As a homeowner, you’ve probably handled your share of inconvenient plumbing messes. From cleaning toys of the toilet to waking up to a cold shower, there are plenty of situations that an experienced repair person can resolve on their own. However, there are several situations that should lead you to call in an expert. It isn’t always the work that’s complicated but the potential for hidden dangers that is the difference between DIY and professional repairs.

1. Slow-Moving Drains

These early warning signs could be an indication of a simple clog to pipes that are full of buildup. There may even be trouble with the grading of the drainage system. Don’t underestimate the amount of trouble that could be hiding within your plumbing system. Worn pipes, deeply buried clogs, tree roots, and similar situations could become very expensive if they aren’t spotted in their early stages.

2. Frequently-Occurring Clogs

There are several drains throughout the home that are easily clogged when hair, pasta, and inappropriate items are washed into the pipes. You can avoid a lot of trouble by monitoring what goes into the drains and with consistent maintenance. If, however, you are constantly working on a clogged drain in the shower, it’s time to call a professional. It may be that you just aren’t getting the entire clog, or maybe there is trouble further down the line.

3. Multiple Drains Clogged at Once

If, one day, you realize that the kitchen sink is clogged and so are the sinks and tubs in the bathroom, don’t waste any time in contacting a plumber. These clogs indicate that something is going on deep within the drain system. Neither plungers nor chemicals can reach that far, and chemical drain cleaners may actually cause further damage.

4. Bad Smells

The unpleasant odors associated with sewer systems should never come from any of the drains in your home. If you do notice any of these smells, there may be debris and pollutants built up causing the stink, or there could be broken sewer pipes. In a worst-case scenario, there may be problems forcing sewage back into your home.

5. Overflows and Flooding

These are probably some of the worst situations you can face with your plumbing system. Whether there’s standing water in the basement near a floor drain or water gushing from a toilet, the potential for damages is high. Act quickly to avoid contact with contaminated water. First, turn off the main water supply to the home. Second, contact a professional who is qualified to provide drain repair services.

There are plumbing situations you can probably handle on your own. When you recognize early warning signs of trouble, don’t take chances. Calling a professional at the right moment could help you prevent much more expensive cleanup and repairs.

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