Drain clearing can improve your home’s drainage, allowing water to move faster through your pipes. This can enhance your pipes’ longevity and eliminate foul odors in your home. Here are some things to consider before clearing your drains:
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Cause of the Blockage
The cause of a pipe blockage will help determine the best drain clearing method, as different types of clogs require varying approaches. Consider what typically goes down your drain in the area you’re experiencing a clog.
If the clog is in your kitchen sink, grease buildup may be a potential cause, as grease is a common kitchen product. Hair buildup is a more likely cause for bathroom sink or shower clogs, as hair may shed when washing or combing it.
Identifying the primary cause of your clog can save you time and effort as you can tailor your approach to address the problem you’re dealing with. A plunger is suitable for blockages caused by hair buildup, while an auger may be more effective when dealing with grease buildup.
Age of Your Plumbing System
Buildings with old plumbing systems often have galvanized pipes, as this was a popular rust and corrosion-management solution decades ago. Inserting the wrong snake or using too much force when clearing old galvanized pipes can scratch them, damaging the zinc coating.
This can increase a pipe’s susceptibility to rust or cracks. Research when your home’s plumbing system was installed to determine your way forward. You can talk to previous owners or ask your real estate agent for help identifying your system’s age.
If you have an old system, use a manual drain snake instead of an electric one, as the former is easier to control. You can also call a professional to handle the blockage for optimal pipe safety.
Severity of the Clog
The severity of a blockage can determine the most appropriate clearing method. A plunger can help you eliminate a minor clog, and an auger can help clear a more severe one. Augers can be more effective because they can move around a blockage until it’s free.
The severity of a clog can also determine whether you should call a professional plumber or try to solve the issue yourself. Severe clogs are best left to plumbing professionals as they have the tools and expertise to maneuver difficult blockages. You can determine the severity of your clog by trying to pour water down the drain.
You’re likely dealing with a severe blockage if water doesn’t drain or drains too slowly. A blockage may also be severe if several fixtures in your home back up simultaneously. Multiple clogs can indicate a sewer drain clog, necessitating professional assistance for optimal results.
Drain clearing is a suitable short-term solution for minor clogs. Clearing your drains restores normal drainage by creating a small path for water to flow. It’s suitable if you need to drain standing water before you call a plumber. Consider a more thorough drain cleaning if you need a long-term solution.
Drain cleaning flushes out blockages, leaving pipes clog-free for longer. Cleaning is best conducted by plumbing professionals as it requires specialized equipment. Hydro-jetting tools are among the most common professional plumbing equipment.
These tools release high-powered water into drains with enough force to break up many types of buildup, including grease, hair, mineral deposits, and scum.
Benefits of Drain Clearing
Drain clearing can allow water to flow more seamlessly from your sinks and bathtubs, eliminating standing water. This can reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth as these microorganisms thrive in damp conditions.
Clearing can also prevent sewage backflows and toilet clogs, allowing you to maintain a more sanitary environment. It can also prevent foul odors resulting from backed-up toilets and standing water. Clearing can further enhance your home’s comfort by preventing noisy pipes.
Pipes often produce gurgling noises when there’s poor water flow. This noise results from air bubbles, which form when water struggles to pass through a blockage. Clearing can remove blockages from your water’s path, preventing air bubble formation.
Protect Your Home by Clearing Your Drains
Drain clearing is a suitable initial response to a clog, as it can rapidly improve your drainage by removing blockages. Use proper clearing tools, like plungers, snakes, and augers, to restore normal water flow.
If you don’t know how to use these tools or if the clog is too severe for them, contact an experienced plumber to protect your home’s plumbing system.