A pool of dirty water rising at your feet during a shower. A few inches of used water full of food chunks when you’re rinsing off clean dishes in the kitchen sink. A back up of spit water in the bathroom sink when you’re brushing your teeth.
Though a clogged drain may not seem like a big deal (more likely a slight annoyance) if left untreated – or treated improperly, it can lead to larger plumbing problems that can wreak havoc on your plumbing and your home. Most likely you have experienced a clogged drain before and have resolved the issue by deploying a bottle of Drano, or the like. But, according to the experts, those harsh chemicals you are pouring down your drain might be doing more harm than good.
Before you endeavor to tackle a stubborn clog on your own, check out 5 of the most common drain cleaning don’ts, and get some advice from the pros on what to do instead.
“You don’t need to use a drain strainer.”
A drain strainer can help save you from losing precious cargo down the drain. If that’s not enough to convince you to get a drain strainer, get this—people naturally lose 50-100 strands of hair a day. You’re likely to lose even more hair than that when lathering up in the shower. The more people, especially with long hair, using a shower, the quicker the hair will build up. Drain strainers are effective at preventing a majority of this unpleasant (and usually foul smelling) hair clog.
“Flushable wipes won’t clog the toilet.”
There are many brands of wipes that advertise themselves as “flushable,” however, that may not always be the case. Flushable wipes can take over a half an hour to dissolve, compared to toilet paper, which takes about eight seconds, according to this study. Flushable wipes should be treated like diapers and be thrown away in the garbage. This will prevent further clogging in your drains, private sewer laterals, municipal pumps, and public sewer mains.
“Harsh chemicals work best.”
Pouring liquid drain cleaning chemicals down your plumbing pipes can cause more damage than you might think.. Hydrochloric acid is the main chemical used in commercial cleaning solutions; this harsh chemical sits in your pipes and can gnaw away at them. Not to mention it can chew off expensive finishes and enamel, ruining the aesthetic of your bathroom or kitchen. In addition, if the clog were caused from a problem in the sewer line or a broken pipe, a chemical cleaner would have no effect on the problem anyways.
“Use two different kinds of chemicals.”
If you shouldn’t use one drain-cleaning chemical at a time, you definitely shouldn’t use two types. Mixing chemical drain cleaners can cause a dangerous reaction. If you’ve used chemicals before obtaining help from a plumber, be sure to let your plumber know in order to protect him/her and your home.
“You can fix it yourself.”
While there are some feasible at home remedies that can help for small clogs, it’s best to contact the professionals. Ignoring or waiting to fix small clogs can lead to even bigger clog issues. If a toilet is clogged just from flushing too much toilet paper, you can usually solve the problem using a plunger. Otherwise, clogs can result from a variety of things: tree roots working their way into your homes’ plumbing, broken pipes, food build up that has congealed over time, problem with the sewer line, hair buildup in shower drains, or even a combination of many of these reasons. If it’s a series of small blockages, these can create one massive (and very problematic) blockage over time and could even burst your pipes.
It’s probably best to steer clear of uncle Larry’s plumbing advice if he sounds like any of the above statements. Calling the Smell Good Plumbers at Mike Diamond Services can save you from a big headache when it comes to clogged pipes. We offer a $99 drain cleaning for clogged drains. In addition to our drain cleaning and rooter service, we also provide a variety of plumbing services, including 24/7 emergency plumbing. Avoid bad advice about drain cleaning and stick to the experts at Mike Diamond Services.