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Six reasons why DIY drain cleaning is a terrible idea

It’s happened to everyone - you flush the toilet and anxiously watch as the bowl fills with waste and overflows onto the floor. Maybe you’ve been brushing your teeth and instead of the water draining freely, a pool of water and toothpaste is left swirling around the sink. With countless drain cleaning products on supermarket shelves and YouTube videos offering DIY drain cleaning advice, it’s enticing to try and unclog a blocked drain yourself. But is DIY drain cleaning really a good idea? Below are six reasons why you should consider calling in the professionals.

1. Drain cleaning chemicals are dangerous

Drain cleaning chemicals that are available in supermarkets and hardware stores are dangerous. They’re made from harsh chemicals that can damage your plumbing pipes, are terrible for the environment and harmful to your health. This is why chemical products have an extensive list of safety warnings on the label that often sadly get ignored, resulting in accidents. We’ve heard horror stories of children burning their skin after coming into contact with drain cleaning chemicals and entire families being rushed to hospital after inhaling noxious fumes.

2. It's hard to know what's causing the clog without a CCTV drain inspections

Blocked drains occur inside pipes located either under the ground, under the floor or in the walls. In other words, you can't see what's causing the clog. Without knowing what the cause of the blockage is or even how far down the line the clog is located, how can you expect to fix it yourself? Drain plumbers own special equipment, such as CCTV drain inspection cameras, that they use to accurately diagnose the cause of blocked drains. Every blocked drain is different and it’s impossible to know what’s causing the clog without a pipe inspection. There is no one size fits all solution to blocked drains. To ensure high-quality results, blocked drain repairs should be tailored to the job at hand.

3. There's a risk DIY drain repairs can make the problem worse

At first glance, DIY drain cleaning may seem more convenient and affordable than calling in a plumber. However, your DIY drain cleaning attempts could end up making the problem worse. For example, if you pour harsh chemicals down a drain that is completely blocked with non-organic materials, the chemicals will be useless at removing the clog. Instead, the chemicals will sit in the pipes, weakening the lining of pipes that may already be partially corroded.

4. DIY blocked drain repairs is messy and unhygienic 

When trying to resolve a clogged toilet or an blocked sewer drain, things can get messy. Your plunging efforts may do nothing other than cause the toilet to overflow with untreated sewage and wastewater. Raw sewerage contains harmful bacteria and parasites and it can have seriously negative effects on anyone who comes into contact with it.

5. Blocked drains are often more complex than they appear

You might think that a blocked toilet is caused by a buildup of toilet paper in the S-bend of your toilet, but many blocked drain problems are more complicated than you think. A blocked toilet is often symptomatic of bigger issues in the outside sewer line such as collapsed pipes or severe tree root infiltration. In these situations, pouring drain chemicals down the toilet or plunging is a complete waste of time. Complicated drain repairs require the services of a licensed and qualified Sydney plumber.

6. DIY drain repairs risk unnecessary damage to your home

If your DIY drain cleaning efforts turn out to be futile, the longer the problem remains unaddressed the greater the risk of damage to your home. While you’re sitting around waiting for a homemade vinegar and bicarb solution to repair fifty years worth of grease buildup in your sewer pipes, raw sewerage could back-up and flood out of every drain opening in your home. Wastewater can enter your drinking water supply, the carpets could be stained with excrement and the floorboards could suffer lasting water damage.

Call in the blocked drain experts!

When it comes to blocked drain repairs it’s always best to call a professional blocked drain plumber. A plumber specialising in drainage has the skills, the tools and the know-how to ensure a fast and effective solution. Using CCTV drain inspection cameras the plumber can thoroughly assess the pipes and determine the cause of the clog. They can then recommend a solution - whether it be plunging or high-pressure drain cleaning - addressing the issue at a foundational level. 

  • Jan 21, 2020
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