When you’re caught in a lurch or trying to save a few dollars, turning to the internet for a DIY fix sounds enticing; however, DIY drain cleanings often result in temporary solutions, further damage your plumbing, or are completely ineffective. We know how frustrating a clogged drain can be, so we are here to help you. When it comes to drain cleanings leave it to the professionals here at DoneRite Plumbing—we do more than remove your clog, we work to prevent another one from occurring.
Before we explain what DIY drain cleanings to avoid, we wanted to give you tips on the tell-tale signs your drain is clogged, because you can’t always see it.
Signs Your Drain is Clogged
1. Your Water Isn’t Draining
This is the typical image people conjure when they think of a clogged drain. If your sink is filled with water after washing your hands or cleaning the dishes, your drain is not functioning as it should. When wastewater remains in the sink, the clog is most likely in the fixture itself. It’s imperative that you address this immediately, as clogs damage your pipes further the longer they remain unresolved.
If you are noticing odd or unpleasant smells emerging from your drain, this is an indicator your sink is not draining properly. This is usually the first symptom that your drain needs some attention. These odors occur when waste builds-up in your lines. Allowing build-up to accumulate will lead to bigger issues and stronger odors over time.
3. Gurgling Noises
If you are hearing unusual noises coming from your drain, it probably needs a good cleaning. When drains are blocked, the water traveling down the clogged drain encounters obstructions. These impediments cause gurgling or bubbling sounds. If you hear any strange sounds coming from your drain, it’s time to contact one of our specialists at DoneRite Plumbing and Drain.
DIY Drain Cleaning Techniques to Avoid
1. Pouring Boiling Water Down Your Drain
The boiling water “solution” is actually dangerous for you and your pipes. When handling boiling water there is always the potential to burn yourself. The same harm is inflicted on your pipes when it comes in contact with boiling water. When you initially pour the hot water down your clogged drain, the blockage may appear resolved; however, this is oftentimes temporary. And, this momentary relief may have resulted in permanent damage. If your pipes are plastic, this can cause the pipe to melt or dissolve. If this occurs, you will need to repair or replace your pipes; so, save the hassle and refrain from pouring boiling water down your drain.
2. Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
Although some may swear by this concoction, using baking soda and vinegar to remove a clog is not worth the resources. This mixture will not remove an entire clog, and muck will continue to build-up in your pipes over time. This is not a fix, it is a Band-Aid. And, as we know band-aids and water don’t mix. Internet-recommended compounds will not solve a problem like a professional plumber, and you will most likely be calling one soon after your DIY attempt, as partial solutions lead to bigger problems down the line.
3. Coat Hanger
Stay away from this DIY drain “fix”. Using a coat hanger to remove a clog is no competition for a plumbing snake. When you MacGyver tools for drain cleaning, you will often only push a clog further down a drainpipe, or only remove part of the clog. This DIY can even harm the interior of your pipe. If your pipe is plastic, you can actually poke a hole through the pipe itself creating an even bigger problem. When inserting homemade drain cleaning tools there is also a possibility of adding to the clog, as tools may get stuck in the pipes. If this does occur do not stick your hand into your sink to retrieve the tool. This may cut your hand, or it may even get stuck! If you are removing a clog from the kitchen sink, and you have a garbage disposal, this becomes riskier. If your drain needs snaking, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
5. Chemical Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners cause harm to your pipes and the environment. If you have older, metal pipes, plastic pipes, or a completely blocked drain, your piping is extremely susceptible to detrimental damage from this DIY method. Most chemical concoctions are made with hydrochloric acid. This chemical causes pipe erosion. Chemical drain cleaners also produce heat, meaning they can actually warp or damage metal or plastic piping. And, if a drain is completely clogged, the chemicals become stuck in the piping, eating away at your plumbing until they cause significant, irreparable damage. So, it’s best to stay away from pouring chemicals down your drain.
Spending time researching DIY drain cleaning is time-consuming and typically does not address the root of your plumbing problem, or even makes it worse. It’s better to make one call to DoneRite Plumbing and Drain. Leave drain cleaning to the professionals, so it's done right the first time.
If your drain is clogged contact DoneRite Plumbing and Drain professionals at (503) 342-7782 for drain cleaning done right.