Your home’s plumbing system is a highly complex and unique network of pipes that provide your water, drainpipes, pipes designed for venting, and most. Because of the complexity and necessity of this system, it is one of the most important to your home and one of the costliest systems – in terms of repair. If you want to avoid expenses associated with your home’s plumbing system, it is imperative that you clean your drains regularly. In doing so, you will help in increasing the longevity of the system, as a whole.

Drain Cleaning Sink

What is Drain Cleaning?

Drain cleaning is the active process of removing various types of build-up within the drains throughout the home. This is done because the build-up of various substances within those drains may result in the development of slow water flow while draining, blockages, and even backups of the sewage system.

What Methods Are Commonly Used in Drain Cleaning?

There are several methods that are commonly used to clean drains throughout the home. The following outlines these strategies and includes a brief explanation of each:

  1. Chemical-Based Drain Cleaning – This form of drain cleaning utilizes chemicals in either a solid or a liquid form. In most instances, these are composed of alkaline or of acid. These may be purchased over-the-counter, but carry many risks. Because of their composition, they may cause corrosion of the pipes within in your home and even chemical burns on your skin, eyes, and more. These chemicals aid in dislodging organic-based blockages, but should only be administered by a licensed plumber.
  2. Snake Drain Cleaning – This type of drain cleaning utilizes a specially designed tool, often referred to as a “snake” due to its appearance and ease of movement through pipes. It is typically about a quarter of an inch thick and quite long. Many plumbers refer to these tools as “augers”. On one end, there is a crack system that must be turned during usage. On the other end is a corkscrew-type tool. As you turn the snake, the other end drills directly into a clog. This aids in its disintegration. Just about any clog – including the intrusion of plants – may be effectively handled with a snake.
  3. Air Burst Drain Cleaning – In this type of drain cleaning, an accelerated gas is utilized to clear pipes that are clogged. In most instances, carbon dioxide is the chosen gas. This is because it is capable of creating a strong – but safe – level of force that aids in dislodging and/or disintegrating the clog that has developed within the plumbing system. This is considered a relatively safe strategy for cleaning drains; however, to avoid complications, it is best to enlist a plumber to perform air burst drain cleaning. If done incorrectly, damage may occur to the plumbing system and/or the person handling the gas once the acceleration process begins.
  4. Hydro Jetting Drain Cleaning – This is considered to be the newest and most modern strategy for drain cleaning. With this method, a system is used that utilizes high-pressure water. The jet is a type of hosepipe that is directly connected to a nozzle. This nozzle then pushes the water through the pipe at a rate of up to 35,000 PSI. The pressure and water quickly and effectively remove any substance or any clog within the pipes of the plumbing system.

How Often Should Drains Be Cleaned?

How often you clean your drains is – ultimately – up to you. For many, drains are cleaned weekly. Others may elect to clean their drains bimonthly, monthly, or even quarterly. To ensure optimal longevity for your home’s plumbing system, a recommendation of every month is appropriate for cleaning your home’s drains. Monthly drain cleaning will allow you to avoid major issues with your plumbing system.

How Often Should I Have My Drains Cleaned Professionally?

While it is true that monthly drain cleanings are appropriate if you are completing the task yourself, you should also have regular cleanings by a professional. At the minimum, this should be done at least once a year. If you have an older plumbing system or several people live within your home, we recommend once every six months for professional drain cleaning.

How Often Should I Have My Garbage Disposal Drain Cleaned?

If you have a garbage disposal in your home, it works with the plumbing system to eliminate scraps of food. Water must be run down the drain in order to help move those scraps through the pipes. While we are on the topic of drain cleaning, we feel it is important to outline that this should be cleaned weekly to maximize efficiency. That is if you use it on a regular basis. You may have a plumber come in every so often to inspect and handle any other issues with the unit.

What’s The Difference Between Drain Clearing and Drain Cleaning?

Drain clearing is the process of removing clogs from pipes so that the water flows through those pipes easily. Drain cleaning consists of removing all debris from the inside of a pipe so that it is like being new.

What is a Professional Drain Cleaner?

A professional drain cleaner is a licensed plumbing service that comes out and helps to completely clear out any type of build-up that has developed in and/or around the drains within the home. Items that are commonly removed during this process include soap scum, oils, hair, grease, fats, and mineral deposits.

What Type of Chemical Drain Cleaners Do Plumbers Use?

In most instances, plumbers use acidic drain cleaners. Most contain sulfuric acid and are designed for commercial-based applications only. While similar to the over-the-counter products, commercial drain cleaners are much stronger and may only be used by those who are licensed.

Does Vinegar Help Clean Drains?

Yes, vinegar helps in cleaning drains. There is a process behind this technique, though. First, warm to hot water must be placed in the drain. Then, you take baking soda, pour it down the drain and allow it to clump slightly at top. Finally, pour the vinegar over the baking soda and drain area. You will find that it starts to bubble up. This is the reaction that aids in removing debris from the drain. Allow this to work for anywhere from a half of an hour to an hour. Finally, pour warm to hot water down the drain. In most instances, any clog that was present will be eliminated. In addition to this, the drain will smell cleaner as a result of the disinfecting property of the two substances.

Is it True That Certain Types of Sodas Unclog Drains?

Yes, it is true that certain types of sodas may unclog drains. The two most popular types include those that are dark in color – such as Pepsi or Coca-Cola. This is because these carbonated drinks contain a high level of phosphoric acid. If allowed to work in the drain for an extended amount of time, this acid is capable of eating away at some types of clogs.

Contact Us Today

If you are in need of drain cleaning, you may contact us here at Reynolds Plumbing today. We specialize in home plumbing systems and our services can increase the life of your system. Drain cleaning is a critical component to the longevity of your plumbing system. Do not delay. We have been servicing customers in the Wayne County, Richmond area for over 30 years. If you contact us today, we can assist you! Call us at: 765-966-0994

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