People are so programmed by commercials to go straight to a chemical drain cleaner when a sink clogs, it’s almost generational. While these products do seem to work temporarily, they don’t really clean the drain. In fact, many chemicals can harm and weaken modern home plumbing today. Instead, these products simply create enough of a weakness in the blockage that water starts to flow. A homeowner sees the drain start working and assumes the chemical did the job. However, the blockage could still remain to cause a problem again later on.
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Drains Aren’t Perfect
The fundamental nature of a drain is a compact space for liquid to flow through. Modern living has added to that function with everything else that seemingly can go down the sink too. Much of that material tends to be leftover food that seems small enough to flow down the drain, grease, small dirt, and similar. However, just because the material is small, doesn’t mean it always washes through the entirety of the pipe.
Take coffee grounds, for example. They wash off filters, and it seems to make sense to wash down the sink. However, coffee grounds have a bad habit of clumping up, and they don’t flow freely. In fact, most coffee grounds only flow maybe a few feet down a drain line and then sit. That can easily add to a blockage over time. Grease is similar. When washed with hot water, it flows easily. However, when grease cools off, it solidifies and sticks to pipe walls. It can catch other materials like ground, grit, bone, and food material, and then it clumps up. Paper is probably the worst, as well as potato peelings. None of these things should go down the drain if they can be avoided, but they end up in a sink frequently.
Remember, the diameter of most drain pipes is fairly small, usually no bigger than one inch. It’s only when the drainage reaches the main conduit out of the house does the drain line gets bigger. So there’s a lot of room for something to get stuck in many of the smaller drain lines from home sinks, especially when the drain pipe utilizes a u-bend section to avoid liquid flowing back up the sink. The narrow curvature is easily one of the most common areas in which solids get trapped.
There’s a Better Fix Than Chemicals
Fortunately, drain cleaning services can make short work of food and grease balls, grounds, and other materials clogging up a sink drain. With mechanical tooling, a plumber can access a drain line internally, clear out the system and blockages, and have it flowing again correctly. In serious cases, the line can be scoped with a wire camera to see exactly what is causing a blockage and why, as well as how to deal with the problem correctly. Chemicals are hardly ever used. Instead, the source of the problem is addressed versus just the symptoms.
A drain cleaning technician team can easily make short work of hair, food by-products, wipes and paper, and anything else that might have found its way down the drain. Have small kids? It’s almost guaranteed a Lego piece, toy, or play figure has adventured down the drain and couldn’t find its way back out without help. In the meantime, that same toy is catching everything else going down the drain and making a big stick ball of a mess blocking water flow. Drain cleaning can deal with these issues too.
Drains Don’t Fix Themselves
If a drain is clogged, it is highly unlikely the cause will dislodge. The blockage just lets water flow past until it doesn’t. With a drain cleaning treatment, a homeowner knows for sure the drain system has been cleared and is working properly again. That kind of peace of mind is worth the maintenance.