The Importance of Drain Cleaning
Drain clogs and slow drainage can cause unpleasant odors, water contamination, pest problems, and health risks. This is why Drain Cleaning Tampa is an important part of your plumbing maintenance.
A simple baking soda and vinegar mixture can often clear a clogged drain. Just pour one cup of each down the drain, then wait a few minutes before flushing it with hot water.
Chemical drain cleaners are pure or mixed substances poured into a clogged pipe to dissolve the material causing the blockage. These cleaners come in liquid, gel, and powder forms and can be found at hardware or home improvement stores. They contain acids or alkalis, and their high-intensity action quickly breaks up and dissolves hair, food scraps, grease, and other organic matter that creates a clog.
The main issue with using chemical drain cleaners is that they are not good for your pipes. The chemicals in these cleaners corrode the metal and can cause cracks or leaks over time. The harsh chemicals can also damage plastic pipes, particularly if they are old or already cracked. These issues can lead to higher water bills and expensive repairs down the road.
These chemical drain cleaners also do not address the root of the problem. The majority of clogs are caused by hair, food scraps, fats, oils and other natural materials that build up over time. If the underlying cause of the clog is not addressed, it will likely recur. In some cases, these cleaners may even make the clog worse.
Most of the high-intensity chemicals in these drain cleaners have very dangerous health effects. They are highly corrosive and can burn your skin and eyes if they come into contact with them. They also release noxious fumes that can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. It is important to use these products only according to instructions and in well-ventilated areas.
If you do decide to use a chemical drain cleaner, always wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Never mix these products with other cleaners or acids and be sure to pour them into a drain that is completely empty. Pouring the cleaner down an overflowing drain can be dangerous and create a toxic reaction.
It is also a good idea to take some preventative measures, such as regularly removing the hair from your drains with a needle-nosed pliers. This small step can significantly reduce the need for chemical drain cleaners and save you money in the long run.
It’s not only frustrating to deal with a clogged drain, but it can also be dangerous for your home. The pipes that carry waste and sewage out of your home can become corroded when they’re not adequately cleaned. This is particularly true if you have older pipes that are prone to cracking and breaking down. A professional plumber can use hydro jetting to thoroughly clean your pipe system and remove any buildup that’s causing blockages.
Hydro jetting uses a high-pressure hose with a special nozzle connected to a machine that produces pressurized water. The nozzle can be adjusted to target specific areas of your pipe. Once the nozzle is in place, your plumber will start pumping water into your pipes at a rate of up to 20 gallons per minute. This will scour the walls of your pipes, removing any grease, hair, minerals, and debris that’s accumulating inside. The water pressure is also strong enough to cut through most obstructions.
The power of the water can even dislodge and break apart stubborn clogs like a large amount of fat in your pipes. This makes hydro jetting more effective than traditional clog-busting methods such as plumbing snakes or augers, which usually only punch holes through clogs rather than actually cleaning them.
Unlike chemical cleaners, which are harsh on your pipes and can leave residue behind, hydro jetting will not cause any damage to your pipes or piping system. This is a great option if you’re dealing with a severe clog that hasn’t responded to other drain cleaning solutions.
Hydro jetting can also be used to clean out your sewer line, which is a much bigger problem than a clogged kitchen or bathroom drain. Sewer line blockages can result in sewage backups that affect your entire household. The recent discovery of a giant “fatberg” in England has highlighted just how important it is to keep your sewer line clear of blockages.
If you’re experiencing recurring problems with your drains, contact Smiley Drain today to schedule a hydro jetting service. We can restore the flow of your drains so that you’ll never have to worry about sewage and waste backing up into your home again.
Video Pipe Inspections
Whenever a drain snake or liquid drain cleaner fails to solve a stubborn clog, plumbers often turn to video pipe inspections. This involves threading a small camera on the end of a cable into the pipe, which sends back images to a monitor in real time. The information is then used to determine the source of the clog or damage and recommend the best method for repair.
There are several situations when a video inspection may be recommended, including recurrent drain clogs that cannot be solved by plunging or liquid drain cleaners, foul odors coming from the sewer line, and sagging or “bellying” in the line caused by root intrusion, misalignment, or pipe collapse. Additionally, a video inspection can be beneficial prior to the purchase of a new home. If you plan on adding an additional sink or bathtub, for example, a video inspection can help ensure that the existing drain and sewer lines are capable of handling the added waste.
The process of a video pipe inspection begins with the plumber locating your outdoor drain cleanout. If one is not present, the technician will discuss options for creating an access point to enter the piping system. Next, the plumber feeds the cable with the camera attached through an outside drain opening or an inside wall cleanout. The video is then viewed on a nearby monitor.
The plumber can then see the condition of the pipes, locate blockages, and see if the clog is caused by hard water deposits, organic build-up, or tree roots. The plumber can also assess the layout of the pipes and see if any repairs are needed.
It is not uncommon for the plumber to discover that what seemed like a clog is actually a damaged section of pipe that requires extensive repair work. Finding this out sooner rather than later can save the homeowner a great deal of money and hassle. The camera can also be used to find small items that might have fallen down the drain such as a wedding ring or child’s toy. In addition, it can be used to inspect a sewer line for leaks or breaks before submitting a claim to an insurance company.
Snake Drain Cleaning
A drain snake is a must-have for any homeowner who faces the occasional clog. While you may be able to resolve a minor kitchen or bathroom clog on your own with a plunger and cleaning the trap, more stubborn clogs require a little more elbow grease. A basic handheld drain snake has a long tube with a hook-shaped auger end that can break up and/or grab clogs, allowing you to pull them out of the pipe.
To use the snake, first remove the p-trap and drain cover, then insert the snake’s head into the drain or the access point on the wall. Most clogs in sinks occur because of solidified fats, while those in bathtubs and toilets are usually caused by toys flushed down the drain or large food scraps. Once the snake is in place, slowly crank the handle to start moving it through the pipe. If you encounter a corner, bend the snakehead a bit to help it navigate the turn.
Keep cranking the handle until you feel the snake catch up to or break through the clog. Then, if the clog is a solid blockage, rotate the snakehead back and forth until you feel it break up or attach to the clog. Then, crank it again to move the snakehead through the clog and out of the drain.
Because the snakehead can cling to and chop up a variety of materials, you should wear rubber gloves when using it. In addition, you should also consider wearing a pair of safety goggles and a face mask to protect yourself from potentially contaminated drain water that might surge out as you clear the clog. After the snake is out of the drain, run a stream of water through it for a few minutes to flush out the pipes. Then, clean and dry the snake and put it away until you need to use it again. If you still have a clogged drain, contact your plumber for professional help. They’ll bring additional equipment, including high-powered water jets, to thoroughly clean your pipes without damaging them.