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How to Clean Your Drains Effectively

Drain cleaning involves removing clogs and debris from pipes and drains to ensure proper water flow and prevent plumbing problems. Homeowners can sometimes clean their own drains. Big jobs require professional plumbers using specialized equipment, though.

When Do You Need Drain Cleaning?

Your drains need cleaning when there are signs of blockages or slow drainage in the plumbing system. Some common indicators of clogged drains are:

  • Standing water or slow draining in sinks, tubs, showers, or toilets
  • Gurgling sounds or foul smells from the drains
  • Water backing up into the house from the street or gutter drains
  • Toilets that are hard to flush or require frequent plunging
  • Sewage backing up in different places in the house

If left untreated, clogged drains can cause water damage, health hazards, and expensive repairs. That’s why you need to address drain issues as soon as possible and perform preventive drain cleaning yearly.

What Tools Do You Need for Drain Cleaning?

Depending on the severity and location of the clog, drain cleaning may require different tools. Some of the essential tools are:

  • Plunger: A plunger is a simple device that uses suction and pressure to dislodge clogs in toilets, sinks, and tubs. Choosing the right plunger type for the drain is vital, such as a flanged plunger for toilets or a cup plunger for sinks.
  • Drain snake: A drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake or drain auger, is a flexible cable that inserts into the drain to break up and remove clogs. It has a metal coil at the end that can twist and hook onto the blockage. Drain snakes can be manual or electric and come in various lengths and diameters. Homeowners as well as plumbers can use a drain snake, but if you try to do this yourself, take care to avoid damaging the pipes or pushing the clog down further.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Baking soda and white vinegar are natural ingredients for cleaning drain pipes. This combo is a cheap and eco-friendly option to use for mild clogs or maintenance. Baking soda and vinegar can help dissolve and flush out organic matter, such as hair, food, or soap scum, and eliminate bad smells. They create a foaming reaction that can loosen and flush out debris and odors. To use this method, pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down the drain, let them sit for about 30 minutes, then flush with hot water.
  • Hydro jet: A hydro jet is a specialized hose that delivers high-pressure water to clean the inside of pipes. It can remove stubborn clogs, such as tree roots, grease, or mineral deposits, and restore the pipes to their original condition. Hydro-jetting should only be done by a professional plumber because it requires proper equipment, safety measures, inspection, and a skilled operator.

Drain cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy and functional plumbing system. Now that you know the basics of drain cleaning, you can prevent clogs and avoid some other plumbing problems. But don’t try to save money on repairs with DIY attempts that are beyond your skill level. Often, calling the pros is the best way to save in the long run.

Contact our team at Lesco Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for professional drain cleaning services in Caldwell, NJ and the surrounding area.