Having a clogged drain is frustrating, and you will probably do just about anything to get it unclogged. However, people tend to use methods that do more harm than good in their haste to clear up their drains. Before you start pouring chemicals and sticking tools down your sink, tub, or toilet, know some common mistakes people make that you need to avoid.
Using a Faux Plumber's Snake
When your drain is clogged, your first instinct might be to stick something in the drain to try and push the clog loose. When people don't own a plumber's snake, they often dig through their home looking for a makeshift one. One common choice is a metal coat hanger (for those who still have them). However, objects like hangers don't have the flexibility of proper plumbing tools. This can cause you to damage your pipes or get the clog further stuck in the drain. Make sure you only stick tools in your drain that are specifically meant for your drain.
Trying a Hose Flush
Another quick fix that people tend to do is spray a garden hose down the drain to try and knock the clog loose. The garden hose isn't going to do anything except add more water to the already clogged drain. If the hose was a proper tool to use, there would be plumbing hoses meant specifically to unclog drains. Since these don't exist, it's probably not a good method to ever try.
Using Drain Chemicals Often
Using chemicals made to unclog drains is an easy way to get the job done. If you use them on rare occasions, it might not be a big deal. However, using these chemicals often can corrode your piping and cost you thousands of dollars worth of repairs. If you have any plastic piping, you shouldn't use the chemicals at all since plastic corrodes much more quickly than metal. Before you pour the cleaner down, make sure you are positive there is no plastic piping involved. If you find yourself needing these chemicals more than once or twice per year, you need to call a plumber before you ruin your pipes.
When it comes to your toilet, you shouldn't use liquid drain cleaners at all. When you pour them into the toilet, they end up sitting for a long time. Even after you flush, some of the old water remains with the chemicals in it. These chemicals react to porcelain, and they could cause some serious damage. One problem is cracking. If the porcelain becomes cracked from the chemicals, you will need to replace your entire toilet. However, even more serious issues can arise. The mix of the chemicals and porcelain can actually cause an explosion, damaging your toilet, pipes, walls, floors, and putting your family at risk.
Trying Home Remedies
Home remedies are often suggested for clearing up a clogged drain. Most of them include some combination of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. If you want to unclog some hair from your shower drain, trying that home remedy isn't a big deal; however, in the kitchen, it could do some serious damage, and here's why. Kitchen sink clogs are often caused by people pouring grease down their drains. If you pour a bunch of hot water down your drain to remove the clog, you'll most likely melt the grease, which will move farther down the drain and then create a larger blockage. The vinegar and baking soda won't necessarily cause a problem, but they won't help much, either. If you have been dumping grease down your sink regularly, you need to call a plumber. If you really want to try a home remedy, try to consider what the issue could be first so you don't create a bigger problem.
Using the Wrong Plunger
Most people own the standard, flat-cupped plungers. What most people don't realize is that those are not toilet plungers; they are made to unclog bathtub and sink drains. Plungers need to make a tight seal around a drain opening to work properly. The plungers with the long, accordion-like base are the ones made for toilets.
If you have a clog in your drain, avoid these common mistakes and look for Belanger Plumbing & Heating plumbing service or another company's services in your area so you don't cause any more damage.