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Supermarket and department stores in Sugar Land, TX have aisles full of drain cleaning products. It is tempting to reach for these products when drains stop functioning correctly. Consumers frequently purchase products targeted towards a specific drain problem, but the problem may not be obvious.
Potential Risks of Drain Cleaning Products
Some retail drain cleaning products may be helpful, although positive effects are only temporary if an underlying problem exists. Sometimes clogs occur in pipes that cannot be seen without special equipment. Homeowners cannot tell if drain cleaner is effective or not when the clog is not visible.
Drain cleaning solutions frequently contain harsh, corrosive substances that damage pipes. Some chemicals are a potential health threat as well. Stored drain cleaning products may cause severe injury or illness to pets and children.
Solutions containing hydrochloric or sulfuric acid cause chemical burns and damage carpet or furnishings. Professional drain cleaning services are safer than random products or chemicals and protect the integrity of plumbing fixtures.
Numerous home remedies for clogged drains are available all over the Internet. Advice for drain cleaning and maintenance is also freely available. Information from questionable sources may be more harmful than helpful. A common recommendation states that vinegar keeps drains and pipes clean. This is not true. Vinegar probably will not have any effect, but it is acidic enough to damage PVC pipes over time.
The hot water and dish soap method is only effective for clogs caused by fat or grease deposits, and it cannot always clear grease clogs either. Grease in the initial clog traps other substances that are not susceptible to soap and hot water. Boiling water cools too much to have any effect when clogs form in pipes far away from the drain. This method can also damage or weaken pipes because PVC in home plumbing was never intended to withstand boiling water.
Clogs deep within a home's plumbing system are a serious problem. The blockage may start out small and block or restrict a single drain. Repeated flushing, running water, or introducing soap or products can make the clog worse. Every drain in the house will eventually stop working as the clog grows or moves into deeper pipes. Sewage backup is a risk if the clog is not removed.
Pipes and fixtures can be damaged by coat hangers or other objects used to remove hair blockages. This method almost always leaves part of the blockage behind, and it is useless when the clog is not visible. Any leftover material in the blockage quickly attracts more debris and clogs the drain again.
Specialized Equipment is Necessary
Professional plumbers know how drains work and recognize the various problems that can occur. Professionals also have the correct tools to perform drain cleaning services and fix problems without damaging a home's plumbing system. Plumbers use specialized tools and equipment to see into drains and look inside pipes far from the drain itself.
Plumbers use augers for sink and shower drain cleaning services. A sink auger, or drum auger, has a long steel cord that is maneuvered through drains and pipes with a handle and crank. Augers are very effective for removing thick clogs. High-pressure water jets are necessary for extremely deep or tightly packed clogs. Water jets are safe for pipes because the water is at room temperature and does not contain any chemicals.
Snake tools are another common tool used for drain cleaning services. Plumbers use various snakes depending on the drain and type of clog. Snakes with barbs and hooks remove hair efficiently. A snake camera contains a small digital camera and light to view pipe interiors. Plumbers use cameras during drain cleaning services to find clogs and determining which tool is best for the situation.
A plunger is a common tool in bathrooms throughout Sugar Land, TX. Most people have attempted to plunge a clogged toilet at some point. An unsuccessful attempt could mean that more extensive measures are needed. It could also mean the plunger was not designed for the specific drain type. Professional plumbers have several types of plungers in different sizes to provide effective drain cleaning services.
Every drain in a home contains a drain trap. Drain traps contain small reservoirs of water at all times. The reservoir is called a water seal, and it should be replaced with clean water every time a drain is used.
Sewage disposal releases gases including methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide gases. The water seal in drain traps stops these gases from entering the home and provides a barrier to keep vermin and insects out of drains. P-traps are the most common drain traps in kitchens and bathrooms. Damage to the drain, fixtures, or pipes can disturb the pitch or position of the trap and disrupt the water seal. This allows gases or insects to enter the home.
Professional drain cleaning services are highly recommended if a valuable item accidentally goes down a drain. A plumber can use cameras and other tools to carefully retrieve the item.
Amateur attempts to retrieve the item are risky because the item is not visible and most people do not have appropriate tools. It is easy to damage the item, or push it even deeper, without the correct equipment and expertise.
Home owners often save time and benefit from peace of mind after consulting a professional plumber. Drains work correctly and there is no need to worry about an unidentified problem requiring more repairs in the near future. An inspection of a home's plumbing system during drain cleaning services may identify other problems early before extensive damage occurs. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Sugar Land, TX area for fast and efficient drain cleaning services.