Houston Drain Cleaning
Clearing and Preventing Clogs in Your Houston Kitchens and Bathrooms
Clogs in drains can be a major source of frustration and disruption. No one wants to deal with the mess and inconvenience of clogged sinks, toilets, showers, or bathtubs, but the unfortunate reality is that you will inevitably have to deal with a clog at some point, even if you take good care of your fixtures and appliances.
When you do encounter a clog, you need a professional to not only resolve the issue quickly but also determine why it formed in the first place. Our responsive Houston drain cleaning professionals at Santhoff Plumbing have over 200 years of combined experience and are available 24/7 for emergency services. After unclogging your drain, we will explain how the clog developed and what you can do to prevent future blockages. We offer a satisfaction guarantee, so you can trust a clog we fix will not be back anytime soon.
Our Veteran-owned and family-operated plumbing company is ready to help you combat stubborn clogs of all kinds. Call (713) 360-2185 or contact us online to schedule a service appointment today!
Why Do Drains Become Clogged?
Drains can become clogged due to a variety of factors. One of the most common reasons is the accumulation of food waste in your home’s drainpipes. Grease buildup from cooking oils, fats, and grease can also cause clogs if they are not disposed of properly. This food waste attracts bacteria and other microorganisms, which further contributes to blockage in the pipes.
Soap scum and other debris from cleaning products that are washed down drains can also contribute to clogging as they accumulate over time and form a thick layer that restricts water flow. Hair accumulation is another major cause of clogs: When hair passes through drains, it tangles with other matter and creates obstructions.
Foreign objects such as toys, jewelry, or hygiene products that cannot be broken down easily by water passing through the pipes may also become stuck in the drainage system and lead to blockages. Tree roots may infiltrate underground pipes and disrupt their normal flow, which can cause serious blockages. Lastly, sludge and sediment buildup due to lack of maintenance can create an obstruction in the drainpipe over time if left unchecked.
No matter its cause, any clog must be taken seriously. If you ignore a clog, the blockage will likely get worse as more debris, sludge, and sediment accumulate in your pipes. This can cause serious damage to your drainage system, potentially leading to burst pipes or flooding in your basement or other areas of your home. Even worse, an unaddressed clog will in many instances produce unpleasant odors due to backed-up sewage or stagnant water sitting in the piping. To avoid these outcomes, get in touch with our Houston drain cleaning experts as soon as you realize you have a clog you cannot easily fix yourself.
Understanding the Role of Chemical Drain Cleaners
You may have seen advertisements for drain cleaners that can be bought in stores. They come in gel, liquid, and powder forms and contain chemicals that create electron reactions and generate heat to clear most typical clogs. While using chemical drain cleaners can be an effective way to clear blockages, they also have the potential to cause damage to your pipes if used improperly or too frequently. Chemical drain cleaners are highly caustic, meaning that they are strong enough to dissolve organic matter, grease, and sludge buildup in pipes. This same strength makes them potentially dangerous to use without professional guidance, as they can damage surfaces they come in contact with, including the materials found in some homes’ pipes.
The good news is many modern chemical drain cleaners, some of which are not available in consumer-facing stores, should not negatively affect your home’s piping. Most homes today use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, and though chemical drain cleaners may soften these pipes to some degree, they will seldom cause any damage.
However, it is not wise to use drain cleaners if your home has metal pipes, as the chemicals can corrode the metal material and increase the likelihood of a leak or burst pipe down the road. In these situations, we may use a long plumber’s snake or more advanced unclogging methods that can successfully resolve a blockage without the need for chemical drain cleaners.
Chemical drain cleaners come in three major types:
- Acid drain cleaners contain either sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. Therefore, they are rarely found at stores and are only sold to professional plumbing companies like Santhoff Plumbing. The hydronium ions in this type of drain cleaner interact with the clog’s electrons, creating a chemical reaction that releases heat and melts congealed grease.
- Caustic drain cleaners contain lye, potash, and other substances and act as bases during the unclogging. After applying a caustic drain cleaner to the pipe, it releases electrons to the clog and creates a chemical reaction that turns grease and similar clogs into a soapy substance. Because a caustic drain cleaner weighs more than water, it reaches the clog more easily and immediately begins working.
- Oxidizing drain cleaners contain bleach, nitrates, and similar household cleaning substances. These cleaners act similarly to caustic drain cleaners since they are heavier than water and move straight to the clog. The chemicals force the clog to lose its ions and oxidize it for easier clearing.
Our Houston drain cleaning professionals understand the undeniable value of chemical drain cleaning products as well as when (and when not) to use them. Protecting your home’s piping is paramount, so we will be sure to assess what types of pipes your home has before selecting the best tool to efficiently resolve your clog.
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Methods for Preventing Drain Clogs
From the kitchen sink to the toilet, preventing drain clogs comes down to regular maintenance. With proper care and good habits, it is possible to proactively avoid most clogged drains.
Take the following simple steps to minimize the risk of clogs forming in your drains:
- Avoid dumping certain foods, such as eggshells and coffee grounds, in your garbage disposal.
- Keep your sink strainer in place when rinsing dirty dishes, and clean the strainer regularly to prevent backups.
- Never dump hot grease in your sink, as it will likely congeal and lead to a blockage later on.
- Keep your bathroom sink stopper closed during hair brushing, or put a small screen cover over your drain to prevent hair from falling in. These screens also come in handy for catching other particles like foundation makeup and mascara when removing makeup over your sink.
- Avoid flushing paper towels, baby wipes, dental floss, and facial tissues down your toilet. These items do not break down as easily as toilet paper.
- Have your septic system checked every few years.
- Pour hot water down your drains at least once per week to loosen grease and debris before they create clogs.
Regardless of the scope or nature of your problem, we are confident we can swiftly diagnose the issue and choose the appropriate method or cleaner for the job. Call (713) 360-2185 or contact us online to speak to a member of our team today.