When you have a drain clog, what do you do? If you’re like many homeowners, you reach for a bottle of store-bought drain cleaner. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea.
There are right ways and wrong ways to remove clogs. If it’s superficial enough, you can probably use a plunger to relieve it. But using chemical drain cleaners can actually destroy your plumbing system, leading to high service costs and frustration on your end. So what do you do, when simple clog removal—like the use of a plunger—isn’t cutting it?
First, Set Aside That Chemical Drain Cleaner, Please
Seriously—if you’ve ever taken a close look at the bottle of drain cleaner under your sink, you’d find that it contains some pretty harsh stuff. There’s a reason that 80-90% of the bottle is typically plastered with all sorts of warnings in large font. The chemicals in these drain cleaners are extremely toxic and caustic.
While they may melt through whatever is clogging up your drains, these materials don’t do any favors for your drain pipes. Years of using these kinds of materials to clean out the drains will eventually degrade them to the point that they’ll leak and require replacing. Another issue is that they don’t even eat through all types of clogs, so you may be hurting your pipes for no reason at all.
This is one of those cases where the solution can leave you with more of a headache than the initial problem!
The Alternative to Chemical Drain Cleaners
So, what do you do about your clogged drains? Just ignore the problem? Of course not—what you should do is ensure that your drains get the professional care they need to function as they should. Professional drain cleaning methods never include caustic chemicals to get the job done, which is just one of the advantages to calling a pro.
There are two main methods of professional drain cleaning. The first is drain snaking, when a long cord with an auger on the end of it is used to drill through the clog in the pipe and pull it out. This does no damage to the pipe itself, and can reliably deal with most kinds of clogs.
In situations where drain snaking isn’t sufficient, there’s a second method of professional drain cleaning called hydro-jetting. This is akin to unleashing a small fire hose down your drain pipe.
Okay not really, but it is powerful. A very high-pressured stream of water is fired down your pipe from a small hose with an omnidirectional sprayer, which blasts waste and debris buildup out of your plumbing system, Hydro-jetting is great for getting rid of all types of clogs, and is thorough enough that it even prevents further clogs from forming, and does so without damaging the pipes themselves.
If you have a clogged drain in your home, do not reach for that store-bought drain cleaner! Call in a professional, and let them resolve the problem while keeping your pipes in great shape.