Don't Let DIY Drain Cleaning Damage Your Plumbing System

Excessively dirty drains can back up and increase the risk of a pipe leak or they can cause other issues like a slow draining sink. Avoiding these issues starts with drain cleaning. Although there are a countless number of tutorials available showing you how to perform this process on your own, drain cleaning isn't exactly the time to put on your do-it-yourself hat. Here are some of the DIY methods that can damage your plumbing system.

Coat Hanger

The coat hanger method involves the process of slightly unbending a wire hanger so that it can be forced down the tiny holes of the drain. The idea is that the narrow edge of the hanger will be able to easily pick up any obstructions in the drain, which will in turn allow you to easily remove them.

Not only does the hanger generally fail at this, there is a high risk that the hanger can actually get stuck inside the pipe. Should this happen, not only can it permanently damage the drain, but it can also damage the pipe.

Garden Hose

A seemingly harmless do-it-yourself drain cleaning idea is the garden hose method. This process involves placing a garden hose just above the drain. When you turn on the hose, the pressure from the water is thought to be powerful enough to flush out any obstructions in the drain, thus cleaning it.

Since the water from a hose is output at a higher rate than a regular faucet, this generally just results in a big mess and after the cleanup, most homeowners find out that the obstruction is still in their drain.

Chemical Cleaners

One of the most popular methods of drain cleaning is the use of over-the-counter chemicals. The chemicals inside these products work by loosening and breaking down the particles inside the drain so that they can easily pass through.

The first problem with this option is that it isn't effective at removing all types of obstructions. While it might assist with breaking down something like food, more solid obstructions like hair will remain in the drain. Secondly, the harsh chemicals in these products can also eat away at the pipe's surface, causing permanent and costly damage.  

Make sure you are relying on the expertise of a professional plumber. Although it might seem like a more convenient option, doing it yourself often causes more trouble than it does good. In order to protect your plumbing system and to ensure your drains have been properly cleaned, make sure you are relying on the expertise of a company such as Jim Dhamer Plumbing & Sewer, Inc.