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6 Common Drain Cleaning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Your drains remove wastewater from your sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, and appliances, helping maintain your property in a habitable condition. If one or more of your drains aren’t draining properly, they may have become clogged and need to be cleaned. The sooner you get your clogged drains cleaned, the better. If you ignore the problem, your clogged drains can cause greywater to back up in your home.

It is important to clean clogged drains properly. Drain cleaning mistakes can affect the functionality of a drain, affecting its ability to remove gray water generated by your household. It can also damage the drain itself, decreasing its lifespan.

If you are looking for a drain cleaning solution in Santa Rosa, then contact us today for a reliable, professional service that effectively addresses all your drain cleaning needs. As experienced plumbers in Santa Rosa, we’ve encountered a wide variety of drain cleaning errors. Below, we have listed the most frequent drain cleaning mistakes we’ve observed at Santa Rosa Plumbing.

1.Using Chemical Drain Cleaners Too Frequently

Do not pour drain cleaners containing harsh chemicals down your drains too often as they can cause serious, even irreparable damage to your piping. Similarly, try not to use toilet tank cleaners containing harsh chemicals too often either. In addition to causing damage to your drains, these toxic cleaners can give off harmful fumes, causing health problems.

Consider using a plunger or a plumber’s snake for clogs first. Create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar before turning to toxic chemicals. Let the solution sit for a few minutes and then rinse with hot water. A natural drain cleaner removes clogs without damaging the environment or your pipes.

2.Using a Plunger or Drain Snake Improperly

When using a drain snake, do not try to push or force it, or you may inadvertently cause damage to your pipes or the drain itself. Instead, gently feed the snake into the drain and rotate it to remove the clog without applying excessive force. If you are using a plunger, place it over the clogged drain to form a tight seal and then plunge for about 20 seconds to unclog the drain.

3.Trying to Tackle Major Blockages Yourself

While you can try handling minor blockages yourself, major blockages or recurring issues may indicate an underlying problem that requires professional attention. Do not attempt to unlock a severely clogged drain yourself, as you are highly likely to make a mistake that can lead to further damage. If a clog is wedged too tightly in its place, reach out to a professional.

4.Mixing Chemicals

Never mix different chemical cleaners in an attempt to clear a clog, as the mixture can give off toxic fumes. If a drain cleaner doesn’t work, don’t pour another drain cleaner with harsh chemicals down your drain—instead, try a mechanical method or call a professional.

5.Poking Into a Clogged Drain

Do not use a hanger, wire, or stick to poke into a clogged drain or things may go from bad to worse pretty quick. A wire or stick can cause damage to your pipes, leading to costly repairs. If you insert a stick into a clogged drain and twist it suddenly, the stick can break and get stuck in the drain.

6.Forgetting to Clean Pop-up Stoppers in Sinks and Tubs

Most sinks and tubs have pop-up stoppers- small, flat discs designed to keep water from flowing out. Pop-up stoppers should be cleaned regularly as they become clogged with dirt, hair, and soap scum. If your pop-up stoppers have become clogged and aren’t working properly, try cleaning them with a pair of pliers and an old toothbrush.

Tips to Keep Drains From Clogging

Instead of waiting for your drains to become clogged, why not prevent clogged drains in the first place? Clean your drains regularly to keep them clear. Periodically perform visual inspections and address any drain problems promptly.

Follow these tips to prevent your drains from clogging.

Use Strainers

Install mesh strainers in your sinks, showers, and bathtubs to catch hair, food particles, and other debris before they can enter your plumbing system. You can find strainers at hardware or bath stores. Clean your strainers regularly.

Watch What You Flush Down Your Toilet

Your toilet is not a garbage can, so do not treat it like one. Do not flush solid waste such as baby wipes, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, vegetable fat, sanitary napkins, or other feminine hygiene products down your drains as they may take longer to decompose, and lead to stubborn clogs. In a nutshell, do not flush anything other than human waste down your toilet.

Keep Your Drains Clean

You cannot clean your drains once and forget them. Instead, you need to clean your drains periodically throughout the year.

To clean your drains, first pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down them. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, then flush with hot water. The mixture can break down minor buildups, helping prevent stubborn clogs.

Stay on top of Professional Maintenance

Have your plumber inspect and maintain your drains regularly – ideally once a year. If you have a larger household or your home is too old, consider having a professional clean your drains more frequently. Many of our commercial customers have a quarterly maintenance schedule.

Regular professional drain maintenance can save you headaches and money down the road.

Santa Rosa Plumbing is a trusted plumbing contractor catering to residents in Santa Rosa. Our ability to think out of the box and come up with innovative, unconventional solutions to plumbing problems sets us apart from other Santa Rosa plumbing contractors. To learn more, call 707 544 FLOW and let it flow.