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Clogged drains happen, even to homeowners who avoid putting grease, food or excessive amounts of hair down the drain. As good as a plunger is, there are times when it will fail to unclog the drain. After that, there are two good ways to clean the drain, but, unfortunately, many homeowners choose a highly recommended way which they should actually avoid.

Avoid chemical drain cleaners

The worst way to deal with a clogged drain is to buy an expensive chemical drain cleaner, pour it down your drain and pray that it works. These are toxic chemicals that you’re exposing yourself to and putting into our water supply. Ask any plumber and they will tell you that these chemicals can actually damage your pipes. Even when the chemical drain cleaner works, it tends to eat a hole through the clog rather than actually clearing it away.

Plumber’s snake

The next option you’ve probably heard of is to clear the clog using a plumber’s snake (also known as a plumbing auger, drain snake or Roto-Rooter). The plumber’s snake has a long metal tube with a cable inside that has a corkscrew auger or an attachment with blades at the end that goes into the pipe. A crank is then used to turn this auger and “cut” through the clog. It will either break up the clog or wrap it around the corkscrew so that it can be disposed of when the cable is pulled out.

While you can buy your own plumber’s snake, professional plumbers usually have much better ones with more effective augers. Plus they have the expertise to know where to go into the drain and how to quickly locate the clog.


Homeowners tend to be less familiar with this second effective method of cleaning a drain. Hydro-jetting involves putting a hose down your drain with a specialized nozzle. This hose is connected to a machine that creates a pressurized water stream (like 1,500 psi or higher) that will eliminate grease, other kinds of build-up and clogs by blasting them apart and pushing the debris down the line. The water pressure is strong enough to obliterate tree roots if they’re encountered. Hydro-jetting doesn’t just punch a hole through your clog (like a plumber’s snake will sometimes do), it will completely clear it, along with any other debris and residue in your drain pipe. Typically, a plumbing expert will first examine your pipes (often by pushing a camera through them) before hydro-jetting as it is powerful enough to damage weak pipes.


The next time your drain is seriously clogged, consult with the plumbing experts at your preferred home services company. They can assess the clog, examine your pipes and determine the best course of action, whether that’s snaking the drain or hydro-jetting it. They’ll be able to do whatever it takes to get your drain flowing smoothly again.

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