Pipe clogged with hair

DIY Drain Cleaning & Why It's a Bad Idea

This has probably happened to you more than once: You turn on the water in your sink, shower, or tub and instead of flowing down the drain, it begins to back up. After seeing countless commercials for liquid drain cleaners, your first thought is to reach for that bottle of thick blue liquid with scary-sounding chemicals in it because it’ll get the job done quickly, right?

Plumbing is really not a do-it-yourself thing, so it's always a sage idea to call us at Benicia Plumbing whenever you encounter drain issues. But, if you do choose to make it a DIY project, here are some suggestions from us: 

DIY Drain Maintenance

If your drains are just a little slow or you want to clean out your drains each month to ensure gunk doesn’t build up along pipe walls, there are two easy, inexpensive solutions that could work:

  1. Hot water:
    Pour a large pot of very hot (but not boiling) water down the drain you’re having issues with or want to clean. Follow it up with some cool water to flush out the clogs you just melted away.
  2. Baking soda and vinegar:
    Pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain and chase it with half a cup of vinegar. Plug the sink and let it sit overnight. Flush the drains with hot water in the morning and they’ll work (and smell) like they’re brand-new! We recommend doing this once per month.

If you end up with a clogged drain and want to try to clear it yourself before calling in the experts, put down the bottle of drain cleaner and instead keep an auger or a drain snake as well as a cup plunger on hand.

Avoid Drain Clogs: What Not to Put Down the Drain

Of course, the best way to avoid a clogged drain is to use it properly in the first place. Here’s a list of the most common things homeowners put down the drain (or toilet) that can cause major problems over time:

  • Grease, fats, or oil (pour them into a jar, wait for them to solidify, then throw them away!)
  • Eggshells
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes (starchy things)
  • Bones
  • Stringy or fibrous foods
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine products (sanitary napkins, etc.)
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • "Flushable" wipes
  • Hair (get a stopper for your shower or tub!)

About Benicia Plumbing

At Benicia Plumbing, we are a solutions-based company, which means that every customer will always receive a comprehensive diagnosis to resolve their drain cleaning plumbing issues promptly and seamlessly. Your Benicia Plumbing technician will always provide you with a complete, detailed drain cleaning estimate before the work begins and guarantee all parts and workmanship for a full year. And finally, if there are any malfunctions within this period of time, Benicia Plumbing will always correct it promptly at no charge and fully comply with local city and state building codes.