You likely pay very little attention to the drains in your home until one becomes impacted by a clog and needs to be cleared. Over time, debris can build up in pipes, forming a clog that eventually slows your drain to the point where it drains slowly or not at all. Cleaning a drain is not terribly difficult, but there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding what works, what doesn’t, and what’s actually safe for your plumbing. Here are five myths about drain cleaning.
You’ve probably seen the commercials on television for a drain cleaning product designed to eat away at clogs and dislodge them. Seems simple, right? Just pour some of the liquid down the drain, wait a few minutes, and give it a good rinse and you should notice the clog has disappeared. That’s the ideal situation, but unfortunately it rarely works like that. These cleaners do dissolve some of the clog, but they also dissolve anything they come into contact with, including metal pipes. You’re far better off calling a professional who can come in with the proper equipment and snake your drain clean without dealing any damage to your precious plumbing.
In a sense this one is true, but it’s also not true in the way most people think it is. Yes, it’s accurate to say that all of your drains are connected because they all lead to the same sewer system, but they’re also separate from each other in that each has its own drain pipe that leads out to the main sewer line. Think of your plumbing like the veins and arteries in your body: a clog in a main artery can cause a backup in a much wider area of your body than one in a smaller, less impactful spot. If your bathroom sink is clogged, it’s not likely to affect your dishwasher or washing machine. If your main sewer line is clogged, your whole home will feel the effects.
As a homeowner, you’re far from short on options when it comes to drain cleaning. Simple tools like plungers and plumbing augers can be picked up at your local home improvement store, and for bigger jobs you can also rent special equipment designed to go way down your plumbing lines and fix the issue. While just about anyone can fix a backed up toilet with a plunger, anything beyond that should be left with a professional. This is especially true for any major clearings, such as main sewer lines, or if something awkward or valuable has fallen down the line. By the time you manage to fix the issue, you probably could have hired a professional to do the job with far less damage to your plumbing.
Sewer lines are extremely important parts of your house, allowing wastewater to flow out to the sewer main where it can be taken away for treatment. However, these lines clog fairly frequently, especially if you have several trees located in the vicinity of the line itself. Tree roots can intrude into even the smallest crack in these pipelines, growing and eventually clogging the line entirely. Sounds like you have to dig up your whole yard to replace a sewer line, right? Not exactly. So long as the sewer pipe itself is still in good shape, you can usually destroy the tree root that’s blocking your pipe and then clean your sewer line to get it flowing smoothly again.
Drain cleaning is a fairly common service, but not all plumbers accept those jobs. Some plumbers choose to focus on new system installations, others specifically focus on re-pipe jobs. Some firms only do drain cleaning, particularly because drain cleaning can be done professionally without a license. However, these unlicensed cleaners are not qualified to do work like replacing a faucet or installing a water heater, so be sure to ask about technician licensing before hiring a plumber to do these larger jobs.Are your drains running slowly? Call Sunshine Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 303-622-5526 to schedule a drain cleaning service!