When you find yourself faced with a clogged drain, it’s easy to look for a “quick fix” and hope that it will resolve the issue. Sometimes, a “quick fix” may work–but will it give you long-term results?
There are definitely some home projects that lend well to DIY attempts. There are other times, however, when it is best to leave the job to a professional… and drain cleaning is typically one of those jobs.
Why? Because the most common “quick fix” homeowners tend to use for drain clogs–store-bought, chemical drain cleaners–are really caustic and actually really bad for your plumbing system. Read on to learn why, and why you should only trust a pro for your drain cleaning!
Chemical “Solutions” Damage Your Pipes
The first thing that you should know is that chemical drain cleaning “solutions” are no solution at all. In fact, they’re discouraged by professional plumbers, including our team. We’re not opposed to DIY jobs–for instance, if you have a drain snake at home or a plunger, you might be able to relieve a superficial, one-time clog on your own. But chemicals are not the way to go.
First off, they’re only formulated to dissolve certain types of clogs and not others. This can ultimately push clogs further down into the drains. Secondly, the caustic nature of the chemical cleaner will slowly eat away at your pipe, and each time you use this DIY solution, you’ll only be making matters worse.
When a Plunger Won’t Do the Job
We mentioned above how a plunger can help with a superficial clog. This is true, but you will want to make sure you can get a really good seal and use some force to relieve that clog.
If you use a plunger and water starts flowing more freely, but still seems to be draining slowly, chances are you didn’t get the whole clog, or you dislodged it just enough to make some room in the pipe, but it’s going to clog up again in the future.
Using a Drain Auger/Drain Snake
You can find a drain snake or drain auger in your local hardware store. However, it’s important that you know even a lengthy drain snake might not be enough to solve your clog problem. It may not be strong enough to push through the toughest of clogs, such as a large buildup of hair in a shower drain or FOG (fats, oils, and grease) in a kitchen sink drain.
Our professional augers are often motorized, and we can use them to push through clogs with greater force. There’s also hydro jetting, which utilizes a drain auger with an omnidirectional sprayer that can cut through the toughest of clogs–even tree roots that have infiltrated a sewer line.
The Problem Might be Bigger Than You Think
Before you attempt any DIY drain unclogging on your own, it’s important that you test the rest of the drains in your home. If multiple drains seem to have clogs, then no chemical solutions, plunger, or standard drain snake is going to do the trick, as the problem may be deeper in your sewer system.
Fortunately, we are here to help!