While often overlooked unless there is a problem, drain cleaning is an essential part of healthy plumbing in any home or building. What goes down the pipes in our homes can be easy to ignore most of the time. In fact, plumbing issues rarely cross our mind until or unless they become a problem. And usually once they become a problem, they are big and messy and expensive. Instead of fixing a problem after it occurs, there are a number of regular maintenance tasks you can do to ensure you cut down on the big and messy and expensive plumbing problems in your home or office building.
Drain cleaning is one of the easiest ways a homeowner can keep track of and maintain their plumbing system. Similar to the arteries in your body, you want to keep the walls of your home piping system clean and free of debris. When build-up occurs along the walls of a pipe, it actually encourages more build-up by snagging particles of debris as they float by. The walls then thicken and can eventually become so narrow that the water has a hard time exiting in a timely manner and you may notice your sink or shower staying full a little longer than usual. Alternatively, one area of the pipe can become blocked with something and build-up debris on that location. In this situation, instead of overall narrowing of the pipe, the blockage can be complete only at one location along the pipe. In both situations, drain cleaning can help avoid a big mess or a big plumbing bill.
There are a number of techniques and tools used for drain cleaning depending on the extent and severity of the clog. If you are noticing that your home sink or shower is taking longer than usual to drain, you may want to simply use one of the store products that is poured down the sink and sits in the pipe for a few minutes. These products are highly toxic and can actually be very dangerous if used improperly. Pipe and structural damage can occur and may end up causing leaks or other big problems that cost more to fix in the long run.
When in doubt, call a professional for thorough and effective drain cleaning. Professional equipment allows them to scope the entire length of a pipe from its start to finish in order to detect and diagnose the problem. Plumbers can treat pipe wall narrowing as well as acute obstructions. They can also give you tips on how to avoid the same problem from occurring in the future.