Are you a first-time homeowner? Have you ever given much thought to your plumbing system? Plumbing is usually something that most people use without much thought. At least, until there is a leak or a drain becomes clogged. When a clog occurs, your first instinct may be to go to the nearest store to purchase a bottle of drain cleaning solution. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be your best choice. Instead, you should call a plumber to have the drain cleaned out. This may seem like overkill for a simple clogged drain, but there are a number of reasons why this is the better option. Some of the most important reasons include:
The clog could be anywhere: If your kitchen sink's drain is running sluggishly, you may assume that the clog is in the U-bend of the drain immediately beneath the sink. This may be the case, but it's also possible that the clog could have formed further down the pipe. It may even be slightly outside of your home, between your house and the sewer or septic tank. If this is the case, the drain opening cleaners may be completely ineffective against the clog. A plumber will have to perform a manual drain cleaning in order to get everything draining properly once again.
The chemicals can damage your pipes: For a small hair clog in your bathroom sink, the drain opening chemicals may not cause damage. But larger clogs, especially further down the pipe, could cause you to pour large amounts of these chemicals down the drain in an attempt to remedy the clog. If any of your hidden wastewater plumbing, such as your sewer or septic line, is made from materials besides PVC, these chemicals could potentially eat through the pipes themselves. Even if your pipes are all PVC, drain opening chemicals can create an excessive amount of heat as they work at dissolving the clog. As a result, your attempt at drain cleaning could result in a melted pipe that causes even more issues.
The composition of the clog is unknown: Drain opening chemicals, when they work, are only able to dissolve things like hair, paper, and other organic materials. If your child, or a previous owner's child, has flushed something like a plastic action figure down the toilet, these chemicals will have no impact on the source of the clog. The chemicals may be able to remove the organic matter surrounding the action figure, but the pipe will simply clog again relatively quickly. In order to prevent the clog from reoccurring, you'll need to have a plumber perform a manual drain cleaning to get rid of the inorganic materials.