Clogged Drain Cat

Drain Cleaning (A Problem Solver’s Guide)

Small updates throughout, and addition to bottom of post, July 6 2019…

To you and I, a clogged drain is nothing new. The story is the same the world over. The kids have clogged it up, or perhaps a hair ball from the pets or your’s truly has managed to work it’s way down the drain.

Whatever the reason behind your clog, you need a good drain cleaning. For this, there’s a number of different options, ranging from some do it yourself liquid plumber style solutions to hiring out a professional plumber. Regardless of the path you choose, you want the clog to be gone, and reduce the risk for recurrence.

Clogged Drain Cat

3 Ways to Solve a Common Plumbing Problem: Drain Cleaning

Read below to discover the different ways that we would approach your drainage issues. The different solutions can come in handy depending if you have ‘slow drainage’ or ‘no drainage’. Be sure to see which option suits your expected budget. Hiring plumbers isn’t always cheap, but in an emergency – You do what you have to do!

1) Using Liquid Plumber to Clean the Drain and Unclog Pipes

Liquid Plumr is a safe-for-most pipes situation. Apparently it is created with the environment in mind, so when it is flushed through your pipes, and clears the clog. You should be able to rest easy knowing that you’re not doing anything to harm mother Earth in your quest for clear drains and pipes.

If you’re encountering a slow drain in your kitchen or bathroom sink, Liquid Plumr could be a wise choice for your first attack. Sometimes the clog is not so severe, and the chemical concoction that makes up this slow pouring, thick drain cleaner, is enough to solve your problem once and for all.

liquid plumber

But Why Do Sinks and Drains get Clogged in the First Place?

Generally kitchen sinks and drains clog due to tiny bits of food and debris that wash down the drain into the P-trap. From there, the gunk slowly accumulate like plaque on the inside of the ABS, or plastic household pipes and interior plumbing. Over time, you’ll notice your sink drains slower and slower.

Hopefully a bottle or two of Liquid Plumr will be able to push the gunk and debris along. The FAQ on their website certainly lays out how to approach different severity of drain clogs and pipping issues.

2) Hardware Store Drain Snake / Auger

Keeping with the D-I-Y solutions first, if Liquid Plumr doesn’t take care of your drain clog, then you might want to head to the hardware store and consider a pipe snake or auger.

The pipe snake is a great invention, and goes all the way back to 1933, and continues to be a reliable instrument for solving common drainage issues. To take care of a drain cleaning issue on your own with a pipe auger/snake, you have to unwind the sharp and coiled portion of the device, and slowly feed it down the drain in questions.

pipe snake

Once you meet natural resistance (being sure that you’re not just caught in the P-trap, or on a corner of pipe), you can start to turn the crank on the base of the unit. What this does is spin the sharp end of the snake, and allows it to chew away at the debris that is blocking the drain from allow water to pass through.

Don’t Destroy Your Pipes While Snaking

I imagine it would be necessary to be careful with the pipe snake, as some types of ABS plumbing piping may be more susceptible to erosion as a result of the intense scraping that occurs during the auguring process.

In a perfect world, your drain cleaning and clogging issues will be resolved with either Liquid Plumr, or a hardware store variety pipe snake. If you’re still having trouble after exhausting options 1 and 2… It may be time to call the professionals to see if something deeper is at work within the plumbing of your home.

3) Hire a Professional Drain Cleaner & Plumber

Depending on the region in which you live, access to plumbers may vary. Luckily in Tillsonburg (where the author of this article resides), you have great drain cleaning companies like B.R.’s Plumbing and Heating.

BR's Drain Cleaning Service

When you have a bad clog and you need next level help, like that of an emergency plumber, you’re likely in for a much bigger bill that the above two options. That’s why we always opt for the DIY options first, as you can end up spending a fraction of the potential costs of having to hire a professional plumber.

Even though they’re not based in Mississauga, the above company and also the next one referenced are great plumbing assets to be aware of.

Plumbing companies in Brantford and Norfolk County like BC Plumbing are quickly learning how to let local people know how to contact them for plumbing problems and emergencies… In an ever increasing modern way.

What Do True Plumbers Think of Options 1 & 2?

True plumbers will have access to camera equipment or even simply better judgement and will be able to tell the root of the problem after a few quick tests of the affected area. Most of the professionals are also skeptical of residential drain cleaners like Liquid Plumr and Draino. They would much rather get to the cause of the problem, and solve it before it gets so bad.

A lot of the clogged drains the BR’s comes across have to do with the accumulation of food in the P trap, and just normal build up as mentioned above. Bathroom drains, however, it tends to be hair elastics, bobby pins, and hair that cause the majority of clogs and slow drainage issues.

Summary of Unclogging Drain Problems

The leading causes of clogged drains, and slow flow drainage:

  • Food particles
  • Hair
  • Hair elastics
  • Bobby pins
  • Toys
  • Poor plumbing physics

The leading solutions to clearing clogged pipes and drain cleaning:

  • Liquid Plumr or Draino
  • Pipe snake or hand auger
  • Professional plumber
  • Just move out

Many professional plumbers dislike homeowners taking matters into their own hands (no kidding!)… Not for the reason you might think.

When a homeowner uses products like Draino, or Liquid Plumr, they are using harsh chemicals that can leave behind residue that may make matters worse.

For example, if your drain or pipe clog is NOT cleared by the product, you will have intense chemicals left to settle in your pipes. Being as corrosive as they are, it could spell an even worse problem for the homeowner…