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Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems experienced by homeowners around the world. In fact, it is so common that most homeowners do not even consider it a plumbing problem. They think of it as a casual blockage in the pipes, which has a DIY solution. While DIY drain cleaning may be effective in some cases, it is not always an effective solution.

This post explains four reasons why DIY drain cleaning is not a good idea and what you should do instead.

Why is DIY Drain Cleaning Not a Good Idea?

#1. DIY Tools are Ineffective

Professional plumbers use a drain snake, long nose plier, inspection cameras and several other tools to identify the clog and dislodge it.

Most homeowners either do not have the specialized tools to unclog the drains or do not know how to use these tools. As a result, they resort to the basics, such as using a plunger, a clean drain cleaner and boiling water.

Unfortunately, these DIY tools are not effective in cleaning up the clog. They may clear up a small clog, but they are not effective in treating clogs. Repeated use of chemical drain cleaners can do more harm to your pipes than good to your drains. Over time, with regular use, chemical drain cleaners can corrode the PVC pipes under your sink and all around the house.

#2. You Can Damage Your Plumbing System

As mentioned earlier, most homeowners do not have tools that are used by professional plumbers. As a result, they use products that can damage the pipes. The use of chemical drain cleaners or high concentrations of hydrochloric acid can corrode the pipes. Instead of breaking down the clog, they eat away the pipes, which can cause more damage to your plumbing system.

Moreover, when drained into the septic system, these chemicals can also damage the ecosystem in the septic pump. Harsh acidic chemicals kill the bacteria, which is responsible for the decomposition of the waste. As a result, there is an increased risk of clogs.

#3. You are at a Risk

When untrained homeowners have to deal with clogs, all they know is to unscrew the drain and pull out the clog by sticking their hand into the drain. Skin contact with drains can be very dangerous. Since most homeowners are not skilled, you never know what is inside your drain, and you can easily get a cut on your skin. Untreated cuts from drains can lead to infections and associated complications.

Moreover, there is a risk that you may get your hand stuck inside the drain. Getting your hand out of the drain can be a dangerous and extremely painful condition. While it will cost you money, it can also cost you your hand!

Another common method for DIY drain cleaning used by most homeowners is the use of boiling water. When you pour a pot of boiling water in your sink, it might splashback on your face. Moreover, there is a risk of spilling boiling water on yourself and getting severe burns.

#4. You Can Aggravate the Problem

When you at-home drain cleaning tools, they may remove some part of the clog; however, they may push the remaining part further down the drain. As a result, you may have a clear drain in the short term.

Moreover, while working with a clogged drain, you might end up causing a pipe to burst or leak, or you may loosen a connection that is a much costlier plumbing emergency than a simple drain clog.

What to Do Instead?

Now that you know that DIY drain cleaning is clearly a no-no for you and your plumbing system, you must be wondering what to do instead. Here is what you can do about clogged drains.

#1. Know What Not to Put Down the Drain

The best way to avoid clogged drains is to not have a clog in the first place. You can prevent clogs in your drains by avoiding certain things in your garbage disposal and sink. Some of the most common things to avoid include:

  • Oil, grease and fats
  • Eggshells
  • Potato and other vegetable peels
  • Starchy foods such as rice and pasta, and
  • Fibrous foods such as pulp and seeds of fruits. 

In the bathroom, you can avoid the following things in your drains and toilets:

  • Hair
  • Flushable wipes
  • Tissue paper and 
  • Sanitary products. 

#2. Schedule Regular DIY Drain Maintenance

Another proactive approach that can save you from the inconvenience of clogged drains is regular DIY drain maintenance. While it may not always be effective in dislodging the clogs, rest assured that it won't cause harm to your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Some of the DIY solutions that you can use include:

  • Baking soda and vinegar/lemon juice mixture
  • Salt, borax and vinegar mixture and 
  • Boiling water. 

#3. Call a Professional Plumber

In case of frequent and persistent clogs, it is always best to call a professional plumber. Untreated clogs can silently damage your pipes and plumbing structure and often result in plumbing emergencies such as leakages and pipe bursts. You can avoid all the inconveniences simply by working with a professional plumber. They have the skills and tools to locate and dislodge the clog without damaging your plumbing fixtures. Moreover, seeking professional assistance is often a long-term solution to the problem of clogged drains.

Professional Plumber Near You

If you are struggling with frequent clogs, we recommend a professional solution. At Mesa Plumbing, you can find answers to all your plumbing concerns. From clogged drains to sewer line backups, our professional staff is trained to handle all types of plumbing problems. To find out more about our services, call now at 480-832-1660 or visit our website.

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