Dangers of DIY Drain Clearing



Nobody will go an entire lifetime without coming across a clogged drain – they happen to the best of us. We tend then to invest in bottles of harsh chemicals with the promise of a swift fix, but what effect do these chemicals have on your pipes? We are all partial to saving the pennies where possible and it can be liberating to do things yourself BUT sometimes it’s best to bite the bullet and leaving it to the professionals.

The harsh chemicals in these bottles of sludge are designed to dissolve things: they are inherently corrosive. This means that when they touch a surface they react chemically in a way which begins to eat away at the material in question.

Metal, of course, is considerably more robust than the nasty gunk mess which the corrosive liquid will devour, however, it is not completely immune to this reaction. This means that over time the use of these chemicals will damage your pipes and could end in far more dramatic and expensive issues than had you called in the professional plumbers in the first place.

However, if you’re set on remedying the issue yourself, try this:

  • Hot (not boiling) water
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

Some clogs can be melted away by a large amount of hot water and then flushed out with cold water. Or, if this is not enough, using the naturally gentle concoction of baking soda, followed by vinegar, can be that little acidic push needed to clear your pipes.

This can also double as a gentle monthly maintenance method to keep clogs at bay and maintain healthy clear pipes, free of debris or build up. However, if in doubt – call in the professionals. When it comes to your home’s aquatic skeleton – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

One thing you can do safely at home is carry out preventative methods (aside from the aforementioned natural maintenance cleaning method). The main thing that causes clogged drains is ineffectively disposed materials: do not allow these down your drains:

  • Food debris: put it in a bin or in a compost pile/bin
  • Fats, oils and greased: throw it away or save and reuse later for further cooking
  • Hair: when you’ve had  a shower, remove the hair around the plug and dispose of it in a bin
  • Make up wipes/baby wipes: even the ones that say they’re ‘flushable’ – just put them in a bin
  • Sanitary products: pop them in a bin instead

If in doubt – put it in the bin. This policy, along with regular maintenance and not shying away from professional help when needed, will help keep your pipes in tip top condition.

Contact Cambridge Plumbing, heating & installation specialists for more information.