Top 3 Drain Cleaning Mistakes

Everyone has had a plumbing issue at some point in their life, and unfortunately, your go-to remedy might be one of these common drain cleaning mistakes! Sometimes trying to fix plumbing issues can have negative effects on your home. Below is a list of common drain cleaning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Improper Plunger Use

It may seem like a simple task to use a plunger on a clogged drain, however, many homeowners don’t know the right way to plunge and/or are using the wrong type of plunger. There are two types, sink plungers and toilet plungers. A sink plunger is flat on the bottom, while a toilet plunger has a bell shaped bottom. As for technique, when plunging a toilet you do not want to plunge up and down at a fast pace as if it’s a workout. Plunging too fast is usually how people end up getting dirty water flung out of the toilet and onto themselves and the floor.  To plunge properly, you should first make sure the plunger is in place, with the drain completely sealed. Then slowly and methodically plunge up and down, making sure to keep the bottom of the plunger sealed to the drain.

Don’t Use Liquid Drain Cleaner

It may be tempting to just go buy a drain cleaner, pour it down the drain and let it do all the work. However, these chemicals can be very harmful to the pipes and should never be used. As plumbers, we see the damage of these chemicals all too often. PVC and older metal pipes are guaranteed to deteriorate and corrode from frequent use of these liquids, leading to rusted and broken pipes. When this happens, it is much more difficult and expensive to fix. A common occurrence in DIY plumbing is using more drain cleaner if the first dose doesn’t work, this is a huge mistake. As licensed, experienced plumbers, we tell our customers that you should not put anything down a drain other than water or waste. Liquid drain cleaners can be a quick fix but they will most certainly cause bigger problems down the road.

Using A Drain Snake Incorrectly

The mechanical snake is a great tool, but its power is too often abused. By forcing the snakes into and past difficult pipe corners and bends you can damage the lining of your plumbing. This common drain cleaning mistake has become more of an issue with the advent of adapters to power tools. Using a power drill to spin the metal cable within your pipes can cause great damage. Your pipes are designed to transport water and liquid waste, not withstand a 2000 rpm power drill. The frequent use of a drain snake will cause problems with your pipes, which in turn causes expensive repairs in the future.

Call An Expert

Unless you are highly experienced in plumbing, you may want to hire a professional that has all the right tools to work on your home’s plumbing. Both with PVC fittings and older metal pipes, if you do not have the right tool to work on these, you can easily damage them. Many people use whatever household tools they have and worn fittings make it more difficult to assess and repair any problems. Replacement of these fittings is also necessary for reinstallation. This one-two combo will definitely cause your plumbing bill to jump even higher.

When it comes to plumbing, as simple as you may find the problem to be, it is always best to call in the professionals. If you have any questions regarding plumbing in your home, don’t hesitate to call Ready & Able Plumbing at 717-963-2034.

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