Many people take their home plumbing for granted until something goes wrong. A clogged drain can be enough to disrupt the entire household. While there are home remedies designed to get rid of clogs, choosing to call a plumber when this type of problem arises is really your best bet. Here are some of the basics you should know about home plumbing systems, clogs, and why calling a plumber is the most practical solution.
The Materials That Compose Your Plumbing System
Unless you live in a home that was built in the last couple of decades, there’s a good chance that the pipes, drains, and other key components are made using a variety of materials. In older homes, that could mean an eclectic mix of copper, stainless steel, and PVC among other possible materials.
Why is this important? While all of the parts are sturdy enough for a home plumbing system, some of those older home remedies for drain cleaning could cause some damage. Even if the remedy you choose does dislodge the clog, one of more of the system components could sustain damage from whatever agent you used. That paves the way for other plumbing issues to arise.
The Configuration of the System Matters Too
Did you know that many home plumbing systems have the kitchen and the laundry drains connected using shared pipes? The arrangement is actually quite efficient as long as the pipes and drains are kept clear. A problem arises when the buildup of lint from the laundry drain combines with the soap from the washer and the sink to create a clog. If you’ve made the mistake of dumping fats or cooking oils down the sink drain, a clog will form even faster.
You could do more harm than good if you try to dislodge the clog on your own. At best, you might be able to pierce through the clog and seem to fix the problem. In fact, that opening will close again a lot sooner than you think. A better solution is to call a professional who can clear the pipe completely.
What Can a Plumber Do?
One of the first things a professional will do is examine the materials used to compose your plumbing system. The inspection will make it easier to determine what sort of drain cleaning process would do the job without any damage to the pipes or drains.
Plumbers have solutions that don’t involve the use of chemicals at all. Depending on the nature of the clog, a simple tool known as a snake or a plumber’s friend will be all that’s needed. The snake is inserted into the drain and manipulated to pierced the clog, rotated to grasp the contents of the clog, and pulled out while bringing the clog with it.
A process known as water jetting may also help with certain types of clogs. This involves the controlled use of a stream of water to loosen and dissolve the materials making up the clog. A plumber will know how much pressure can be used without damaging the pipes.
When successful, water jetting effectively scrubs the inside of the pipes while also washing the clog remnants out of the home plumbing and into the city’s main sewage system. What you are left with is drains and pipes that are free of any residue and work better than they have in years. Best of all, your system is not exposed to any type of caustic cleaning solutions.
Professional Plumbing Services and Costs
There are people who will try home remedies or pick up drain cleaning products from the supermarket because they want to save money. It’s true that hiring a plumber is more expensive than using over the counter products. At least, it seems that way on the front end.
Here’s what homeowners often learn over time. Those over the counter products may alleviate part of the problem, but it’s only a matter of time before another issue arises. That’s because they don’t remove all the buildup found inside the pipes. The result is that you have to keep buying more products in an attempt to keep the drains flowing. Over time, you would have come out ahead to call a plumber and get the pipes completely cleared.
Another point to consider is the expense of having to replace components of your plumbing system. If those over the counter products cause enough damage, the system will fail. At that point, you have no choice to replace those pipes or other components. If the system failure caused other damage to the home, that will have to be repaired too. All of that could be avoided if you had called a plumber in the first place.
The bottom line is that calling a plumber to deal with a clog is a smart move. Call today and the issue will be resolved with a lot more ease and much less potential harm to your plumbing.