To keep the plumbing system in your Wichita, KS, home working properly, you need to maintain functional and clean drains. However, if you are trying to clean your drains on your own, there is a chance that you are making mistakes that could cause further problems down the road. Learn more about the following common plumbing mistakes so that you can avoid issues and get information about when to call in a plumber to help.

Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

Using a chemical drain cleaner once likely will not be an issue, but if you are frequently pouring them down your drains, they could do more harm than good. The chemicals in these products are harsh, and over time, they can actually damage your pipes. Instead of using these products, use a plunger. If this is not enough to remove a clog, it is best to let someone with experience handle the issue. They know how to use tools, such as drain snakes, to remove a clog without the risk of damage to your pipes.

Avoiding Routine Maintenance

It is common for homeowners to neglect scheduling routine maintenance for their drains and plumbing systems. In many cases, they do not try to clean their drains until a blockage or clog is present. Avoiding routine drain and plumbing maintenance can cause issues to become more serious before they are handled. Talk to a plumber and set up a routine cleaning and maintenance schedule. You should plan to have this service about once a year to help remove any debris buildup before it can cause a major blockage. In between professional cleanings, flush your drains with hot water. This will help to break up soap scum and grease and move them out of your system. You should also use drain strainers to catch debris and hair so that they cannot get into your drains.

Ignoring Warning Signs

If you suspect a possible drain problem, do not wait to take care of it. For example, something like unpleasant smells or slow drainage may not seem urgent, but it can become a bigger problem very quickly. As soon as you notice an abnormality with your drain system, contact a plumber. They will be able to assess your system quickly and let you know what needs to be fixed. When you get help fast, there is a lesser risk of costly repairs and extensive water damage.

Improper Drain Snake Use

Drain snakes are a popular tool for removing blockages and clogs from your drains. However, if you do not have experience using this tool, there is a risk of damage. For example, improper use could cause cracks, scratches, or pipe joint dislodging. If a blockage or clog warrants a snake, have a plumber tackle the job. They know how to insert it properly and the right level of force to use.

Using DIY Methods

DIY drain cleaning could lead to a variety of complications and mistakes. Remember that professional plumbers have extensive knowledge of their field of work. Not everyone has the right experience to tackle drain cleaning issues. A licensed plumber is able to quickly and accurately assess the issue so that they can come up with an effective plan to fix it. Their knowledge also ensures that they can tackle a job without accidentally causing more damage to your drain system.

Excessive Plunger Force

There is a right and wrong way to use a plunger to alleviate a clog. If you are using it forcefully, there is a risk that pipes could shift or a seal could break. This results in a much bigger problem. The use of a plunger should be rhythmic, and you should have a tight seal around the drain before you start using it. If you try your plunger and the issue does not resolve, call a plumber. They have the experience to use this tool properly or know what other tools can be used to clear a blockage or clog.

Boiling Water for Grease

When a grease clog occurs, many people believe that pouring hot water down the drain will essentially “melt” the clog and solve the issue. However, while hot water can liquefy it temporarily, it could solidify again, resulting in a bigger clog that will require more work to remove. Vinegar and baking soda can sometimes help with a grease clog since combining these ingredients causes a foaming reaction. When this happens, it could help to both break up and dislodge the clog so that it moves out of your drain system. However, since a drain snake or plunger may also be necessary, it is best to call in a professional so that you can be sure the clog is completely gone the first time.

Neglecting Ventilation

Your drain needs to have adequate ventilation to prevent major plumbing issues. Ventilation is necessary to prevent unpleasant odors and to ensure that wastewater flows efficiently. Homes benefit from a plumber coming out and assessing the ventilation system in a plumbing setup. If there are any vents with damage or blockages, they can be cleared to prevent odors or slow drainage. If the ventilation is not adequate, you might also hear gurgling sounds as water goes down the drain.

Using Wire Hangers

Most homeowners do not have a drain snake on hand, so when a blockage or clog occurs, they may attempt to use a wire hanger to access and remove a clog. The edges on wire hangers are often sharp, and this could lead to punctures or scratches in your pipes. If a drain snake is necessary, it is best to let a plumber do the job. The construction of these tools is specifically for drain cleaning. With proper use, there is little risk of plumbing system damage.

Not Identifying the Underlying Issue

Sometimes, a clog is just a clog. There are other times when there is an underlying issue causing the clog. If you notice that you are getting clogs often, there is usually a bigger issue at play. If you just keep removing the clogs, you may have a bigger and more costly drain problem down the road. An experienced plumber will be able to clear the clog and determine why there is a clog in the first place. For example, it could be due to sewer line damage or tree roots infiltrating your pipes. A professional will remove your clog and fix the underlying issue so that your drain system functions properly.

Expert Plumbers in Wichita

Keeping your drains clean is essential for the whole plumbing system in your Wichita home. We can help you assess issues like clogs and blockages. Our team has experience tackling drain issues so that you do not have to deal with more extensive issues down the road. We can also help you with your cooling, heating, electrical, and other plumbing needs. Contact ECK Services in Wichita today to learn more about cleaning your drains and to schedule an appointment with a professional.