plumber using electric drain snake

The 3 Smartest Ways to Clear Plumbing Clogs

At some point, just about everyone encounters a clog in their toilet or in one of their home’s other drains. The clog’s severity and the condition of your plumbing pipes will determine which method will be best for removing it.

When it comes to effective, chemical-free solutions, these three methods are the smartest ways to clear a clog:

  1. Plunging

  2. Drain Snaking

  3. Hydrojetting

Below, we’ll explain how these clog-clearing methods work, as well as their pros and cons.

Need a smart solution to a clog right now? Contact Bryco Plumbing at (818) 805-0883.

1. Plunging

Plunging clears clogs by creating suction and pressure that pulls and pushes away whatever is blocking your pipes. Most people are familiar with plunging when it comes to toilet clogs, but plunging can also dislodge clogs in other types of drains. Cup plungers are traditionally used for sinks, showers, and bathtubs, while flange plungers are the “weapon of choice” for toilet clogs.

Pros

Plunging’s biggest advantage is that most people can do it themselves without needing a plumber’s services. A plunger is practically a household essential for occasional clogs. It’s best to have two plungers in your home: one for sink and bathtub clogs and one for toilet clogs. This prevents the plunger used for your toilet from transferring fecal bacteria to other areas of your home.

Cons

Of course, plunging does have its limitations. Clogs that are firmly lodged deep in your home’s pipes might need more force to move than the suction that a plunger can create. Plunging also serves only as an occasional or temporary fix to clogs and does little or nothing to actually clear away debris that builds up along the walls of your pipes.

2. Drain Snaking

Snaking a drain requires a tool that goes by a number of different names, such as “drain snake,” “plumber’s cable,” and “drain auger.” These names refer to the same thing: a long, flexible, metal cable with a corkscrew tip that you rotate down into a clogged drain to break up the blockage or grab onto whatever mass is causing the blockage. Drain snakes come in a variety of sizes and lengths, and there are both manual and electric models available.

Pros

Because of their length, drain snakes are great for reaching clogs that are too far down into your pipes for a plunger to dislodge. Drain snakes can also clear away particularly stubborn clogs. If there’s a drain in your home that gets clogged on a routine basis, you’re more likely to get a lasting solution with a drain snake than with a plunger.

Cons

Drain snakes aren’t quite as DIY-friendly as plungers. If you don’t use a plunger properly, you’ll be stuck with a clog until a plumber arrives, but you won’t necessarily be worse off. If you don’t use a drain snake properly, you run the risk of damaging your pipes or--even worse--causing leaks. While some people are comfortable with trying their hand at drain snaking, others prefer to leave this drain clearing method to professionals.

3. Hydrojetting

When you need to bring out the “big guns,” you hire a plumber for hydrojetting. To perform hydrojetting, a plumber inserts a hose into a home’s cleanout to access the home’s plumbing system. The back end of the hose is attached to a huge tank of water and a machine that regulates how much water pressure gets released from the jets at the front end of the hose. The plumber controls the water pressure and sets it depending on how much pressure the home’s pipes can handle.

Pros

Hydrojetting can remove clogs in both your home’s plumbing system as well as its sewer line. In addition, hydrojetting not only clears clogs but actually cleans your pipes by blasting away grease, sediment, tree roots, and other obstructions with powerful jets of water. If your home has frequent clogs in multiple drains, hydrojetting is probably going to be the best long-term solution.

Cons

Because of the machinery and high water pressure involved, hydrojetting is best left to plumbing professionals. The equipment can pose a risk to your safety if handled incorrectly. In addition, a plumber will be able to assess your plumbing system beforehand to see if your pipes are strong enough to withstand the force of hydrojetting. Pipes that are old or weak can be broken fairly easily by the immense blasts of waters, so a camera inspection of your pipes is essential before any hydrojetting takes place.

If you can’t plunge away a clog in your sink or tub, it’s time to contact Bryco Plumbing for professional drain cleaning services: (818) 805-0883.

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