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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

What to Know about Drain Cleaning Solutions

water-running-down-a-drainThe #1 thing you should know about drain cleaning solutions is that if using them is your method to clean your drains on a regular basis, then you’re actually doing more harm than good to your plumbing system.

Let us elaborate!

First off, we understand. One of the most irritating plumbing issues a homeowner deals with is clogged or backed-up drains. You may be doing something as seemingly benign as brushing your teeth when all of the sudden you have a backed-up and overflowing sink. It’s only natural that you want a quick and simple fix. And nothing is faster and easier than using a bottle of store-bought drain cleaning solution, right?

Unfortunately, fast or even affordable does not necessarily mean effective. Read on to learn more!

The Problem with Store-Bought Solutions

It does logically seem like the drain cleaning chemicals you can by at the store would be the simplest way to unclog your drain, right? But the truth is, most of the time they don’t even actually work! This is because the chemicals that make up these store-bought drain cleaners are typically formulated to dissolve specific things, like hair, but not other common blockages. This can include mineral buildup from hard water for instance, or grease and food particles if we’re referring to the kitchen sink.

That liquid drain cleaner you bought at the store might do nothing more than push the clog further down into the drainpipe.

And this isn’t the only reason to avoid using them! These chemical drain cleaning “solutions” are quite caustic. This means they can be harmful to your health in addition to harming your plumbing system. Slowly but surely, they eat away at the lining of your pipes until you’re dealing with corrosion or a pipe rupture.

“Can I Unclog My Own Drain without Liquid Drain Cleaner?”

In some cases, sure! This is especially true if you have a superficial clog near the drain opening. If you have a plunger on hand, this is a go-to for many types of clogs, especially for toilet and kitchen sink clogs. Plungers help you create suction, and this allows the blockage to loosen up and make its way up the drain. You’ll just need to be persistent.

When it comes to cleaning the drain, this is also possible. Let’s say your drain isn’t clogged and water isn’t backing up, but your kitchen sink drain is just plain smelly. All you really need in this case is a big of baking soda and vinegar, allowed to set and then washed down with hot water about 15 minutes later.

When You Can’t Clean or Unclog Your Own Drain…

When your drain is so clogged up that no amount of plunger pushing will help, it’s time to call in the professionals. We have a number of tools at our disposal, and we ensure that we can effectively remove your clog. For instance, we have motorized drain augers, and hydrojets. Depending on the severity of the clog, the latter may be the best option–plus it helps prevent clogs from forming in the future!

The first step when you need professional drain cleaning is to give us a call for a video pipe inspection. This is where we insert a cord with a camera on the end of it down the pipe to locate and name the clog. Then we can take the next best step to remove it from there.

For reliable professional services for your plumbing in Wilmette and beyond, contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. today! 

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