Drain Cleaning On Your Own: Potential Complications
Would you fix your own tooth if you had a cavity? Do you repair your car’s engine if it is required? Do you represent yourself if you require the help of an attorney? In these situations, most people would leave the job to the professionals. There are some people who don’t think of calling a plumber when it comes to drain cleaning. Many think they can do it on their own, perhaps with a product bought at a local hardware store. If you are one of these people you will be well advised to keep reading as there are some concerning complications that can arise when attempting do-it-yourself drain cleaning. These are the top reasons why DIY drain cleaning should be avoided:
Store Bought Chemical Drain Cleaners:
There are a couple of problems with the chemical drain cleaners that are readily available at local hardware stores and most grocery stores. The first big issue is that they are safety hazards. The ingredients in most chemical drain cleaners are dangerous to people who are not expert drain cleaners. Many of these products can cause burns when they touch skin, are toxic if swallowed, and can cause blindness if they come in contact with eyes. Secondly chemical drain cleaners are not actually able to completely solve the main reason that most drains get clogged. Most often there is a solid obstruction stuck in the drain pipe that needs to be removed with sophisticated tools and methods. Off the shelf drain cleaners will never be able to dislodge a solid obstruction and are therefore not only a waste of time and money but also contribute to environmental pollution and health hazards.
Potential to Damage Pipes:
Although pipes are strong it can be very easy to damage drain pipes when attempting drain cleaning on your own, especially if you don’t have professional knowledge of the task at hand. For example, never use any tools down the drain that are not meant to be used in a drain, or that you are not comfortable using. Drain augers are regularly used by professionals in order to unclog pipes, but they could easily damage your pipes if they are not used correctly by a trained plumber. In addition, using a drain auger will not be effective for larger piping and only an experienced plumber would be able to identify which tool to use on a particular drain.
Coat Hangers are a No-No:
While this can also go under the “Potential to Damage Pipes” category, using coat hangers is popular enough to mention on its own. Do not unwind a coat hanger and stick it down your drain pipe. While you may think this can help to unclog or clean your pipes, you are potentially causing more damage to your pipes. Many plumbers have seen coat hangers get caught in pipes, adding to the original clog that the homeowner was trying to clean.
When trying to clean or unclog drains on your own, you are likely to take longer than a professional would. This in turn will frustrate you and potentially lead to you rushing the job and causing more damage. By opting out of the DIY lane and hiring a professional you save yourself time, stress, and money.
Unless you have a good deal of plumbing experience, you risk doing more damage to your pipes than good. Rather than causing any further problems that require fixing, call a plumber to clean your drains and unclog your pipes.