We've all stumbled on some bad advice at some point or another. And when it comes to drain cleaning, there are many widely-accepted tips that can actually do the opposite of what they're intended.
For instance, chemical cleaners can actually damage pipes, often far beyond repair. Here are some popular beliefs that many homeowners have about plumbing that can have hazardous effects on your pipes.
Regularly Cleaning Drains is Unnecessary
This should be obvious advice to ignore, but many homeowners find themselves with drain clogs as a result of neglecting their drain pipes or forgetting to clean them on a regular basis. Enforcing a regular cleaning schedule will effectively eliminate clogs and grease buildups that occur with time. Routine cleaning helps to avoid the need for expensive professional plumbing services, or worse, a plumbing disaster.
At Express Sewer & Drain, we suggest monthly drain cleaning to keep water flow high with minimal debris buildup. Less frustrating than weekly cleanings and more memorable than quarterly assessments, a monthly cleaning can easily turn into a comfortable, yet still effective, maintenance routine. Some plumbing experts even suggest an annual professional evaluation of home pipe systems, as certain hazards can develop thahomeowners may not anticipate or recognize.
Chemical Cleaners are Fix-All Solutions
While chemical cleaning solutions can effectively dislodge clogging, they can often have troublesome, negative effects on your plumbing system. The combination of foaming action, chemicals and pressurization that makes these solutions work can react in adverse ways, severely damaging your pipes and even posing potential health risks.
Instead, some ‘home remedy’ cleaning methods can be just as effective and much less hazardous than chemical drain cleaners. Pouring hot water down clogged drains can easily resolve minor clogging and even the air pressure from your regular home plunger can dislodge debris buildup. Mixed solutions of baking soda and vinegar can flush out clogs just as well as chemical cleaners in many cases.
Despite their ability to clean grease and clogs, chemical cleaning solutions are not worth the health hazards and pipe deterioration that comes with them.
Your Garbage Disposal Can Handle Everything
Another piece of poor drain advice that often traps homeowners with clogs and damaged drain parts is that their garbage disposals are all-powerful waste scrappers. This is simply not true, as there are many food materials and debris that can clog or ruin them.
It's even helpful for homeowners to stop thinking garbage disposals as garbage disposals, but instead food disposals. Their sole purpose is to efficiently break down and dispose biodegradable, malleable food materials. Anything that can build up in a garbage disposal or clog pipe walls likely will. These include:
- Grease, fats & other oils (they build up quickly)
- Hot water when working with food (it liquefies hardened grease)
- Expandable foods like rice & pasta (they expand with water)
- Fibrous food like celery, corn husks & artichokes (can jam disposal's blades)
- Large animal bone or cartilage
- Paper products
- Bleach and other chemical agents, (can damage disposal's blades)
- Starchy food and waste like potato peels & skins
- Anything glass, plastic or metal
Homeowners who abstain from running items like these through their garbage disposal and drain pipes can expect much more effective and continued service from their plumbing. If these food and waste elements cause a significant clog in your drain, or damage to your pipe line and garbage disposal, it may be time to contact your local professional plumbing service.
Professional Drain Cleaning is Unnecessary
Whether it's due to serious pipe damage, frequent leaks, or if you simply just want a professional evaluation, there comes a time when you must contact a plumbing specialist. The right plumbing expert will be able to assess the issues with your pipes and provide a thorough review of your plumbing performance.
When it is time to contact a plumbing specialist, it's important to know what to look for in a professional service. This includes a fair price, promptness, service efficiency and — above all — service quality. The quality of their service and results should be the deciding factor in any professional plumbing selection.
The experts at Express Sewer & Drain are available for all of your Sacremnto water heater repairs, drain cleaning, pipe replacement and plumbing inspection needs. If you are experiencing problems or would like to have a professional inspection of your home plumbing systems, contact us right away!