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Five Common Mistakes Homeowners Make with Drain Cleaning in Richardson, TX

Posted on: July 22, 2016

With DIY culture on the rise, you may be tempted to take on drain cleaning in Richardson, TX by yourself, but you need to tread carefully or else you risk damaging your plumbing system. We get it; you want drain clogs fixed. Like, immediately. And who could blame you? Drain clogs can prevent you from using your most essential plumbing fixtures like sinks and toilets. There’s also that added threat of water backing up into the home from a clogged drain and causing flooding.

But hastiness can give way to mistakes, leaving you in a position where you have to deal with both drain clogs and costly plumbing damage that will put a huge dent in your savings. Yes, that’s right; one small mistake can leave you in an even worse situation than when you started.

Want to avoid the headache and have a professional take care of the job for you? Contact Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating now!

Should You Clean Your Drain Yourself?

At Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating, we’ve seen countless homeowners run into the same mistakes over and over again when they try their hand at drain cleaning. Drain cleaning tools will be used improperly, things that shouldn’t be used as drain cleaning tools become tools anyway, and allegedly helpful drain cleaning solutions have been created that not even the world’s most renounced biochemist would want to touch. Needless to say, we want you to avoid these errors at all costs.

As with really anything in life, the key to remedying this situation is showing a little more consideration. The average homeowner shouldn’t be going at full speed just to fix their drains, especially when they are most likely not a licensed, fully-trained professional. Instead, you need to practice awareness, and the team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating is here to help you. We’ll give insight into what pitfalls you should avoid for not only just cleaner drains, but an overall stronger plumbing system.

Drain Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

While there are probably some Richardson homeowners out there who have made absolutely horrific mistakes with drain cleaning, we’ve narrowed it down to five of the most common. Perhaps you’ve already made a few of them—and in that case, you definitely know what sort of damage they can bring. Regardless, please avoid the following the next time your drains act up:

Reliance on Chemical Drain Cleaner

If you ever watched a commercial for chemical drain cleaner on television, they usually make it seem like the product is a miracle substance that can fix drain clogs, your plumbing system, and maybe even help you win the lottery. Don’t buy into the façade. It’s not that chemical drain cleaner isn’t an effective solution for drain cleaning; it’s just that an over-reliance on chemical drain cleaner can lead to long-term damage on your drains.

Chemical drain cleaner can eat away at drains over time and they are not effective in removing solid obstructions. The longer they sit in the drain lines, the more of the drain wall is being corroded away a little at a time.  Over time, this corrosion can lead to holes and breaks in the line which can be a way for tree roots to enter the line and cause further stoppages.

Putting these harsh chemicals down your drain can also have negative effects if you are on a septic system.  These harsh chemicals kill all the good bacterial in the tank, causing the tank to require pumping much sooner than it would if the good bacteria were alive and healthy in the tank and doing their job.  Remember: before using, read labels carefully and use it sparingly. Oh, and don’t be tricked by any slickly-produced television commercial either.

Using a Garden Hose

Your garden hose does a good job of bringing water to your flowers and plants. It must be effective in cleaning your drains, right? Wrong. Usually, just trying to drag the garden hose into your home can be exhausting enough, and then there’s the added frustration of the water pressure from your nozzle not being strong enough to eliminate drain clogs. Of course, none of this has ever stopped homeowners from trying to make their garden hose the be-all and end-all for drain cleaning.

We’re here to confirm that it won’t work, and you’re better off calling for professional hydro-jetting service. When water from the water hose is introduced into the drain line and the pressure of the water is not great enough to push a clog through, all of the water from the water hose must go somewhere.  If the clog is still stopping up the drain line, that somewhere that the water must go could be inside your home, cause flooding and water damage.

Now you could be left with a stoppage AND significant home repairs from flooding.  A professional will know exactly what to do to get your stoppage taken care of without incurring any additional damage to the home.

Improper Usage of Drain Snakes

Drain snakes are simple yet valuable tools in drain cleaning, but they can often be misused by homeowners. A drain snake is typically a long, narrow metal wire with a hook at the end used to scoop out anything in your drains that plunger won’t be able to catch. While a drain snake is great for pushing through solid obstructions, it will not be great at cleaning the walls of the drain line or a great solution for eliminating grease or mud in the line.

Many Richardson homeowners will insert the snake into difficult corners and bends that will actually bring damage to your pipes. If there is a break or hole in the line, a drain snake can become stuck inside the drain line and not able to be pulled back out if it is not operated by an experienced drain cleaner.  If this happens, many times it is necessary to dig down to the pipe and cut it out in order to free the stuck drain snake.

