Reaching for a store-bought household drain cleaner is the most common solution people go with when dealing with a clogged drain, but it isn’t the best solution. Read on to find out why you should skip the chemicals and find out what you can do instead.
Wait, What’s Wrong with Store-Bought Drain Cleaner?
Okay, we know. You like store-bought drain cleaner. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it usually works, right?
The thing is, store-bought drain cleaner may solve the immediate problem with your drain, but it actually does more harm than good to your plumbing system. Commercial drain cleaners contain a lot of chemicals and are highly caustic, which means they will eat through that clog in your drain, yes, but they will also eat through your pipes. Repetitive use of drain cleaners will wear away pipes and cause leaks, which means you’ll need to prematurely replace your pipes. Believe us, replacing your pipes is a way bigger hassle and cost than getting rid of clogs without the use of chemicals.
On top of all that, drain cleaners aren’t even that effective—they will usually break through the clog enough for water to flow through freely, but won’t get rid of the whole thing, making more clogs likely. Chemicals in drain cleaners are bad for the environment, plus can be dangerous to keep around your home if you have pets or small children. Believe us, it’s so much better all around to just forget the store-bought drain cleaners altogether.
What’s the Solution?
So, now that we’ve burst your bubble about chemical drain cleaners, what are you supposed to do? Don’t worry, there are more effective ways to keep your drains flowing without damaging your pipes.
DIY Drain Cleaning and Prevention
One of the best things you can do for your drain is to take a few simple measures to prevent clogs. Be mindful of what goes down the drain—use a drain strainer in kitchen sinks and showers to prevent food bits and hair from washing down the drain, and never pour cooking oil or fat down the sink. If you have a garburator, run a little water through it after each use to flush out any excess bits that might be stuck.
If you develop a clog, try using a plunger to get rid of it. Place the plunger so it creates a seal around the drain and pump it up and down.
If your clog is too stubborn for DIY fixes, then it’s time to call in the professionals for drain cleaning.
Professional Drain Cleaning
Sometimes you gat a clog that you just can’t get rid of on your own. In these instances, it’s best to call a plumber. Professional plumbers will ensure that when they clean your drains, they are not causing damage to your pipes at the same time. Some plumbers might send a camera down your drain to determine what’s causing the plug first. Generally, there are two main drain-cleaning techniques used by professionals: drain snaking and hydro-jetting.
Drain snaking is when the plumber feeds a long cord with an auger on one end (called a “snake”) and uses it to either pull the clog up and out of the pipe or break the clog up and flush it through.
Hydro jetting is more powerful than snaking (for those really tough clogs). A high-pressure blast of water is sent down the drain to break up and flush out clogs. This is more powerful than drain snaking—think of it as if a mini firehose is being sprayed down your sink.
Need assistance with a clogged up drain? We’re here to help! Our experienced plumbers know how to get your drains flowing freely again without harsh chemicals that damage your pipes.