor problem or even a failing septic system.”

Savvy DIYers might try to remedy the problem with a homemade drain snake—a tool, frequently fashioned out of a coat hanger, that’s used to dislodge whatever may be causing the obstruction.

But even savvier homeowners and renters know that a gurgling sound means it’s high time to call a professional drain cleaner.

2. Recurring Clogged Drains

Liquid drain cleaners cost a pretty penny—particularly if you’re going through them faster than dollar bills in a Vegas casino.

What’s more, liquid drain cleaners aren’t especially known for being environmentally friendly. Plus, green liquid drain cleaners are notoriously ineffective, triggering another headache and chipping away at your time and money. (Pro tip: Here at Anderson, Plumbing, Heating and Air, we recommend a non-toxic, non-caustic, non-corrosive, non-pathogenic, biodegradable enzyme that—bonus points—aids in reducing further environmental impact and saves money.)

So, if you’re facing a clog in more than one room of your home—or a stubborn clog that keeps backing up—you might need to do more than take a trip to Target. In other words? You may have a problem with your sewer line on your hands.

To give you a brief lesson on plumbing, consider this: that sewer line you probably don’t think twice about is liable for a hefty number of responsibilities.

Chief among them? Transporting waste from your home. Your home’s sewer line is typically connected to the main sewer line that eventually leads to a wastewater treatment plant. (Ideally, your sewer system is, like a septic system, gravity-powered.)

When the sewer line is operating optimally, fresh water enters your home through a primary water supply line. Splitting into two sets of pipes—one to the hot water heater, the other through a set of cold water pipes that source bathroom fixtures like your sink and shower—these pipes are used continually throughout the day. This generates wastewater most of us normally never see, allowing us everyday functions like taking a shower and flushing the toilet.

A recurrent clog (or clogs) is symptomatic of a hiccup in this whole process—and a loud hiccup at that.

And while you may be a go-getter who has tried to use a sump pump, your efforts might, well, go to waste, if there’s a larger and more intricate complication going on. As Angie’s List reports, “A sewer line might be unseen, but it can cause extensive damage inside a home.”

These hitches require the right tools and the right minds—that is, a leading plumbing service that has proven success with drain cleaning and sewer repair.


There’s no doubt about it: a welcoming home is a home that smells fresh and clean, inside and out.

But what if a mysterious odor is permeating your bathroom? Wafting from somewhere in the direction of your kitchen sink? Or even pervading your whole house?

A foul or suspicious odor emanating from your plumbing is one of the most telling signs that you have more than a bit too much grease in your kitchen sink—and that technicians are needed to get your home smelling great again.


There are a lot of possible reasons. That rank smell may be coming from a problem with a septic tank, pipe cleaning or drain pipe. It could also indicate that a drain clog is releasing sewer gases into your residence.

At other times, an unpleasant odor may require bringing in a plumbing pro to use a drain snake to clean out the main drain or perform repairs on a drain line that may have been clogged or damaged by tree roots.

Meaning, more often than not, that whiff you keep catching denotes a plumbing and rooter problem that you may not be equipped to manage.

A rescue plumbing job might cost you big bucks—and be a huge inconvenience—so why wait? Call your San Diego plumbing expert as soon as you detect an icky smell.

The Anderson Difference

Here at Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Air, our team of amazing drain specialists has serviced people throughout San Diego County for more than 35 years. Each of our plumbing pros goes through extensive training to help homeowners solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Our drain specialists (who are experts at drain snake and hydro-jetting) will assess your clogged drain and plumbing system to get to the root of the matter. Using a drain snake (also known as an auger) or jetting—a high-pressure water system that flushes and cleans your pipes—we will work hard to increase the efficiency and flow of your home’s water lines.

For stubborn clogs, our drain specialists may also recommend a video inspection so you can eliminate the question of what’s causing the problem—and whether or not it will be a recurring issue. Whether it’s deterioration due to age or roots finding their way to water, we’ll be able to pinpoint the problem and present you with your options. We also perform sewer repairs and supply tree root removal experts when necessary.

If you’re experiencing any of the 3 signs outlined here, call our team today. Our skilled technicians perform prompt and cost-effective sewer repairs, detecting blockages and providing a variety of drain clearing & drain replacement services to clients throughout San Diego County.

And, given that we offer drain cleaning services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you can remain as you were—not giving a whole lot of thought to your home’s plumbing system. After all, why should you, when a San Diego drain and sewer authority is just a phone call away?

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