Dealing with clogged drains can be a messy job for homeowners, and in certain circumstances, it can even be dangerous. Doing the wrong things to treat your plumbing yourself can lead to costly consequences. Many people believe they're doing the right thing, but are causing unnecessary damage to their pipes without knowing. While it's highly recommended to call in a professional like the expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter, sometimes you may find yourself in a bind and will attempt to clear the drain yourself. In such a case, be sure to avoid these common mistakes to improve the safety and longevity of your home's plumbing system.
Not Taking Preventative Measures
Of course, the easiest way to avert a drain disaster is by not causing a clog in the first place. While that's easier said than done, there are ways that you can at least reduce your chances of needing a drain cleaning. Some examples include using a hair catcher in the bathtub, properly disposing of your food scraps and using an appropriate amount of paper when using the toilet. These are simple ways that you can help fend off stubborn clogs. Even if you don't eliminate them, you'll at least have more time between cleanings.
When faced with a plumbing issue, many homeowner's initial reaction is to run out to their local grocery or hardware store and grab a gallon of clog removing chemicals. While commonly used, most brands on the market are full of caustic materials that can cause much more harm than good. A stubborn clog may take a very long time to dissolve this way, meaning that the chemical is sitting inside the pipe the entire time. If you have PVC pipes for your plumbing, using these chemicals can cause them to melt. Metal isn't safe either, as it can sometimes cause early corrosion. Using these chemical solutions can also cause burns and other injuries. It's best to avoid them altogether if possible.
Trying to Use Coat hangers or Other Household Goods
Coat hangers are rarely capable of reaching a deep-set clog. Using them will most likely just scratch up the lining of your pipes at best. In the worst-case scenario, you may even lose the hanger and cause it to be lodged inside your pipe. Getting it out without causing further damage to your plumbing will require a professional. There are better tools available on the market that can help you remove clogs more effectively.
Getting Your Plungers Mixed Up
A lot of people don't realize there are two different kinds of plungers. It's a good idea to purchase both and have them on hand in your home. Remember that the plunger with the flat bottom is for tub and sink drains; the bell-shaped plunger is made specifically for toilet bowls. Using the wrong one could make you waste your efforts.
Damaging Pipes with Powerful Snakes
Today many people buy motorized snakes to use for their toilet. While these tools can be helpful to an experienced plumber, if used the wrong way they can cause massive damage to your pipes. They have been known to severely scratch and crack pipes. And often, the snake still can't get far enough into the pipe to remove the entire clog.
If you need a drain cleaning and prefer having a professional with experience in handling stubborn clogs, give us a call at Mr. Rooter. We can schedule an appointment with one of our quality plumbers so your clog can be removed without the hassles and potential consequences of trying to do it on your own. Contact us today and find out how we can help.