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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

Store-Bought Drain Cleaning Solutions Cost More Than You Think

animated-drain-with-arrows-showing-direction-of-water-flow“Wait, what?” you might be wondering. Store-bought chemical drain cleaners cost nothing at all! That’s why you buy them in the first place—they’re affordable and easy solutions to drain clogs, right?

Well, sure… but we’re talking about a different kind of cost. The cost of using these cheap alternatives to professional drain cleaning is much higher than you might realize, by way of plumbing repairs and potentially even whole-home repiping if you use them for too long.

Did this get your attention? Read on!

Store-Bought Chemical Drain Cleaners are Caustic!

Have you ever actually taken a close look at the drain cleaner you can buy from the store? They contain some pretty unpleasant chemicals. There is a good reason that 80-90% of these bottles are usually plastered with all sort of warnings, in large fonts. The caustic chemicals in these drain cleaners are toxic.

We aren’t just talking about the danger it presents to your skin, eyes, and respiratory system—there are precautions you can take, of course. We’re talking about the effect it has on your plumbing system. The very thing you are trying to help, you may actually be doing more harm too.

Chemical drain cleaners work well for “melting” through your drain clog—well, some (mostly just hair—store-bought cleaners don’t do much for soap scum, kitchen FOG, tree roots, or waste buildup). But years of using these store-bought “solutions” eventually degrade the pipes themselves, leading to leaks and the need for replacing.

In other words, the long term solution to store-bought drain cleaners is worse and more costly than the problem you started out with.

So, What’s the Alternative?

We get it, it can be frustrating to hear that something so simple is apparently complicated. It really doesn’t need to be though. What you can do to fend off and combat stubborn drain clogs and pipe blockages is give your drains the professional care they need to keep functioning as they should.

Professional drain cleaning solutions do not make use of any caustic chemicals—this is just one of the advantages of using them. What are these methods, exactly?

The first one is drain snaking—this involves the use of a long cord with an auger on the end of it, used to either drill through the clog in the pipe, or pull the clog out. This doesn’t do any damage to the pipe itself and reliably deals with most types of clogs—especially superficial drain clogs that a plunger can’t resolve.

Sometimes, drain snaking isn’t sufficient enough. For example, if you have a deep drain or sewer line blockage, you’re going to need something more powerful. This is where hydro-jetting comes in. This is also a type of drain snake, but it has an omnidirectional auger on the end of it that powerfully scours your pipes with a high-pressure stream of water.

Again, this is harmless to your pipes (though, we would advise looking into repiping for aging plumbing systems) and effectively resolves the problem. It’s also worth mentioning, we never go in blind! We use video camera inspection to determine what exactly is going on down deep in your pipes to determine the right method of drain cleaning (or to determine if your clog is actually a broken pipe that needs relining or replacement).

From there we can make the necessary recommendations to get your entire plumbing system back to the way it should be functioning, with minimal disruption and no costly damage.

Established over a century ago, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource when you need professional drain cleaning service. Contact us today!

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