Almost every house has a bathroom and a kitchen. These two places have fixtures that require proper drainage systems to keep water from overflowing and flooding your home. Despite that, it’s normal to experience a clogged drain occasionally. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy such issues. One is clearing your drain, and the other is cleaning it.
The average homeowner may interchange the terms ‘drain clearing’ and ‘drain cleaning.’ However, these tasks provide different results. So before you do anything else, keep reading to know how they differ and which one you need for your drainage problem.
The Key Differences
Drain clearing and drain cleaning are two slightly different solutions to different issues. Here’s how to tell them apart:
This task often involves calling professional services, such as LCL Plumbing. Most homeowners rarely perform drain clearing by themselves. From the term itself, plumbers will clear whatever’s in your drain blocking the water’s passage. They’ll use a variety of tools and methods which include the following:
- Sink or drum auger
- Water jets
- Endoscopic camera
- Snake tools with hooks or barbs
- Plungers in various shapes and sizes
As you can see, these tools are only sometimes readily available at home. You can find some of them in most hardware stores. But you might have difficulty clearing the blockage alone, especially if it’s stuck deep in the pipes.
Furthermore, clearing your drains will not necessarily mean they’ll stay blockage-free. If you continuously use your sink, toilet, or bathtub, the water will carry debris, eventually building up in your drains. Hence, plumbers may recommend that homeowners do frequent drain cleaning even after their drains are clear of dirt.
Some people consider drain cleaning to be the next step to do after drain clearing. Methods to clear drains will still leave behind residue. So, unless you’ve hired plumbers to clean your drain afterward, you’re responsible for maintaining their cleanliness. Removing leftover debris will make it harder for incoming dirt to stick and build up in your drains.
Luckily, cleaning a drain often requires materials you can easily find at home or buy in hardware stores. You’ve likely heard of DIY drain-cleaning methods like baking soda, vinegar, or borax. You can also use store-bought chemicals like sodium hydroxide. These items can clean surface-level debris and some deep-seated grime, given that it’s not too far down the pipes.
However, you must note that not all chemicals are 100% effective or safe to use. If you doubt the efficacy or safety of your drain cleaner, it’s best to seek professional advice. Plumbers will use safe tools and techniques to ensure your drains stay dirt-free for as long as possible.
Now that you know the differences, learn when you should do which option at home.
When Should You Clear Your Drain?
If you’ve turned on your faucet and noticed how weak the water pressure is, that could be a sign of main drain blockage. That means your main line has something blocking the water from going to your home’s plumbing system. When you suspect this to be the issue, call the plumbers to inspect your pipes and do what’s necessary to resolve it.
Deep-seated clogs are other reasons to have plumbers clear them out. Hence, you must be careful with items you should never put down your drain. Frequently, debris will build up deep within the pipes if not near the drain itself. This phenomenon could prevent water from traveling down the sewage system, causing it to fill your sink, bathtub, or toilet or flood your floors.
Another sign that you should get your drains cleared is if you hear gurgling sounds or smell foul odors from them. There’s likely to be rotting food residue or wastewater collecting somewhere in the pipes. In these cases, only professionals can access the root of the problem.
When Should You Clean Your Drain?
Whether or not your drains are clear of blockages, you should regularly clean them. Cleaning your drains prevents food waste, hair, or grease from building up where you can’t reach them.
The best time to clean your home drains is weekly and monthly. You can do this with DIY methods and products like the home items previously mentioned. Flush your drains every week, and then use a chemical every month to break down the residue you’ve missed.
Sometimes, your usual chemical cleaning liquid may cause particular drainage problems, like corrosion. When this happens, your best solution is to hire a plumber to fix it. They’ll repair the damaged pipes and use a high-pressured jet spray to ensure they get every nook and cranny as clean as possible.
Risks Of Leaving Your Drains Clogged And Dirty
Aside from the possibility of having a flood in your home without rain, drain clogs promote bacterial growth. Many species of bacteria thrive in moist areas. You and your family might contract certain diseases from a flooded sink or bathtub. Water that doesn’t go down the drain may also be contaminated. If you touch this water, you could experience skin problems like inflammation.
Clogged and dirty drains also pose a risk to your home’s structure. Moisture will collect on the walls nearest the pipes, resulting in leaks. Leaked water from your plumbing system could also cause foul smells to emanate inside your home. So you must always practice good drain cleaning habits to keep your pipes free of clogs and residue.
Clean Drains For A Safe Home
Most people like you use tap water almost daily. Therefore, it’s possible to find grime in drains, especially if you rarely clean them. Blockages and dirt buildup don’t make for a sound plumbing system. So, depending on the issues, get a plumber’s advice so they can assess whether your drain needs clearing or cleaning.
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