If there’s one thing as certain as death and taxes, it’s the fact that at some point in your lifetime, your drains will clog and need cleaning. And while DIY is all well and good, there are times when it really, really isn’t. When you should be calling in the professionals. Looking after the pipes and drains that keep your water supply clean and flowing freely… That would be one of those times.
Off-the-shelf chemical drain cleaners have done an unquestionably excellent job at marketing themselves as the answer to all your blocked sink, bathtub, shower or toilet issues. The videos advertising the magic they can perform are positively therapeutic to watch and have even the experts, who know better, itching to reach for a bottle of [insert name of latest magic-solution, turbo-charged, liquid drain cleaner here]. There is a reason, though, that professional drain cleaning services exist. And that reason is that your pipes and drains are more delicate than they look. Treat them wrong, and it could spell disaster down the line – both literally (the pipeline) and figuratively (the future) speaking.
4 Reasons why you should call a professional drain cleaner
By admitting to yourself that DIY isn’t always the best option (no shame, plus your better half will thank you!), and hiring a professional to clean your drains and unblock your clogs, you are guaranteed of multiple benefits. For one thing, the things that come out of the deepest, darkest recesses of your drains are, well, not pretty. While not exactly ‘Alien’ level creepy, what lurks beneath is the stuff of nightmares for those not used to it. Professional drain cleaners? Trust us, we’ve seen worse. For another, by accessing the expertise of a professional drain cleaner you are guaranteed of a job well done, giving you the peace of mind that nothing sinister is about to wreak havoc on your plumbing.
Need more reasons? We’ll give you four. Here, we give you our top four reasons for when and why you should hire a professional drain cleaner to clear any nasty and/or recurring drain blockages and clean your drains properly for your best chance to avoid future issues:
1. Your clog may be a sign of bigger problems
Without trying to sound too doomsday about your drain blockage, if you are having recurring and/or massive clogging issues, it is possible that the dreaded drain clog could be a symptom of a larger issue – a blocked sewer line for example.
Two main warning signs to watch out for that may indicate a bigger problem than a hairball (which is gag worthy enough in and of itself):
(a) If all the drains in your home are experiencing clogs simultaneously;
(b) If you are experiencing backed up drains in the lowest areas of your home.
If either of these happen, turn off any running water, turn off the water supply to your home, then turn in a call to the drain professionals – immediately. 604-359-0996
A sewer line blockage could lead to a sewer backup, and you don’t need to be an expert to know the seriousness (and potential health, safety, structural and bank balance hazards) which that poses.
2. You don’t have the right tools
Plunger? Check. Baking soda and vinegar? Check. Boiling water? Check. Turbo-charged, shopping-channel-guaranteed, ‘professional grade’ drain cleaner? Check. While you may feel like an expert armed with these common home remedies and tactics for clogged drains, the truth is that these can do more harm than good to your drains.
PVC pipes, which form the bulk of your drainage system, are just not built to handle boiling water. Baking soda and vinegar? They may create a wonderful froth that looks like it’s eating away at whatever lies beneath, but the truth is that while these, combined with the aforementioned bad-for-your-pipes boiling water, may clear a mild, weak clog, but are unlikely to really impact anything significant. Plungers: yes, these do work, but you probably don’t have the right size, the right shape, or the right technique to really get the job done right. And as for commercial drain cleaners… well, we’ll get to these in reason number 3: they pose a safety risk, in more ways than one.
By calling in professional drain cleaners you are accessing both their expertise and their wide assortment of clog-clearing tools, able to clear a wide variety of drain and pipe blockages:
- Plungers in different shapes, sizes and raisons d’être
- Sink augers
- Snake tools
- Endoscopic snake cameras
- High pressure water jets
- And expert know-how in clearing the most stubborn of clogs and blockages.
3. You should put safety first
Chemical drain cleaners are very seldom, if ever, recommended or used by professional drain cleaners. Here’s why:
They pose a significant safety risk – to both your pipes and your health.
In regards to the health of your pipes, the thing about those turbo-charged chemical drain unclogging magic potions is that they can’t tell the difference between the material blocking your pipes, and the material of your pipes themselves. So, as they eat away at clogs and blockages, they’re also taking a huge bit out of your pipes, your sink, your tub, your toilet bowl, your shower bed, and everything else they touch.
In regards to the health of yourself, and all your loved ones: obviously chemicals of that strength pose significant risks if handled improperly or, worse, accidentally ingested by children or pets. If you do keep these around your house for drain emergencies, make sure they are stored far away from curious hands and snouts, in a dark, cool, locked-away place; that you wear appropriate protective gear (eyewear and gloves) when handling them; and that you dispose of the bottle once it’s done in a way that recognizes it is hazardous waste.
4. You just never know what lurks beneath
Dun dun dun… the problem with drains and pipes is that you just never know what’s down there.
All dramatic effects aside, while the blockage may be nothing more than something gag-inducing – a hairball, bits of food waste, a buildup of cooking grease – the problem is that more often than not you just don’t know what it is clogging your drain. Which means that you just don’t know which method to use to get rid of said blockage. For example, a plunger (of the right size and shape) is used for toilets or sinks, but is generally ineffective for unclogging shower drains. Here, a professional might instead use a specialized snake tool to easily snag and remove hair.
Alternatively, you may know exactly what lurks beneath – your big, expensive, means-the-world-to-you diamond engagement ring, your kid’s favourite of all favourite tiny toys, your bank-breaking false tooth – and you want it back! In this case, the professionals will have the tools to find it, such as an endoscopic snake camera, and to be able to assess the situation and choose the right tool to bring your valuables back to the light of day minus any damage or drama.
Whatever the scenario, knowing exactly what lurks beneath, and having the know-how and tools to assess how to handle the situation, is key to effectively fixing drain blockages.
Unfortunately, like death and taxes, nobody can avoid drain clogs 100% of the time. But by calling in the professionals to deal with your blocked drains, you are giving yourself the best chance at fixing the problem quickly and effectively, and preventing them from happening again in the future.
Urban Water Works can take all the drama, and potential for disaster and long term damage, out of your drain blockages. We can assess the situation, find your problem, fix the issue quickly and effectively, and provide you with the signs you can watch for to avoid future problems.