Stop Making These 7 Costly Drain Cleaning Mistakes

Running water is one of the essential elements of any household. However, it can become a frustrating problem when the drain clogs, and the water refuses to flow freely. The most common cause of a clogged drain is the accumulation of debris, such as hair, soap, and food particles.

In such cases, most people opt for a DIY approach to unclog the drain. While this can be cost-effective, it is essential to avoid common mistakes that can worsen the situation. This article highlights seven common drain-cleaning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

One of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to unclog a drain is using chemical drain cleaners. While these chemicals can be effective, they can also cause harm to the pipes and the environment. The chemicals can corrode the pipes, leading to leaks and other plumbing issues. The chemicals can also harm the environment by seeping into the soil and water bodies. Instead, opt for natural alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar.

Overusing the Plunger

The plunger is a handy tool for unclogging drains. However, overusing it can damage the pipes and worsen the clog. For instance, forcing the plunger too hard can cause the pipes to crack or break. It is essential to use the plunger moderately and avoid applying too much force. If the plunger is not effective, it is best to seek professional help.

Ignoring the Signs of a Clogged Drain

A clogged drain exhibits several signs, such as slow-draining water, unpleasant odors, and gurgling sounds. Ignoring these signs can worsen the situation, leading to more severe plumbing issues. It is essential to address the issue as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs. Regular drain maintenance can help prevent clogs from occurring.

Using the Wrong Tools

Using the wrong tools can cause more harm than good when attempting to unclog a drain. For instance, using a wire hanger can cause scratches and damage to the pipes, leading to leaks. It is essential to use the right tools, such as drain snakes, which are specifically designed for unclogging drains.

Pouring Grease or Oil Down the Drain

Pouring grease or oil down the drain is a common mistake that can lead to severe clogs. Grease and oil solidify when they cool, leading to blockages in the pipes. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, it is best to dispose of it in the trash.

Not Cleaning the Drain Stopper

The drain stopper is crucial in preventing debris from entering the pipes. However, it can also accumulate debris, leading to clogs. It is essential to clean the drain stopper regularly to prevent clogs from occurring.

Not Seeking Professional Help

Attempting to unclog a drain without the necessary skills and tools can lead to more severe plumbing issues. It is essential to seek professional help if the DIY approach is ineffective. Plumbers have the necessary skills, experience, and tools to diagnose and fix the issue.


Clogged drains can be frustrating and inconvenient. While attempting to unclog a drain, it is essential to avoid common mistakes such as using chemical drain cleaners, overusing the plunger, ignoring the signs of a clogged drain, using the wrong tools, pouring grease or oil down the drain, not cleaning the drain stopper, and not seeking professional help. 

Regular drain maintenance can help prevent clogs from occurring and prolong the life of the pipes. When in doubt, it is best to seek professional help from a licensed plumber.

If you’re looking for quality plumbing services in Columbiana, AL, you’ve come to the right place! Professor Plumb is a veteran-run company fully licensed, insured, and bonded with over 20 years of experience. Get in touch with us and get a quote today!

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