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Drain Cleaning in San Francisco Pros and Cons

When your drain clogs or slows down, it causes major problems with basic family activities. This can limit or stop your use of toilets, showers, kitchen sinks, washers and dryers. You clearly need to do something to return life, and your pipes, back to normal.

But what is the best method of drain cleaning in San Francisco? Here is a look at the pros and cons of the most popular methods.


Doing it yourself is the right approach for simple clogs, whether in the toilet or the sink. Every home should have a plunger tool, available at home improvement centers for a reasonable cost.

Plumbers don’t recommend the popular chemical cleaners available at the grocery store. These are toxic, bad for the environment and hard on your pipes.

Plumbing Snaking

If you can’t get speed up a slow-running drain yourself or unclog your toilet or pipes, you’ll need to call a plumber. And if your drains are backing up, it probably means a serious drain problem involving your sewer line. In this case, only a plumber has the tools and know-how to fix the problem.

He will often use a plumbing snake to break through the clog. This clears a path through your pipes. The downside is that it doesn’t clean off its interior surfaces, so the buildup that is the probable source of the clog remains. In many cases, the clog will simply return.

However, this method clears a path for a video inspection of the pipe system. For major clogs and for sewer lines, this is the quickest and most effective way to figure out what is causing the problem.

Here is how a video camera inspection works: once the snake has opened space through the clog, the technician inserts a tiny video camera on a flexible rod into the plumbing system. The camera also has a locator device attached. This apparatus flows through the pipes, even around corners.

The technician watches its progress on a monitor above ground. Looking at the high-definition images, he can see if the clog is due to grease and debris building up or tree roots growing into the pipe. It also could be a collapsed pipe or a misalignment.

Once he knows the cause, he can choose the most efficient method of fixing the problem.

Hydro Jetting

If the clog is caused by tree roots or buildup, he will often choose hydro jetting. This sends an extremely high-pressure spray of scalding water through the pipe system. This removes the debris and thoroughly cleans all the buildup from interior surfaces of the pipe.

Snaking creates a pathway through the clog, but doesn’t do anything about the buildup. That means the clog will just reappear in the future. Hydro jetting deals with the source of the problem, the buildup. It also reduces the risk of future buildup.

Hydro jetting has such pressure, it can even obliterate tree roots growing in sewer lines.

Trenchless Pipe Repair

If the cause of the clog, whether tree roots, deterioration or another source, has damaged the pipe, you can use trenchless pipe repair to replace the damaged section. This process, which has become popular over last 15 years, has many benefits over conventional pipe repair. It reduces the time needed to fix the pipe problem, saves homeowners significant money and creates far less mess in the yard.

If you need drain cleaning in San Francisco, research the pros and cons of various methods. Ask a skilled plumber what he recommends for your particular situation.