What’s the best way to clear a clogged drain in your home? Two ideas probably immediately come to mind:
- A basic sink plunger (or toilet plunger in the case of a toilet)
- A chemical drain cleaner
A sink/toilet plunger is definitely a good idea to start with. Although these plungers won’t solve tougher clogs, for simple ones they can often get the job done and don’t cause any harm to the plumbing.
Chemical drain cleaners, the type you buy from stores in bottles, are not good ideas. In fact, they can end up creating worse troubles for drains and rarely address the whole problem.
When it comes to professional drain cleaning, plumbers usually rely on two different methods—hydro-jetting and drain snakes. Hydro-jetting uses powerful blasts of high-pressure water to scour the interior of a drain, and drain snakes (a.k.a. drain augers) are coils that can drill down into clogs to remove them or break them apart.
Which tool your plumber uses will depend on the type of clog and what the plumber believes is the most effective approach.
The Pros and Cons of the Drain Snake
Drain snakes come in both hand-cranked and motorized versions. Simple hand-cranked drain snakes can be purchased at stores and are a better option for DIY unclogging attempts than chemical cleaners. If the clog is too obstinate, a professional can use a powerful motorized drain snake.
- Pros: Drain snakes are a bit easier on older pipes than hydro-jetting, and faster at handling easier clogs.
- Cons: Drain snakes are not as thorough at removing debris and build-up in a drainpipe as hydro-jetting. They are more like temporary solutions for clogs, and not as good a long-term strategy. They also have limits and can’t do much with extremely tough clogs.
The Pros and Cons of the Hydro-Jetter
There is no such thing as a DIY hydro-jetter! Doing hydro-jetting requires professional training, otherwise, it can damage pipes or even people. The equipment is also too expensive for most homeowners to purchase.
- Pros: No drain cleaning method is as complete and thorough as hydro-jetting. It removes all build-up, including obstinate limescale, from the drainpipe walls, and can blast through the toughest obstructions. Because hydro-jetters only use water, they’re environmentally safe.
- Cons: As mentioned above, hydro-jetting is potentially harmful to drainpipes and can be a safety hazard in untrained hands. The force of the scouring can also be too much for older pipes. Always leave hydro-jetting to a professional.
Call for Drain Unclogging and Cleaning
For the most part, you won’t have to worry about which tool is the best for your drain unclogging. When you call our licensed professionals for plumbing in Fort Thomas, KY, they’ll inspect the drains and the clog and determine which method will do the best job and keep your plumbing in top shape. We only use the finest professional-grade equipment available, and our plumbers have extensive experience with problem-solving all types of plumbing troubles.
Call Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. to schedule drain unclogging. Serving Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding Tri State area Since 1972.