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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Three “Nice” Ways to Clean Your Drains—And One “Naughty” One


It’s December, and we think that’s a great time to make our own “Naughty and Nice” list. We’re not Santa Claus, so we can’t make any judgments about people’s behavior. But we are exceptional plumbing professionals, so we can make judgments about the tools and methods used to clean drains. We’ve got a list with three “nice” ways to clean your drains and one extremely “naughty” one that might as well be a lump of coal jammed down a drain. 

Okay, let’s make that list, check it twice, and help you make the best decision when it comes to drain cleaning in Evanston, IL.

Nice! The Plunger

The good ol’ sink or toilet plunger is one of the most helpful household tools you can own. A plunger can clear out minor obstructions in drains using the simple force of pressure. You’ll need to have at least two of these in your home: the standard sink plunger and the toilet plunger, which has flanges on the end to help it better fit down into the drain on a toilet. 

Nice! The Drain Auger

Also known as the drain snake, augers come in a variety of types. The simplest ones are long pieces of plastic with barbs along them that you can push down into a drain to pull out hair clogs. More complex ones are made of wire and can have handcranks on them or a grasper you can manually control by pressing down on a button at the end. Drain augers can often break through tougher clogs that plungers can’t, and they have an extended reach to go deeper down into the pipes. They’re easy to use and safe for drains. 

Nice! Your Friendly Professional Plumber

This is the sure-thing of drain cleaning solutions: no matter how obstinate a drain clog is, a professional plumber has methods of removing it. Plumbers use a range of specialized tools to get the job done, such as the drain rooter, which is like an extremely powerful motorized drain auger. Another great tool plumbers use is the hydro-jetter, a device that places water under pressure and then blasts it out through a hose sent down the drain. The high-pressure water can scour out a drain to remove a clog and restore the drainpipe interior to like-new condition, making it hard for clogs to come back. These tools do require a professional to operate, otherwise they might harm your drains, so always look to plumbing pros when you need a drain unclogged.

Naughty! Store-Bought “Drain Cleaners”

We know it’s tempting to reach for a bottle of chemicals labeled “drain cleaner” when you can’t unstop a drain. These products are easy to purchase and they make big promises. But no professional plumber recommends using them. These chemicals are so caustic that they can damage drainpipe materials and accelerate corrosion. They don’t really “clean” a drain and leave behind large amounts of residue that will lead to clogs quickly returning. They’re also extremely toxic and their fumes alone are harmful. Please leave these on the store shelves—you’ve already got three better options!

Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. is your trusted plumber—You can Rely on Reliance!

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