Drain cleaning is one of the plumbing issues that you don't need calling a plumber for. You can easily get rid of messy blocked drains in your house if you know what to do. However, the trick here is to use the right tools and techniques. Unblocking your drains the wrong way will not only leave you with a bigger mess but can also result in costly damages. Therefore, if you are a DIY enthusiast and want to take on the drain cleaning yourself, here are common mistakes you should avoid:
Using Hot Water
Pouring hot water down your clogged drains may seem like the most practical thing to do in such a situation. That's because hot water is sometimes recommended after doing dishes to help prevent any fats and oils from solidifying inside your pipes. However, if your drains are already blocked, hot water won't break down the materials causing the blockage. It will only create more build-up and lead to an even greater overflow.
Using Your Garden Hose
Your garden hose, even if it's a high-water pressure model, may not have enough pressure to unclog your drain. Just like using hot water, you'll only be creating more build-up, so avoid your garden hose too.
This is one of the most common and biggest mistakes you can make when unclogging your blocked drains. Whether it's using a piece of stick or bending a coat hanger and using it to try to clear the blockage, avoid doing it. You'll only worsen the problem because first, you risk pushing the blockage further down the drain, making it even harder to remove. What's more, you can damage the inner linings of your pipe, especially if you are using sharp materials such as wires. The sticks can also break and get stuck inside the drains, making the problem even worse.
Plungers, plumbing snakes (drain augers) and drain rods are some of the recommended plumbing materials to use on blocked drains.
Improper Use of Chemical Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can help clear minor blockages in your drains. However, they will only work if you use them in the right quantities and as directed. Additionally, these chemical cleaners don't usually work for all types of blockages. Generally, most chemical drain cleaners don't dissolve non-soluble clogs, such as hair. Since they also release heat when reacting with the blockage materials, overusing them can degrade your pipes.