When you have a clogged drain, it’s easy to look for a quick fix. And in some cases, quick fixes work. For instance, if you have a superficial clog in a kitchen sink drain or a bathroom toilet, you may be able to relieve it with a plunger.
Or, you might reach for a bottle of chemical drain cleaner you bought at the store and—wait! Don’t do this!
Please, allow us to explain—the caustic drain cleaning liquids you can find at the hardware store could do more harm than good to your plumbing system, and we would never advise that you try to use them, even if they do temporarily relieve your drain clog. For thorough drain clog removal that will leave it less likely that buildup will occur again in the future, you need professional drain cleaning.
Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Really That Bad?
In a word, yes. You’ll find that most professional plumbers are against using them. This doesn’t mean we’re opposed to any DIY fixes. For example, if you’re dealing with a smelly drain but not necessarily a clogged drain, you could try a combination of vinegar and baking soda washed down with cold water to clear out the odor.
But the chemicals found in store-bought “solutions” are formulated to only dissolve certain types of clogs—not all. This can ultimately push clogs further along in the drains. Worse than that, these liquid drain cleaners damage the lining of your plumbing pipes, eventually leading to a premature demise.
Well, a Plunger Always Does the Job, Right?
Sure, for superficial clogs, like we mentioned above. We do usually recommend trying this, particularly when it’s just a single drain that’s clogged. You may need to use some force, and will want to ensure you get a really good seal, then with some elbow grease and time, you may be able to relieve the clog.
But, the source of the clog could be firmly lodged deep in your drain, or it can be something immovable, like tree root infiltration in your sewer line, which would absolutely require a professional to resolve.
Professional Drain Cleaning
There are drain augers you can find at your local hardware store or rent in order to relieve your drain clog, but without knowing the source of the clog and having the proper training and expertise, you might not effectively remove the entire clog, and may need to call in the pros anyway.
Our professionals have specialized, commercial-grade tools to tackle your drain clogs. This includes a drain auger, yes—but another method we might use, especially in the case of the aforementioned tree roots, is hydro jetting.
Hydro jetting also makes use of an auger, but this auger sprays out a high-powered stream of water from an omni-directional head in order to scour your pipes. This cleans out the pipes and makes it less likely for clogs to build up in the future.