Homeowner 101: Drain Cleaning

There are few things in this world that terrify a parent more than an ear-splitting scream in the middle of the night. “She yelled “Mommy, Mommy, the toilet is exploding!” laughed Marian Hayes, a Naperville native. “Put her right off toilet training an entire year.” Hayes’ daughter had flushed the toilet, but a clogged drain pipe meant that everything didn’t work exactly as planned. “The water went EVERYWHERE,” Hayes explained. “You can’t even imagine what a mess that was. I tried to fix it with the plunger but that just wasn’t happening. It didn’t help at all!”

Plungers Aren't Always the Solution for Clogged Drains

Reaching for the plunger is a great first step when you’re faced with an overflowing toilet, but it doesn’t always fix the problem. Clogged pipes, whether they’re in the toilet, sink, or bathtub, need to be cleared – but each type of clog requires a different approach, based on what’s blocking the pipe, where the clog is located, and more. Homeowners may be able to resolve the situation with a plunger or by using chemical drain cleaners from the grocery or discount store, but there does come a point where these methods don’t work. That’s when it’s time to call in your Naperville plumber and let them handle the mess!

What Makes Pipes Clog?

That depends entirely upon what you’re putting down the drain. Our plumbing systems are designed for the rapid motion of water, but not much else. Despite that, we tend to put all sorts of things into the system. In the kitchen, grease is the big culprit. Fluid when warm, grease solidifies as it cools, blocking pipes almost as effectively as cholesterol clogs arteries. Add to that coffee grounds, food scraps, and the stray teaspoon, and you’ve got a problem! Not only are kitchen sink clogs inconvenient, they smell bad and are a breeding ground for some really nasty bacteria. That’s not something you want around your family!

In the bathroom, clogs can happen in the bathtub, the sink, and in the toilet. Bathtub and sink clogs are predominately hair and the greasy, oily residue from toiletry products. We don’t often think about it, but the shampoo, bath oil, soaps, bubble bath, shaving cream and other products we use are full of oil and fat. The vast majority of clogged toilets result from people flushing things that were never meant to go in the toilet: baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, and, in any home with small children, toys, crayons, pens, cell phones, remote controls, car keys, and countless other objects.

How Do You Fix This On Your Own?

Start with the plunger: suction can work miracles, in the right time and the right place. Dislodging the clog can allow it to continue to its final destination or return it to you, where you can dispose of it. Chemical drain cleaners work, although they are rather toxic and many homeowners prefer not to keep them in the house. Forget about the old wives’ tale of using hot water for drain cleaning: it may move a grease clog temporarily, but will not fix the problem.

Make life easy for yourself and call your Naperville plumber for clogs you can’t fix with a plunger or chemical drain cleaner. They have the tools and experience to tackle many different kinds of clogged pipes: drain cleaning is what they do on a daily basis. They have the tools that are powerful enough to dislodge any clog, without damaging your home or making a big mess. The home handyman can’t say that: most of the tools available to the do-it-yourselfer are just plain inadequate, not to mention difficult to use and messy.

Preventative drain cleaning should be part of every homeowner’s maintenance routine. Your Naperville plumber can do this for you regularly, to ensure you don’t have to worry about clogged sinks, slow draining bathtubs, and overflowing toilets. Imagine the peace of mind freedom from fuss, mess, and stinky surprises can offer! Most people never think about their plumbing until there’s a problem – but taking the time to make sure your drains are cleaned regularly means there’s never a problem at all! Schedule your drain cleaning now, and save yourself the expense, inconvenience and mess of an emergency call.