Clogged plumbing is unfortunately a regular part of life. Almost everyone has experienced a backed-up drain or toilet. Some folks attempt to solve clogs themselves – however, there are dangers to the typical methods used by homeowners. Keep your drains clear safely by relying on professional help from PECO. We are going to go over 4 reasons a professional is needed for drain clogs.
1. Chemicals aren’t the answer.
The main problem with popular mass-market drain cleaning chemicals is that they are not effective at clearing clogs that are large, deep in your pipes, or created from materials resistant to chemical break down. Even if they temporarily break through the clog, they usually don’t entirely clear it out, which sets you up for another clog and using more chemicals.
There are further issues with safety surrounding chemical drain cleaners. You need to be very careful not to let the drain cleaner touch your skin or get near your eyes. These products can be especially dangerous for children and pets, so you need to be very careful about storing them safely away from anywhere they might be accidentally consumed.
Finally, chemicals can damage your pipes. Do not use any cleaning products that contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. These are strong acids that can affect a clog, but will also damage your sink, shower garbage disposal, toilet, pipes, and anything else they come into contact with.
2. Home Remedies are ineffective.
As plumbing professionals, we see people who have tried home remedies to clear clogs. Unfortunately, they are not effective and can even damage your pipes.
We’ve heard of folks using boiling water and dish soap. But this remedy could only work for grease clogs – dish soap will have no effect on food, hair, or other buildup. If your pipes are PCV, we strongly discourage you from purposefully pouring boiling water down the pipes. The PVC and glue used at the joints near the sink trap can be damaged by boiling water, so avoid it for the safety of your pipes!
Some people try to use a wire coat hanger to pull clogged hair out of shower drains. But a hanger is only so long – and very likely isn’t long enough to reach and clear the clog. This method may pull out some hair, but will leave the drain partially clogged and in danger of clogging again soon.
Baking soda and vinegar is a known chemical reaction. While making a volcano with kids is fun, the reaction isn’t powerful enough to really clear a stubborn clog.
3. Plumbers have the correct tools.
We’ve discussed some of the methods homeowners use to clear clogs and how they don’t work. Plumbers have the experience and proper tools to get the job done successfully. While a homeowner generally has a plunger in the bathroom and maybe a wrench, we have a wide assortment of tools that allow us to work on plumbing issues.
This includes various sized and shaped plungers to fit particular needs, such as a ball plunger for toilets that create better pressure. We have a sink auger, or drum auger, that is a specialized tool for plumbers to clear drains, along with a variety of snakes and even endoscopic snake cameras that help us see into pipes to discover the source of the clog.
Water jets can also be used to shoot high-pressure water through clogs to break them up. This method is used to clear large sewer line blockages. Professional plumbers can examine the clog, likely cause, area of the house, and type of pipes to determine the best tools for the job. Professional service means not only professional tools but expert knowledge as well.
4. Professional Insight
A homeowner might deal with a clogged pipe once every few years, but our experienced plumbers see them every day. That gives them insight into the likely cause of clog and how it should be treated, as well as the ability to rescue things like jewelry from the drain without damaging the pipe or pushing it further down.
We can also look at the clog and ascertain if there are larger plumbing issues. Some clogs are simply a hairball in a shower drain, while others are a serious sewer line clog that requires emergency service. If your sewer line is backing up, traditional home fixes like continuing to flush the toilet or adding chemical drain cleaner actually makes the problem worse. A sewer line clog is a serious issue that requires professional help ASAP.
When you have a clogged drain, you deserve effective, successful, professional service. Call PECO to help with your plumbing today!