Binley Plumbing: Frequently Asked Questions About Drain Cleaning


Clogged and slow drains are a nuisance that can turn into a soggy, smelly mess. Learning more about professional drain cleaning services, such as those offered here at Binley Plumbing, prepares you to unclog your pipes and prevent future problems. Here are some commonly asked questions about keeping drains free-flowing.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

Drains get clogged from the accumulation of organic matter like hair, food scraps, grease, soap residue, and more. These materials stick to pipe walls and harden over time, narrowing passages. Tree roots infiltrate and grow into exterior drainage pipes. Improper disposal of bulky items like sanitary products and dental floss also creates obstructions. Knowing clog causes helps prevent them.

How Can I Unclog a Sink or Shower Drain?

For simple sink or shower clogs, start with a plunger to forcefully dislodge the obstruction. Boiling water can help melt and wash away grease buildup. Baking soda and vinegar react to dissolve organic matter. Use a wire coat hanger or zip-it tool to fish out hair and gunk. But beware of using harsh chemical drain cleaners—they can damage pipes.

When Should I Call a Professional?

Contact a drain cleaning pro for tough clogs in main sewer lines, fixtures not responding to DIY methods, backed-up outdoor drains, or sinks and tubs draining slowly despite attempts to clear them. Professionals have specialized tools and cameras to clear stubborn clogs and assess your drainage system’s health. Don’t delay if DIY efforts fail.

What Methods Do Plumbers Use?

Plumbers use a variety of techniques like augers, or “drain snakes,” to fish out debris. High-pressure water jets scour pipe walls. Hydro jetters combine water pressure with an abrasive grit. For severe roots, mechanical cutters grind up the mass. Professionals select the best methods based on the specific clog.

How Can Drain Cleaning Prevent Future Clogs?

Thorough drain cleaning removes built-up gunk but also allows plumbers to check your pipes for issues like cracks, leaks, and root intrusion. They can advise the replacement of damaged sections or pipe relining to reinforce walls and prevent future clogs. Proactive maintenance keeps drains clear.

Should I Use Drain Cleaner Chemicals?

In general, avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners, which can eat through organic clogs but damage pipes in the process. Safer enzyme or bacteria-based cleaners are gentler options if you wish to use a liquid-unclogging product. But the mechanical methods of professional drain cleaning are safest for your plumbing.

How Often Should Drains Be Cleaned?

For preventative maintenance, have the main sewer and outdoor drainage lines cleared every 2-5 years and indoor sinks, showers, and tubs cleaned annually. Performing an occasional maintenance cleaning helps keep pipes clear of gradual buildup. You can clean fixtures more frequently yourself using methods like boiling water.

Should I Install Drain Screens or Covers?

Yes, installing hair catchers, sink strainers, and tub drain covers helps keep stray hair, debris, and soap scum from ever going down drains. These accessories stop clogs before they start. Clean strainers and covers regularly to optimize effectiveness. Good drainage habits prevent clogging.

What Are Signs of Drain Problems?

Clues your drains need cleaning include water backing up and draining slowly, gurgling noises, bad sewage odors, sinks and tubs not fully emptying, and toilets that bubble and burp. Molasses-like bubbling and water pooling around floor drains also indicate clogs. Don’t ignore symptoms of a stoppage.

Can Clogged Drains Lead to Bigger Problems?

Absolutely. Ignoring chronic clogs allows water to back up and potentially overflow sinks or tubs. Tree roots in sewer lines grow larger over time. Slow drains breed germs and sewer gases. Worse still, if outdoor drainage gets blocked, water can seep into foundations and cause extensive damage.

Staying on top of drain cleaning prevents messy and expensive plumbing headaches down the road. Be attentive to sluggish drains, and contact us right away before minor clogs become major backups. With routine maintenance from Binley Plumbing, your drains will keep flowing freely.


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