Are you tired of standing in old shower water, waiting for it to drain? Do your sinks seem to clog every time you use them?
You may be in need of a drain cleaning.
We are going to look at the benefits of having clean drains for your health & safety as well as a few DIY drain cleaning tips! Keep reading for more information.
1. Professional Drain Cleaning is Safer
With a quick trip to any hardware store, you can find chemical drain cleaners for DIY use. These cleaners can be quite harmful to you, your family, pets, and your pipes because these products are made of lye.
Lye is a chemical compound that reacts with water to create a heat reaction. This heat reaction helps to clear clogs.
Unfortunately, the heat reaction that lye and water create can cause burns to the skin and is harmful if too much is inhaled. This is the same type of chemical that is used to remove the finish from cast iron cookware and help decompose dead bodies!
Choosing to use a drain snake is a great option to get rid of the immediate problem. However, this tool also comes with a few issues with the biggest one being it takes away the clog but doesn't leave a smooth surface which makes it easier for new blockages to form.
2. Clean Drains Don't Harbor Bacteria
Failing to have regular drain cleanings gives bacteria the opportunity to grow and thrive. When there is an untreated blockage, this bacteria & fungus can multiply.
Here are a few types of germs that are found in dirty drains:
- Fusarium- a fungus that may cause eye and sinus infections but may also turn fatal
- E. Coli- spread by people and food, this bacteria can live in your drains and cause illness in people who come into contact
- Salmonella- kitchen sinks are especially prone to having this bacteria grow as the area is used for food preparation, often including raw meat & chicken
There are several types of microorganisms that may live in your drains and cause illness. The best way to have this biofilm removed is by opting for a hydro jetting treatment.
3. Your Pipes Will Thank You
Aside from store-bought chemical drain cleaner being bad for your health, it can damage your pipes. The heat reaction has the potential to melt PVC piping and may further corrode already old or damaged pipes.
Tree roots can cause clogs and major damage to your plumbing. Choosing a professional drain cleaning over DIY methods will be far more gentle on your pipes while still successfully removing roots and other clogs.
Scheduling regular cleanings will help your pipes last longer and help you avoid having to replace them too soon. This is not always the case with chemical drain cleaners or with the misuse of drain snakes.
4. Reduce Chances of Back-Up Flooding
Flushing a toilet only to have the wastewater not drain is stressful and embarrassing. Showers and sinks backing up will leave you with a mess.
Regardless of which drain is seemingly causing the problem, it can have an effect on all of your drains and toilets. If you have ever seen backflow in a floor drain after flushing a toilet, there is likely a clog somewhere in your plumbing lines!
The biggest issue with this is that flooding (no matter the cause) is expensive! If there are several inches of water, you will have to replace the flooring, baseboards, and drywall. Even if the flooding doesn't cause this much damage, you are still going to have to clean contaminated water!
5. A Clog Can Make a Pipe Burst
Believe it or not, a severely clogged drain can cause a pipe to burst. This happens because the clog stops the water from flowing which increases the pressure throughout the pipe. Eventually and with enough water pressure, that pipe can burst or crack!
If the pipe breaks in your home, you will have the same or worse damage as the flooding from a backed-up pipe. Should the break occur in your yard, you will likely have a smelly swamp.
DIY Tips You Should Know
Professional drain cleaning is the ideal option to help maintain plumbing, remove clogs, and protect pipes. However, sometimes a clogged drain is just a clog and does not require further treatment after being removed.
With this said, there are a few ways to help remove blockages from your drains. One of the simplest DIYs is by running hot soapy water into the drain. Because soap is designed to remove dirt and grease, it can help break down minor clogs.
If your toilet is not flushing due to a blockage, turn the water off and use a bucket to pour hot, soapy water into the bowl from waist height. This will help force the toilet to flush.
When to Call a Professional
While there are many things you can do to prevent clogged drains in the first place, lets face it clogs sometimes happen. Even the best do-it-yourselfers can't unclog their pipes every single time. With this said, it is best to know when to call for professional plumbing help and know when a clog is developing.
Aside from the obvious slow draining in the shower or a sink and constantly overflowing toilets call a professional if you are hearing gurgling noises or smelling sewage in your home.
If you are ready to schedule a professional drain cleaning or need help with other plumbing issues, we are happy to give you an estimate before starting the job!