How DIY Drain Cleaning Can Result In More Problems

22 February 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

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Many people like do-it-yourself (DIY) plumbing; they get to solve their problems while saving money in the process. Unfortunately, DIY plumbing can only be as successful as the skill level of the person doing it. If you don't know what you are doing, you could fail to recognize your limitations. For example, here are four things that can go horribly wrong if you try to clean the drain, but don't know how to go about it:

Erosion of Plumbing Pipes

If you don't know what you are doing, then your attempts at drain cleaning can easily lead to eroded and damaged pipes. For example, you may think that drain cleaning chemicals make work easy and overuse them. While these chemicals do aid the cleaning process, using too much of them corrodes the insides of the pipes. In fact, the corrosion can be so much that pipe failure occurs, in which case you have a new problem in your hands of replacing the damaged pipes.

The same thing can also happen if you use the wrong chemicals for your pipes. Remember, plumbing pipes are made from different materials such as PVC (plastic) and copper metal. A chemical targeted for cleaning PVC pipes may react negatively with copper pipes. For example, PVC pipes are resistant to acids (some drain cleaners contain acids), but the same thing cannot be said about metal pipes.

Dame to Pipe Linings

The good old mechanical snake is one of the handiest DIY plumbing tools, and it shouldn't miss in your collection of tools. It is useful in clearing drain obstructions or breaking them down into small pieces that can be flushed way. Therefore, the problem isn't with the tool, but rather in the manner of its use (or misuse).

Ideally, you should push in the mechanical snake gently. However, many people make the mistake of forcing the snake into difficult places, such as corners and bends, which damages the pipe's linings. In fact, some people have even used power drills to force snakes into obstructed drains and ended up with great damage.

Using Makeshift Clearing Tools

Improvisations are useful for DIY plumbing, but only if you get it correctly. If you aren't careful, your improvisation can result in more damage than repair. For example, some people will try to use anything (with the only consideration that it can go into the drain pipe) to clean drain pipes. Wire coat hangers, pressurized water, butter knives shouldn't go into your drain opening; they can easily cost expensive damages.

These are just a few examples of things that can go wrong if your DIY skills aren't adequate for drain cleaning. The best DIY plumber is the one who understands their limitations. Call a plumber if you have a task that is beyond your DIY skills.

For professional drain cleaning, contact a company such as Plumb Care Plumbing.