The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid While Cleaning Drains

Cleaning Drains

Ok, you have tried to wait patiently for a plumber in Houston to get to your house to fix your clogged drain, but they keep getting pushed back and you need this drain working now…even if it’s just a temporary measure until the plumber can get there to actually take care of the issue. While we here at Loyalty Plumbing in Houston generally don’t condone DIY measures on your plumbing, we want you to be prepared in case of a situation like this. To help with this, we have come up with a list of the biggest mistakes you should avoid while cleaning drains. Let’s get started!

  • Improper techniques. You may think items like a plunger are easy-to-use tools that do not require any kind of training, but you need to know the difference between a sink plunger and a toilet plunger along with the different techniques needed to effectively use each one. Snake drains are another tool that you have to be careful with. Move at the wrong angle or too hard and you can poke a hole in your pipes.
  • Using chemical cleaners. These drain cleaners are full of harsh chemicals that, while they might dissolve the clog, will definitely cause damage to your pipes over time. On the reverse of this, the chemicals may not be able to break down the clog, so now you are stuck with the clog plus harsh chemicals chilling in your drain. These solutions are also pretty toxic, making them dangerous for people to use without supervision for health reasons. Another thing that people may attempt when DIYing their plumbing is mixing random chemical cleaning agents to see what works. This is bad on many levels as there could be violent unknown reactions between chemicals.
  • Using improper equipment. People assume that they can make something work because it’s similar. For example, professionals will sometimes use a high-pressure jet to blast out hard-to-bust clogs. Therefore, DIY people will try to use a hose to achieve the same thing. This does not function the same way and can actually cause additional damage. Another example is using random objects to try to poke a clog into submission. An unbent hanger can put holes and dents into your pipe. A stick can easily break and make a bigger mess of the blockage. The examples can easily go on.
  • Not calling a plumber. Even the best DIY champion needs to know their limitations. Calling a plumber is not a sign of weakness or defeat, but a sign of understanding and wisdom. A plumber will be able to properly fix the problem without running the risks that come with DIY drain cleaning.

If you absolutely must DIY your drains, here are some tips to follow:

  • A quality tool to use for drain cleaning is a plumber’s auger. This tool consists of a length of stiff cable ending in a pointy corkscrew bit. The pointy bit is designed to stick into the clog, grab it, and pull it out, keeping you from having to use gross chemicals or miscellaneous objects.
  • Check the P-Trap in your sinks. That little curved section of pipe holds a tiny bit of water to keep any sewer gasses from getting into your home, and it also is a place that clogs like to form. You may need to take the trap out, have a bucket on hand to catch the water that will inevitably spill, and clean it by hand. From there, you can also clean out the clog.
  • Regularly schedule plumbing maintenance. The best way to DIY your plumbing is by preventing problems in the first place. Having a plumber come out on an annual basis to do routine inspections of your entire plumbing system will help find small problems before they can grow, as well as help prevent future drainage problems.

While DIY plumbing is never the first recommendation by any plumber, including our plumbers at Loyalty Plumbing, these tips should hopefully help you avoid making costly mistakes in the event that you need to pull a DIY. We look forward to helping you the rest of the way and know that we will always be there for you!