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Drain Cleaning Myths

Drain Cleaning Myths

Have a clogged drain? It’s a common issue for all homeowners, but it’s important to not make the assumptions that too many people believe when confronted with a clog. These myths aren’t just untrue, but they can also lead to bad decisions that can make your plumbing problem even worse — and more expensive to repair. So when confronted with a drain problem, don’t fall into these thinking traps! Here’s why they’re wrong.

All My Drains Work the Same

Your home actually has several different sets of pipes! They are not all connected (although some of them are), and they have different tasks and features. Drain pipes, for example, collect all the water you pour from faucets (typically “gray” water) and safely dispose of it. Waste pipes collect polluted water from toilets and similar sources and route it to septic tanks and sewers. Vent pipes are designed to remove nasty gases created by the other pipes, giving them a way out through a roof vent or similar vent.

All this means that a clog may affect some parts of the house, but not all your plumbing, depending on where it originates and what it does. Sometimes clog effects can be very difficult to predict if you don’t know how your plumbing works.

Drain Cleaners Can Fix the Problem

Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to “burn” through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won’t quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause additional problems in your pipes as well. In general, if you have a bad clog, it’s probably a better idea to call a professional plumbing service rather than dumping a bunch of liquid plumber down the drain.

Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to "burn" through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won't quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause additional problems in your pipes as well.

I Can Fix My Clogs Without a Professional

This myth is sometimes true. If a clog is located only a few feet into the pipe and you have experience in turning off the water and safely disassembling your drain pipes, you can probably find and fix the clog. However, for any other type of clog, especially waste pipe clogs and clogs located deep in the pipes, it’s better to ask a professional for help. This is especially true if something (like a small toy) has become lodged deep in your plumbing and needs to be located.

Drain Snakes Will Always Clean the Mess

Not so fast! There are two things you need to know about drain snakes. First, they are good at finding many clogs, but they can’t always remove the problem. Remember our stuck toy example from above? There’s not much a drain snake can do about that except find the problem. Other issues, like scale build-up, can’t be fixed with a snake at all. Second, a drain snake is not a DIY tool. Without proper training, you could cause even more damage to your pipes. Trust a professional instead.

Need help with a plumbing issue? Call us at Crawford Mechanical Services for emergencies or schedule your plumbing services!

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