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As important as drain and sewer cleaning is, there are many handed-down myths and misconceptions that people practice until now—resulting in damaged plumbing, expensive repair works, and wasted water. In the US alone, it is estimated that a whopping 10,000 gallons of water are wasted annually thanks to these problems.

This guide will walk you through some of this incorrect information about drain and sewer cleaning, so you can help take care of your pipes and plumbing better. Whether you own or maintain a residential, commercial, or industrial drain and sewer system, it helps to know these basics to prevent needless repair work or wasting your time and resources.

As with any home maintenance or improvement work, doing it right the first time is the best way to maximize the time, money, and energy you will spend on it. With this in mind, let us now go through some of the most common misconceptions about drain and sewer cleaning.

Myth #1: Drain and sewer cleaning is only done when the pipes are blocked or clogged

When it comes to drain and sewer maintenance, you would want to avoid any blockage or clogging altogether. But given the wide array of waste these systems handle, it is unavoidable that you will encounter these issues anyway.

This is where regular drain and sewer cleaning plays a key role. Every two years, you should clear your sewer drain to minimize any clogging or pipe breakages, which can cause major repair work if left untreated.

Before your drain and sewer get to a point where it is clogged, it helps to be aware that there are other early telltale signs that your drain needs clearing already:

  • You hear gurgling noises: These gurgling sounds come from gas bubbles or trapped air, which means there are blockages in your pipe
  • Water drains more slowly than usual: Over time, soap, grease, and oil can accumulate and build up inside your pipes
  • The drain emits a bad smell: Since these waste buildups are inadvertently stored in your pipe, it eventually causes a funky smell amplified by mold it develops

Whether you are experiencing these early telltale signs or would need emergency plumbing services, it is always worth a shot to have experts inspecting and fixing issues you have in drain and sewer cleaning.

Myth #2: Chemical drain and sewer cleaning agents are the best maintenance tools

Chances are, you have seen advertisements how liquid drain cleaners are the easiest solution to your clog problems. What these commercials are leaving out, however, is how these harsh drain and sewer cleaning agents can corrode your pipes—leading to much more expensive repair works down the line.

Plastic or PVC pipes are prone to corrosion from the harsh chemicals found in liquid drain cleaners. As modern homes mostly use these plastic or PVC pipes, it helps to undertake drain and sewer cleaning with gentler or mechanical methods, such as plungers or a straightened wire hanger in lieu of a drain snake.

This is one of the most important plumbing maintenance tips before selling your home, as damaged or corroded pipe systems can warrant a major decrease in your property’s value. Aside from reselling, new homeowners can also benefit from knowing how harsh chemicals are counterproductive to preserving the shelf life of your pipes.

Instead of these heat-generating chemicals, you can opt to use these gentler and more accessible drain and sewer cleaning alternatives:

  • Dish soap with hot water: Since dish soap in itself is formulated to dissolve grease, boiling it in hot water further amplifies its drain and sewer cleaning capabilities. Simply boil dish soap in hot water and dump it in your clogged drain. Then, rinse it out with hot water until the clog has been removed
  • Baking soda: Baking soda is a handy cleaning agent that can be mixed with either vinegar or salt. Simply let this 1:1 mixture sit in your sink for around an hour before pouring hot water down the drain. Continue flushing your clogged drain with hot water until the puddle becomes clear
  • Plunger: There are sink-friendly designs for cup plungers, namely a bell-shaped bottom plunger made to push air through your clogged pipe. As you pump air through the vacuumed drain, the air eventually pushes out the debris blocking your pipe

Myth #3: I can flush anything as long as I perform drain and sewer cleaning

Avoid flushing the wrong things down your drains in the first place, so you can save yourself from the hassle of unclogging your pipes. For instance, simply flushing down cooking oil and animal fat down your kitchen sink makes these wastes prone to solidifying and turning into a block of buildup.

Additionally, remember to avoid flushing down anything that is too solid or hard to break apart. For instance, wet wipes do not break down as easily as toilet paper does, so dump it in the trash bin instead of risking your pipes from it. With this in mind, it goes without saying also to avoid flushing any kind of plastic wrapper since it can easily build up into a clog.

In conclusion

Residential, commercial, and industrial establishments have one thing in common: they all have pipe systems that need regular cleaning and maintenance. When it comes to keeping these delicate pipes, drains, sewers, and other apparatus performing efficiently, always remember that it is always better to invest in hiring professionals for drain and sewer cleaning.

However, if you prefer the DIY route, keep the tips above in mind and sufficiently prepare yourself for the seemingly-simple yet sensitive task of drain and sewer cleaning. When in doubt, you can always search for professional advice or read guides from reputable sources.

Remember, drain and sewer cleaning should ideally be done every two years. This regular maintenance is your key to keeping your pipes and drain free from buildup and blockages, sparing you from the hassle of experiencing a clogged or uncooperative drain.