Why Richmond Hill Homeowners Shouldn’t Try to Unclog Their Drains

Many Richmond Hill plumbing experts – people who’ve “seen everything”, agree that the average person should NOT try to unclog their drains by themselves.

There are several good reasons for this.

First, many people attempt to unclog their drains themselves but end up causing a bigger mess or damaging their home’s infrastructure. Or worse, they end up injuring themselves.

The DIY homeowner eventually is forced to call a trained and insured plumbing professional to get the job done fast and done right. These folks can unclog your drain much faster, safer, and cheaper than you can!

They have the proper tools and knowledge to unclog your residential or commercial drains quickly and safely, every time. Plus they offer a valuable warranty for their work.

Plumbing Repairs Can Be Dangerous

Attempting plumbing repairs without the proper tools, equipment, and training could not only cause a bigger problem but can also be dangerous to your and your family's health. This is especially true in the bathroom. As the most dangerous room in the house for slips, accidents, and injuries, bathroom plumbing problems can also involve the added complexity of toxic waste may be in play. Improper handling and cleaning of toxic waste can lead to long-term health effects. It is important that the plumbing problem is corrected quickly and the proper equipment and tools are used to work in these conditions and that the waste is properly disposed of and the area cleaned.

Don’t risk your health getting injured by trying to unclog a drain in your home. It always pays to call a professional Richmond Hill plumber to properly handle your plumbing problems.

If you really want to try to unclog your basement, kitchen or bathtub drain yourself, you will need some personal physical strength and a few basic tools and items like:

  • Snake plunger – this is a mechanical gun-like device that forcibly inserts a metal or plastic arm into your drain. Sort of like a long serrated zip tie that grabs onto gunk. Quality ones can retail for $200-300 dollars, so they are not cheap. It is also called a cable auger. They come in electric power formats (they can be rented), and you absolutely need a professional to demonstrate how to use this safely and efficiently by yourself. You break it, you pay for it.

  • A Snake Camera / Drain Video Inspection -- this is a tiny camera at the tip of a long plastic, flexible tube. It enables you to see in real-time what is down your drain. These can be purchased for several hundred dollars or more depending on the quality. Good vision and some tech-savvy are required here.

  • Plumber’s Wrench – again you want to buy a good one and get familiar with using it properly and safely to prevent damage to your pipes or cutting yourself.

  • Plunger – this is a very common household item. You will need to work your arms hard and rapidly to work this device vigorously up and down to create the suction necessary to dislodge sludge from your drain. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

  • Closet Auger – this is designed specifically for unclogging toilets.

  • Safety Goggles – these must always be worn to prevent eye infections or physical damage which can occur from toxic shooting water or slips of the hand.

  • Rubber gloves -- these must always be worn to prevent cuts and possible infections from toxic sludge water. No one wants to contract hepatitis.

  • Sulphuric Acid – This is not recommended for drain use, except by a licensed plumber

Don’t drain your wallet with all the tools and time you’d need trying to get your sink draining! Get it done quickly with the help of a professional who will get it done properly the first time.


Cleaning out a clogged drain in your home is not as simple as you might think.

There are millions of people around the world, including thousands in Richmond Hill Canada, who wish they had picked up the phone and called a trained professional first to quickly unclog a bathroom or sink drain, instead of trying it themselves.

Roger’s Clogged Drain Disaster Story

Roger is a happily married 44-year-old senior accountant living in Richmond Hill. He owns three homes in the GTA which he rents out continuously. Although Roger considered himself handy with tools in different situations, his skills had gotten rusty over the years while working in an office.

Tenant Complains About Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain

One day one of his tenants living in his Yonge Street house called him saying that the water in the kitchen sink was backing up and causing a vile smell. Roger suspected this was a FOG (fat, oil, and grease) drain clog.

The tenant, Cherie, complained that she couldn’t wash her dishes now and would Roger kindly call a professional plumber immediately to unclog the drain.

Roger didn’t get into a long conversation about what Cherie might have done to get the drain clogged in the first place.

His first thought was that she may have accidentally dumped bacon grease and large food particles in the drain. But he didn’t want to start an argument and possibly lose Cherie as a tenant.

So, in a rush, Roger grabbed his wrench and screwdriver and drove over to her house to unclog the sink drain himself. It was 9 pm and Roger was tired from a long day at the office.

5 Major Mistakes Roger Made While Trying to Unclog His Sink Drain

  • He didn’t do any basic research on unclogging drains

  • He overestimated his skill and knowledge of plumbing matters

  • He didn’t wear any protective eyewear while he did his work

  • He didn’t wear protective gloves while he did his work

  • He didn’t notify his insurance company that he would be carrying out the repairs himself

Skin Infection Caused By Toxic Kitchen Drain Gunk?

As Roger began quickly opening up the P-trap joint under the sink with his wrench, he sliced open his finger and sprayed blood over Cherie’s kitchen floor.

