A clogged-up sewer drain is no fun. If you can't get the clog moving, you'll need to call a plumber so you can continue to use your toilets and sinks. Clogs tend to build up over time (unless you happen to flush something you shouldn't or pour grease down the drain).

You might want to consider periodic drain cleaning as a preventative maintenance task for your home by calling a plumber when you first notice your drains are slow. Here are drain cleaning methods you or your plumber might use to prevent or clear clogs.

Pull Out The Clog

If the clog is in a tub or sink drain, you might be able to pull it out by using a tool made for the job. You can buy a pack of plastic strips that have serrated edges that grab hair so you can pull a hair clog out of a tub, shower, or sink drain. It's useful to have some of these in the house to clear a hair clog quickly.

However, those tools only work on hair that's close to the top of the drain. When clogs are deeper, you or a plumber can try a drain snake. These have coils on the end that twist up hair and other clogs so they can be pulled out. Snakes can also punch through small and weak clogs to break them apart so water can flush them down the drain.

If you attempt drain cleaning with a snake by yourself, be careful not to scratch the porcelain in your toilet, tub, or sink. You also have to be careful not to harm the drain you're working on. If you're not successful with your drain cleaning attempts, call a plumber rather than risk harming your plumbing.

Wash Out A Drain

If your main sewer drain is clogged, you're probably better off calling a plumber to start with, since hydro jetting is a good solution for drain cleaning a sewer line. A hydro jet is good for routine drain cleaning as well as pushing through a clog. It can be used on any drain in your house, but it is most often used to clean your main sewer drain.

The reason hydro jetting is good for cleaning out a drain is that it uses water under pressure to scour off built-up hard-water scale, grease, biofilm, hair, soap scum, food, and paper debris. A snake can't get rid of buildup on the insides of a drain in the same way a hydro jet can.

Besides cleaning the insides of the drain, the stream of water on the hydro jet is powerful enough to cut through tough tree roots, paper clogs, and food caught in the drain.

If you have additional questions about drain cleaning, call a plumber.