DIY Drain Cleaning May Cost You

DIY Drain Cleaning May Cost You

September 3, 2020

Fixing clogged drains might seem like a simple enough proposition, especially with the help of household drain cleaners. But before you pour harsh chemicals down your sink or tub, stop—those DIY drain cleaning methods can actually harm your Bay City, MI plumbing. Instead of risking damage and the cost of repairs, save yourself some money and call a reputable plumber to take care of the clog.

Why you should avoid DIY drain cleaning

Why is taking the DIY approach with your drains such a bad idea? Here are some factors to take into account:

  • Harsh chemicals are bad for your pipes and health: The chemicals in most household drain cleaners will eat away at your pipes. The more you use them, the more likely you’ll end up with substantial plumbing issues later on down the road. Plus, the chemicals are extremely bad for your health—touching them or breathing in the fumes can cause rashes, headaches and respiratory illness.
  • You might not get the whole clog: Since you won’t have the benefit of a drain camera, there’s no way to know whether you’ve addressed the entire issue or if there’s still a partial clog lurking below. In a month or two, you’ll probably be tempted to pour more drain cleaner down the sink—which will, in turn, damage your pipes further.
  • It’s often a waste of time and money: In this situation, you might literally be pouring money down the drain. Commercially-available household cleaners dissolve clogs with chemicals—as long as they are in contact with the clog long enough. If there’s a partial clog, you might just be paying to send chemicals down the drain and into the water supply.

Safe cleaning methods

If the clog seems minimal and you’re not quite ready to call a plumber, there are two plumbing-safe ways you can try to loosen a clog. Carefully remove any visible parts of the clog from the drain, using your fingers—be careful not to put your hand down the drain or reach farther than the drain catch. Then try one of these methods to see if that solves the problem.

First, try pouring very hot water down the drain. You can boil a large pot of water on the stove, then carefully pour it into your sink or tub. This can help break down food waste or change a clog’s shape so it’s able to move through the pipes.

Second, try the baking soda and vinegar trick. If you ever made “volcanoes” in school, you’re probably familiar with this chemical reaction. Shake a box of baking soda into your drain, then follow it up with plain distilled white vinegar. When the baking soda and vinegar meet, they foam up. This can help dislodge minor clogs safely and won’t harm your plumbing or sewer lines.

If neither of these methods works, call a plumber. Ultimately, it’s faster, easier and safer to work with a professional than trying DIY drain cleaning methods in Bay City, MI. Thornton Brothers Sewer Service can help you clean your drains and make sure everything is running smoothly—call today!

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