He asked her for a bandage but there were none in the house, so Roger wrapped some toilet paper around it and continued working.

Now that he was in pain, he could no longer concentrate on the job at hand. He was too preoccupied with embarrassment and thoughts about how he was going to clean up the blood in Cherie’s kitchen.

He quickly regretted his decision about doing the job himself.

As Roger continued working under the sink, muttering under his breath, Cherie quietly went to the living room and began Googling “clearing clogged drains.”

She wanted her sink drain unclogged pronto and she didn’t have faith in Roger’s abilities.

Once Roger removed the P-trap plastic (PVC) pipe (a.k.a. elbow joint), he realized that he didn’t have a professional drain snake (sometimes called a hand auger) with which to pull out the gunk from the pipe.

Making matters worse, black water began dribbling out of the pipe and onto the floor. Did Cherie have some spare towels to sop up the blood and water? Did she have a bucket?

No, she didn’t.

Roger started becoming flustered. Then his phone began ringing. His frustration grew and finally, he decided to go to the basement and turn off the master water tap, just to be on the safe side.

When he came back there was a large puddle of stinking water all over the kitchen floor.

At his wit's end with frustration and embarrassment, Roger told his tenant that she should call a plumbing professional immediately and he would pay for it – never mind the cost.

He then drove himself to the Humber River Hospital that night and spent 4 hours in the Emergency Room waiting to have his finger stitched. He also had to schedule another appointment to have blood tests done to see if he had contracted any infection.

He finally arrived home at 3 am.

Your Time and Peace of Mind Is Quite Valuable, So Don’t Waste It Trying to Unclog Your Drains Yourself

By attempting to unclog your own drain, there is a good chance you could:

  • Injure yourself or another family member (eyes)

  • Make your problem worse and more expensive in the long run (quite likely)

  • Increase your home insurance premiums

  • Expensively damage your pipes, sinks, drains, or bathtub

  • Make your home temporarily unlivable (requiring hotel stay)


Causes of Clogs in Kitchen Sinks:

  • People sometimes carelessly dump grease and large food particle waste down the sink.

How to Unclog A Kitchen Sink: Try adding a commercially available drain chemical yourself BUT ONLY if you follow proper safety procedures and use certified safety equipment and work in a logical fashion. Better yet, just call a certified, insured local Richmond Hill plumber straight away. They can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Causes of Clogs in Basement / Laundry Room Floor Drains:

  • These can be caused by possible outside pressure forces or objects, including small rodents getting lodged in your drain.

How To Clear / Unclog A Basement Drain: As mentioned at the top of this article, there are several pieces of equipment you would need to rent or purchase to help you remove gunk or solid objects from your clogged basement laundry room drain. (see snakes, augers, and digital video inspection cameras). It is not recommended that you pour acid or other industrial chemicals down the drain yourself. Never mind the expense of these chemicals, they are highly dangerous. Call a licensed plumber instead.

Causes of Bathtub Drain Clogs:

  • In most cases bathtub drains become clogged with accumulated hair, soap chunks or even jewelry dropped down the drain.

How To Clear A Bathtub Drain: If you try to remove this yourself, again, follow the safety precautions outlined above. You want to make sure you don’t end up damaging your tub or, more importantly, your bathroom piping infrastructure. Think of your health at all times. Also, will your insurance company agree with your DIY efforts in the event you file a claim? Check with them first before doing anything.

Causes of Clogged Toilets:

  • You would be amazed at what can clog toilets. It could be a damaged pipe, a growing leak in the main or smaller feeder pipes, or even one of your items that fell into the bowl and that you aren’t even aware of!

How To Unclog A Toilet: Depending on your health, physical strength, and available time, you can grab a plunger and start pumping. But please be aware that older household infrastructure may not be able to withstand such random pressure. To save your strength and maintain peace of mind, it’s always better – in the long run – to call your local licensed professional plumber. He’s insured and he’s “been der dun dat.”

Choose Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Richmond Hill For your Drain Cleaning Needs

People are often tempted to save money by fixing things themselves – it’s just human nature.

And that’s fine for things like bicycles, toasters, and the like.

But when it comes to your home’s critical plumbing infrastructure like sink drains, pipes, toilet drains, and laundry basement drains, it always pays to call your professional local Richmond Hill plumber first.


Because they can fix your problem quickly and efficiently. And they give you a guarantee! They give you valuable peace of mind that your clogged drains have been fixed properly so that you can go back to enjoying your home without the stress of uncertainty and physical aggravation of DIY.

Don’t be like Roger (above) or the guy who hired his buddy to repair his car who took it apart and couldn’t put it back together! Expensive and embarrassing.

Although it is okay for the handy DIYer to handle a small, superficial clog, it is best to hire the services of a trusted plumbing professional for serious drains clogs. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Richmond Hill for all residential, commercial, and 24/7 emergency plumbing services at no extra charge!