Jan 19, 2012   //   by Daniel Cordova   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Got A Clogged Drain?

Got a clogged drain?  Well, you’re not alone!  Everyday hundreds of American households are faced with a clogged drain.  Whether it’s their kitchen sink, their bathroom sink, their shower, bath or even their toilet, a clog is a clog!  The real problem I would like to address here isn’t quite the clog itself, but rather HOW these households (and that includes you!) choose to unclog a clogged drain; Liquid drain cleaners? Bleach? Hot water with dish soap? A wire hanger?  We’ve seen it all, and we know what works, what is most cost effective, and what will take care of the problem for good (Or at least as long as you keep up with routine maintenance)!  Let us explain…

A clog is most often caused by some type of blockage in your drain pipes.  That’s a no-brainer.  When you notice your sink start to back-up, toilet begin to overflow or shower water stand still, you know you have a problem.  Most people are quick to turn to chemical alternatives such as bleach and liquid drain cleaners to help cut through the gunk and clear the pipes.  Others turn to more traditional methods such as a hot water with dish soap mix or wire hangers to loosen and/or pull out the gunk.  This is what we are often trained to do.  We hear it on TV, we’ve all seen our Dads or Grandfathers do it, and so we do it too!  There are just a few problems with these methods, and some HUGE PRECAUTIONS, so please read on and let me break it down for you.

If the water is somewhat-flowing, bleach and liquid drain cleaners will often do the trick, but DO NOT mix the two, and remember that these are harsh chemicals and can easily burn or irritate your skin and your senses if they don’t work, and you, or a plumber, need to get into the drain pipe after.  Not to mention what these types of cleaners do to your pipes after sitting inside them for a while.

The hot water and liquid dish soap mix is a much better remedy, and if repeated 2-3 times will often work out as well, and is much friendlier to the environment and your health.  However, with these remedies, just keep in mind that the water must be somewhat-flowing.  If it’s not flowing, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THESE METHODS!

The other well known home-remedy for clearing clogs in pipes is a wire hanger.  For the wire hanger, well, there are two outcomes: you get the immediate clog out OR your hanger gets stuck!  And yes, we’ve seen it hundreds of times, but as long as your hanger doesn’t get stuck, this remedy will often work to remove any immediate clogs.  We still recommend against using it though for the obvious reasons!

So the water is flowing, we’re good right?  Well, not so fast.  Bleach, liquid drain cleaners, hot water and wire hangers all have their own way of often taking care of the immediate problem, a simple clog, but is that really the problem?  In some cases, yes, and you’re very lucky if it is, but often there lies a deeper problem within your pipes, a type of clog that is simply out of the practical reach of any of these methods, usually caused by years of little to no maintenance.

So then what? If you have standing water, or somewhat-flowing water and the hot water with dish soap mix doesn’t work, or if it does work but the problem continues to occur, YOU NEED TO CALL A LOCAL PLUMBER!  It is as simple as that!  A plumber will be able to clear any immediate clogs the correct way and without the use of any harsh chemicals, and will also be able to inspect deeper into your drains for any further problems such as underground tree roots and piled up debris.  At this point, a plumber can cut through any roots and completely clear your pipes using simple, non-harmful, yet powerful tools that are designed specifically for this, to efficiently take care of the problem.  The pricing for this is minimal, so do not hesitate to at least call for a free estimate.

Now, once your pipes have been cleaned and completely cleared of all debris, I strongly recommend setting yourself up on a routine maintenance plan or scheduling a yearly drain cleaning, because just like a car, the plumbing in your home is a massive machine that needs care and maintenance to continue to run properly for you and your family to enjoy!  So the next time you have a clog, think twice before you pick up that bottle of liquid drain cleaner!  Call a plumber instead and get it done right and save yourself some money in the long run!


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