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A person is trying to unclog the drain of a sink using plastic disposable snake auger tool

6 Must-Know Drain Cleaning Tips

Drains are prone to clogging — it’s just a fact of life. Clogs can range from minor backups that you can easily clear with your own tools to major blockages that require professional assistance. To help keep things running smoothly, it pays to know some helpful tips for drain cleaning and maintenance. Here are six essential tips for safe and effective drain cleaning.

1. Clean Drains on a Regular Basis

Preventive maintenance is the key to an efficient and problem-free drain system. Consider setting up a regular schedule for cleaning your drains. Ideally, you should clean them yourself at least once a month and schedule a professional cleaning at least once a year.

2. Use the Right Cleaning Products

When looking for cleaning products, make sure you choose ones specifically designed for drain cleaning. Not all bathroom cleaners, for example, are suitable for drains. Some types of chemical drain cleaners contain harsh ingredients — such as lye and sulfuric acid — that can damage your pipes if used incorrectly. The right cleaning products will be effective at removing grease, grime, and other buildups without damaging your plumbing system.

3. Avoid Chemical Cleaners

It’s best to steer clear of chemical cleaners whenever possible. Not only can they be dangerous if used incorrectly, but they can also harm your pipes and lead to corrosion over time. Instead, opt for more natural methods such as boiling water or baking soda. These are safer and much gentler on your pipes.

4. Clear Clogs Carefully

If you do have to tackle a clog, use caution and proceed with care. Never use a vacuum cleaner or a plunger, as these can often cause more damage than they’re worth. Instead, reach for an auger or a snake. This tool has a flexible metal cable that can be used to break through blockages with minimal effort.

5. Unclog Slow Drains Immediately

Don’t wait until your drain is completely clogged to take action. If you notice that water starts to back up or drains slowly, it’s best to act quickly. A slow drain is often the sign of a minor blockage, which can be easily cleared with your own tools or some basic cleaning products.

6. Know When to Call a Professional

While some clogs can be easily cleared with DIY methods, others require professional assistance. If you’re dealing with an especially stubborn blockage or if the situation is beyond your expertise, it may be time to call in the professionals. Professional plumbers have the knowledge and tools required to identify and safely clear blockages quickly and efficiently.

Keeping these essential tips for safe and effective drain cleaning in mind will help ensure your drains stay free of any major issues. With regular maintenance and a bit of help from the pros, you can keep your pipes in great condition and avoid expensive repairs down the line. To learn more about best practices for drain cleaning, be sure to contact G. I. Plumbing in Bethel Park, PA.