Whether it’s food particles in the kitchen sink, hair in the bathtub drain, or a clogged toilet, almost everyone has taken on the lovely task of drain cleaning. And with multiple methods available to us at the local hardware store or grocery store, drain cleaning is widely considered a DIY project. But did you know that some of those DIY procedures are not as reliable as we’re told they are? In most cases, they’re just quick fixes that don’t address the entire problem.
Here’s how to determine if you should continue to clean your own drains, or call a plumber in for help.
When to Clean Your Own Drains
A sure sign that your main sewer line is clogged is water backup. If you find that you’re standing in front of lake when you brush your teeth, it’s probably a good time to call Capital Care Plumbing.
But when it comes to simple clogs at the point of the drain, you can easily handle these without calling a professional. You should clean your own drains regularly to dispel foul odors or to prevent the buildup of hair, food, or grease. A simple way to clean your drains weekly or monthly is to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. It’s also a good idea to keep a screen in your drains to catch particles or material that can cause a blockage.
Situations such as toilet paper clogging the bowl can be addressed with a plunger; bathtub and bathroom sink drains should be cleared of hair and soap scum buildup after every use.
Though these are all necessary and effective measures, there is a distinct difference between the way you clean your drains and the way a professional does. DIY drain cleaning should only be considered ongoing maintenance.
When to Hire a Professional
The advertising for certain products would have us believe that drain cleaning is an easy fix. But some of these products involve harmful chemicals that are intended to open up a clogged drain by eating through the blockage but actually only fix part of the problem or cause larger problems in the long run. The chemicals may clear the blockage, but they only clear it enough to allow some water to flow through. They don’t remove the blockage entirely. In certain cases, the chemicals may even eat through your pipes, causing a much more expensive issue.
Your local home improvement store may even rent or sell plumbing augers or special equipment designed to go past the drain and into your pipes to deal with an issue. Unfortunately, addressing these issues yourself may not solve the problem entirely.
If your drains are backing up and the quick fixes listed above are not working, it’s time to call a professional. The blockage may be farther down the lines than you’re equipped to handle, causing a sewer backup in the main sewer line. For problems of this magnitude, you should stop using your water immediately and call a professional. Continued use could cause flooding and water damage to your home.
When professionals clean your drains, they’ll remove all the materials or objects causing slow or blocked drains. They can also use special equipment to see if there are other potential issues such as weak or damaged pipes, preventing future major repairs.
You should clean your drains once a month. But if you’re still dealing with consistently clogged pipes or suspect a larger problem, call Capital Care Plumbing anytime, 24 hours a day, at (281) 715-0910 or contact us online to schedule a visit from one of our licensed plumbers. Our drain cleaning service is extremely affordable, so don’t hesitate to give us a shot!