If operated by a non-experienced or novice handler, a drain snake should only be inserted down drains where there is a clear, straight-forward route to the clog to guarantee the most effective performance.

Using Coat Hangers

It’s a fable as old as time—you can simply unbend a coat hanger and use it to clean out any drains. This is true in the sense that a coat hanger can probably eliminate those tiny particles a plunger can’t remove, but there comes a great risk. A coat hanger can be completely ineffective in removing any larger particles and, worse, you risk it getting stuck in the drain as well.

It’s better to stick with more reliable plumbing tools like drain snakes instead of reaching into your closet for that coat hanger you haven’t used in years. Finding new, cost-efficient to clean your drains is nice, but sometimes shelving out the extra cash for more effective technology.

Not Calling a Professional

If you run into a situation with your drains where you don’t feel 100% confident, don’t try to be a hero. Call a professional at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating. It’s a much safer option than trying to fix a clog that you haven’t encountered before. A professional is also more experienced in knowing what safety to take while cleaning drains to ensure to the job is done safely.

Some of the dangers of drain cleaning a line may not even be known by homeowners:

  • First, poo is part of the job. If you are cleaning out a drain, most of the time you are getting to get it on you.  Making sure that any exposed cuts are protected and proper sanitary procedures are followed is crucial.  And when working around poo, being current on your hepatitis shots is a must!
  • If you are cleaning the drain from a roof vent, operating the heavy machinery on the roof is dangerous and there is always the risk of falling. Experienced technicians are kept current on safety procedures concerning roof stoppages and carry the necessary insurance to protect the technician, home owner, and the service company.
  • Another safety concern when cabling out a drain line is getting damaged in the recoil. When a cable first hits an obstruction, if the obstruction doesn’t immediately give way and the cable is not backed off immediately, the cable will recoil and possible bind back up.  If the handler is not experienced with handling a drain snake when this happens it is easy for the cable to wind back over the handler’s hand and could possibly break the handler’s hand, arm, or for the cable to strike their face.

Call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating for Drain Cleaning Service in Richardson, TX

As you can see, safely taking care of a drain stoppage is not for the faint of heart and is usually handled the safest when done by an experienced professional.  For the more stubborn homeowners out there, calling up a professional can seem like conceding defeat, but think about it this way: do you really want take on tough drain clogs by yourself and risk damaging yourself or your plumbing system? A professional will know to do conduct drain cleaning in a way that won’t leave any damage, no matter if it’s drain snaking, hydro-jetting, or even a simple plunging job.

If you want to avoid these mistakes, call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating to receive top quality drain cleaning services in Richardson, TX, and take advantage of getting a free camera inspection of your drain line for free with the purchase of drain cleaning services. That will keep clogs away and keep the risk of plumbing damage to a low!

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I called there office in a panic! There was water in the closet by my hall bath. I had already had three Plummer’s out and the all said the leak was fixed. The whole shower had been taken out and the cold water rerouted because of THE LEAK. Well there went a thousand dollars. But we still had the leak! We had to pay to have the tub and tile replaced another seventeen hundred dollars we still Have THE LEAK! They have to tear out some of the brand new tile and replace the faucet . And had to pay to have that repaired two hundred fifty dollars! Go into the bedroom in the closet this morning and THE LEAK is back!! All over the carpet now we are back to square one. I call your office and the lady that answered the phone was very kind and I was about to loose it. I felt like I had been betrayed by three different Plummer’s and did not know who to trust. She assured me that your technicians were the best and would find the problem. Then the man of the day showed up to my door same day mind you. And he did not know he was going to be the man of the day at least in my world. Curley walked me through each and every step of what he was doing and showed me how he eliminated each possibility to get to the root of THE LEAK! Finally a resolution was in sight! He found it with his trusty camera and plus all the water everywhere behind the wall. He showed it to me and I was so happy to see it could be fixed. I was thinking we must have a leak in the slap which would mean the tub and tile work would all have to be redone and I was so relieved Curley and his apprentice where very professional, kind, and just the best! They cleaned up everything like nothing had happened😁 My husband arrived right as they were getting ready to leave and I him if he could show him what they had done and he did. My husband was was very impressed with him as well and appreciated him taking the time to show him what the problem was. I can not say enough good things about Curley. I will recommend your company every one I know. Thank you for making my day by finding THE LEAK!


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