Why DIY Drain Cleaning Can Be a Bad Idea

Play Video

Table of Contents

When you notice a sink beginning to back up or a slow-draining bathtub, your first instinct is probably to pour some chemical drain cleaner down the drain and forget about it. Although these chemical cleaners are easy-to-use and inexpensive, there are safer alternatives.

There are a few at-home solutions that are pipe-friendly and can help minimize clogs. Even then, if you are experiencing a drain or sewer problem the best thing to do is hire a professional plumber. Contact our Red Oak plumbing team for prompt and reliable service.

Alternatives to Chemical Cleaners

If you don’t have time to wait for a plumber or you would like to try something else first, there are a few at-home solutions you can try. But first, put the chemical cleaner down. Explained in depth below, chemical cleaners can cause major damage to your pipes, especially when used too frequently.

Here are some easy and affordable alternatives:

  • Very hot (not boiling) water: using very hot water can help to melt away and break down any clogs. Rinse with cold water afterwards.
  • Plungers and toothed drain snakes: keep in mind that these are only solutions for toilets and shower drains. You can purchase these at most grocery or home improvement stores. Plungers can be used for regular back-ups and toothed drain snakes are great for hair clogs in showers.
  • Vinegar and baking soda: pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by half a cup of vinegar right. Leave it overnight with the drain covered and rinse it with hot water in the morning.

These alternatives do not always work and can even make the situation worse. We suggest that you use these options sparingly and when you do, only once. If the problem continues to persist, then you need to call a professional plumber.


Dangers of DIY Drain Cleaning

Whether you’re using a chemical cleaner or a drain snake, every DIY drain cleaning method has risks. Take a look at some of the reasons why homeowners choose to hire a plumber rather than fix it themselves:

  • Pipe corrosion: chemical drain cleaners may be easy, but they are the worst when it comes to taking care of your pipes. Many drain cleaners contain Hydrochloric Acid, which corrodes pipes. If you use chemical cleaners often, you could face a leaky pipe or worse.
  • Septic system damage: chemical drain cleaners can also damage your septic system. The acid in these cleaners kill the beneficial bacteria in the system. This is a problem because this bacteria is a natural waste eliminator. When you kill the bacteria, you are actually increasing the likelihood of clogs in your pipes.
  • Safety issues: some homeowners put their hands down the drain when they try to fix it. This is incredibly dangerous for many reasons. There is a possibility that your hand could get stuck in the pipe or worse. Not to mention the chemical burns that occur when homeowners use drain cleaners.
  • Worsen the problem: using a drain snake or some other tool to remove a clog can result in pushing the clog further down the pipe. Similarly, when using chemical cleaners you could end up with major pipe damage.

Instead of risking damage to your pipes, septic tank or even yourself, call a plumber to handle the problem for you. Plumbers have the right tools and training to remove any clog, no matter the size.


Avoiding Drain Issues

If all of this sounds like too big of a hassle for you, then the best thing to do is to avoid the problem in the first place. The most effective way to avoid drain clogs is to be careful about what you put down the sink or flush down the toilet.

Here’s a list of what you should never put down the drain:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Diapers
  • “Flushable” wipes
  • Potato skins
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Grains
  • Animal bones
  • Wax
  • Grease and oil
  • Paper products
  • Feminine products

When you follow these guidelines, you can avoid frequent clogging. You can also purchase a drain strainer that will collect hair, large food particles and whatever else may get flushed down your sink or bathtub drain. Occasional clogs are expected of any plumbing system, but you can significantly reduce clogging if you get mindful about what goes down the drain.


The Importance of Drain Maintenance

Getting professional maintenance for your drain is also a great way to reduce the likelihood of clogs and other piping issues. Next time you schedule annual maintenance for your plumbing system, ask for a pipe and drain inspection and cleaning.

The best plumbing companies will use a video camera for pipe and drain inspections. This is attached to a thin cable and used to inspect your pipes. When plumbers do a camera inspection, they will be able to identify any issues such as clogs, waste buildup, cracks and more. If they do identify a clog, they should be able to remove it using an auger or pipe snake.

Plumbers can also provide drain and pipe cleaning services. To clean drains, a plumber will typically insert a hydro-jet into the drain opening and spray a high-pressure jet of water around the sides of the pipe. The jet of water removes any waste buildup along the sides of the pipe. This is the most safe and effective way to clean your drains


Reliable Red Oak Plumbing Services

When you schedule regular maintenance for your pipes and drains, you are increasing the lifespan and durability of your plumbing system. Rather than waiting for your drains to get backed up and cause major damage, why not take preventative steps and avoid the situation altogether?

If you are looking for dependable plumbing services in Red Oak, Texas then you have come to the right place. Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating offers highly trained plumbing technicians that have all of the tools they need to fix your drainage issues.

Whether you need a clog removed or a burst pipe repair, our team at Dial One Johnson is ready to provide high-quality and affordable service. Contact us online if you would like to learn more about our plumbing services or to schedule an appointment.

Request Service

Fill out the form below and a member of our team will reach out to you as soon as possible.