Here in Sacramento, California, there are countless home remedies, plumbing services and solutions to keep your drains operable, clean and clog-free. However, there are also many widespread misconceptions about keeping your drains clean, and how to clean them safely and effectively.
Below, we have highlighted eight of the most common misconceptions homeowners have about drain cleaning and maintenance, and what you should be doing instead to get the longest and most effective life out of your plumbing.
1.) Drains Only Need Cleaning When They Don’t Work
The first, and arguably most important, misconception about drain cleaning is that drains only need inspection and maintenance in the wake of a clog, leak or buildup. Contrary to this belief, regular, monthly inspection and assessment of your drain pipes can prevent such negative things from happening, and keep your drain running smoothly and effectively for longer.
This is the greatest preventative measure you can take to improve the performance of your drain, yet many homeowners fail to act on this need. It’s because of this that clogs happen in the first place! Check your drain’s performance regularly, and your overall home plumbing, and wallet, will benefit.
2.) A Clog is a Clog
Also important for homeowners to consider is that not all clogs are made equal. What this means is that every clog is different, and each individual problem will require specific attention and individual solutions. Simply put, there is no universally applicable clog remedy.
Circumstantial factors that can change how you handle a clog include pipe material, material clogging the drain, home water pressure, water temperature and pipe configuration.
3.) A Plumber is a Plumber
Similar to the previous point, it is helpful for homeowners to know that not all plumbers and drain service professionals operate the same. If it comes down to selecting a plumbing service professional to tackle you drain cleaning needs, it is important that you evaluate your options, and make sure to pick the best one in Sacramento. The working operation of your drain pipes is not something you’d want to leave with second-rate plumbers.
In this case, experience and quality should solely drive your decision. Searching online for professional reviews and referrals can foil this misconception, and prove to you that not all plumbing services are created equal.
4.) Clogs Cannot Be Prevented
It is also a common misconception that clogs are a natural negative occurrence of modern plumbing, and that they ‘just happen to everybody;’ this is not only false, but also there are many counter, preventative measures you can take to avoid, or at least limit, drain clogging and grease concentrations.
One common, simple and highly effective preventative technique is the inclusion of a drain screen, which catches loose hair, food waste and other loose objects before they travel down the drain pipe and eventually build up. Another technique, running water along with your garbage disposal assures that food items and waste does not gather and build around your drain. Proper grease and waste disposal can go long ways in preventing drain buildup.
Also useful is having a professional inspection of your drains and pipes before problems arise, to assure that your pipe system is intact and properly installed. Sometimes, clogged drain pipes may not be the result of waste, hair or other organic material, but rather structural issues in the drain system which inhibit material buildup.
5.) Chemical Drain Cleaners Are All You Need
First of all, not only are chemical drain cleaners only one of many possible remedies for a clogged or dirty drain, but they are also possibly the most hazardous solution. The chemicals in these solutions can have negative adverse reactions in your drain pipes, which are facilitated by the pressure and foam that makes these cleaners work. Not only are reactions in your drains potentially hazardous; the mere improper handling of these chemical cleaners can be significantly more dangerous than trying other cleaning methods.
Homeowners seeking to resolve drain clogs, dirtiness and grease buildups, both current and future, can benefit from knowing alternative approaches, including:
- A simple hot water cleanse
- A home baking soda and vinegar solution
- Application of a standard plunger
- Boiled water flushes
Knowing the best solution for your drain problem comes down to understanding drain and pipe layouts, what type of pipe you have and what material is causing the problem. Having referential and helpful information on drain cleaning handy can greatly improve your chances of solving the drain issue by yourself.
6.) Sinks and Garbage Disposals Can Handle Any Waste
Another common homeowner mistake occurs when homeowners believe their garbage disposal can process any food and organic waste, and that sinks can effectively pump and liquid substance. This misconception, however, leads to further clogs and drain issues down the line.
Fibrous food products, for instance, are not efficiently processed and grinded by garbage disposals. This can lead to buildup of the products’ fibrous strands in your waste drain, and eventually form a strong clog. Additionally, grease or fatty materials from meat and other organic products (often simply washed down the drain) can stick to drain walls, and form thick, greasy clogs over time.
Even drain cleaning products can cause a clog, if sent through a drain system in too large quantities. These cleaning product concentrations can further damage your drain pipes by causing erosion.
7.) There Are No Available Tools for Self Fixes
Often, homeowners will resort to using chemical drain cleaners or hiring draining specialists to resolve a simple drain clog because they feel they do not have the proper tools available. This is incorrect, as any plumbing specialist will tell you. In fact, drain snakes, like those used by plumbers, are widely available plumbing tools and can often be picked up at local home improvement stores.
These common tools are highly effective at handling moderately sized drain clogs; they are fed through a drain until they reach the affected area and location of the clog, attach to the substance causing the clog and pull it out through the drain entrance. This is much more effective than chemical clog remedies, as it does not harm or corrode pipe lines.
8.) Professional Drain Services are Too Expensive
Finally, many people in the Sacramento area choose to avoid professional grade plumbing and drain services due to the perceived costs of maintenance. Contrarily, however, these cleaning services often cost a fraction of what’s anticipated, and greatly return on their investment with high quality cleaning services and lasting results.
If your drain buildup is severe enough to require a service professional, it is helpful to know that this maintenance and repair operation is not as costly as popularly imagined, and that a thorough, quality cleaning can improve your drain performance for a longer service life.
To learn more about common plumbing misconceptions, or simply how to get the most return out of your home’s plumbing, contact us today!