The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Drains


The Most Common Methods of Drain Cleaning 

Staying on top of drain cleaning is one of the most beneficial ways to keep drain and sewer systems tip-top shape. There are a lot of different ways to clean out drains. Of course, hiring a professional is the most prominent and influential way, but some DIY solutions are also. 

While some homeowners prefer to hire a professional drain cleaning service either because of a lack of knowledge in the drain cleaning process or lack of time, other homeowners jump at the chance to save some money by attempting to clean out their drains themselves. 

It’s not a challenging task if a person knows what they’re doing, and this guide will help to highlight some of the methods one can use to clean out their drains. 

Drain Cleaning the DIY Waymethods

While it’s common for people to purchase chemical drain cleaners from their local hardware store, homeowners should skip the drive and make their own, safer cleaning solution from scratch with household products they already have lying around. 

There are several ways to make a DIY drain cleaning solution. These include: 

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar (or lemon juice): Add ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar (or lemon juice) down the drain. Plug the chute up and leave it to sit for one hour. After an hour of waiting, pour boiling water down the drain. If necessary, repeat these steps until the drain is flowing as needed.
  • Baking Soda and Salt: Another baking soda hack is mixing ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain and let sit for 30 minutes. Then pour in boiling water. The mixture may need to sit in the sink if the drain is severely clogged.

Still, for those who want to purchase a cleaning solution from the store, avoid liquid drain cleaners. These cleaners often have harsh and toxic chemicals that do more harm than good. 


Snaking Drains

A drain snake, or plumber’s snake, is one of the most popular methods to clean out clogged drains among DIY enthusiasts and professional plumbers alike.

The process is simple enough. Line up the end of the snake with the drain and push it inside, turning the hand crank to make sure the snake slides down the pipe. The hand crank should be turned until an obstruction is reached. Once it has found the block, rotate the snake so that it then hooks onto the clog. Continue to rotate the snake, allowing the clog to break apart. If the obstruction feels too hard and refuses to break apart, turn the crank and pull the snake up – the clog will most likely come with it. 

At this point, flush some water down the drain to see if the drain is working properly. If not, the steps above should be repeated until the clog is gone. 

Like most things in life, drain snaking comes with advantages and disadvantages. A drain snake is easier to use on older pipes and can quickly terminate easier clogs. However, drain snakes are not as proficient at handling tough clogs, debris, and build-up. Alternatively, if a person wants to unclog their toilet or shower drain, it is recommended to use a drain auger instead. 

Hydro jetting 

Another popular method of cleaning out drains is hydro jetting. This non-invasive method uses a high-pressure water jet that will work to thoroughly clean the drains from all blockages made up of clogs, debris, and buildup. 

Like snaking, hydro jetting comes with its pros and cons. Hydro jetting does a better job at clearing out the drains than snaking does and can even break up smaller tree roots that have invaded the pipes. Hydro jetting is also non-invasive, safe, and environmentally friendly. On the downside, hydro jetting can cause damage to older pipes and often uses a lot of water to clean out drains. Hydro jetting is less DIY-friendly and should only be done by a professional company with experience in hydro jetting. 

About Falcon Plumbing

Falcon Plumbing has provided the residents of Miami, FL, with trusted plumbing services since 1986. They offer flat-rate pricing, personal attention, and 24/7 emergency service at no extra charge. Call them today for drain cleaning services in Miami, FL.

The Different Ways To Clear Blocked Drains


Approaches To Clearing a Drain

There is nothing worse than the slow gurgle from a toilet or tub that signifies a clogged drain. Backed up drains are caused by many things, but primarily, hair, oil, fat, roots and food particles. Homeowners may be tempted to clear a drain themselves, but plumbers will almost always be the best option for serious blockage.

But how exactly do plumbers clear drains, and is there anything a responsible homeowner or tenant can do before they get there? Read on to learn the three main methods and options that exist in drain clearing, and which ones are a good option before a plumber shows up. 

Using a Snake

a plumber fixing kitchen drains

Snaking a drain is one of the most common methods of clearing a blockage. Essentially, a metal auger breaks up and removes the blockage from the pipe. Plumbers will assess the severity of the blockage, the pipe size and age before deciding how and when to snake a drain. 

There are many different kinds of specific snakes that plumbers use, each suited to a particular task and situation. Some use a motor, others are hand-powered, and they all range in diameter and length. Plumbers know which type to use to avoid problems.

Purchasing a snake and unclogging a pipe might seem like a simple task that an average homeowner could complete, but there is a risk of injury from improper usage. Furthermore, chipping porcelain toilets and sinks, damaging pipes, and even creating worse blockage further down the line are real possibilities when using a snake at home. A professional plumber will make sure it’s done properly the first time. 

The Power of Hydro-Jetting

hydro-jetting at work

Hydro-jetting shoots a very high-pressure stream of water down a pipe to clear blockages. This is done by feeding a special hose and nozzle into the pipe while attached to a pressurized tank. 

Hydro jetting is extremely effective and can get pipes into almost new condition. This method can only be done as long as the pipes aren’t too old or damaged. Because of the high pressure used, a visual inspection of the drain line is essential before hydro-jetting. This helps prevent pipe damage or failure. Due to equipment and safety concerns, this method for unblocking a drain best left to a professional. 

Household Items: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Many people use baking soda and vinegar for a large variety of household cleaning tasks. But in a pinch, these ingredients can create a drain cleaner that will temporarily help fix a slow drain

Simply pour a half cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Cover the drain and allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes (longer is better!) and then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. 

baking soda and vinegar

This all-natural method won’t harm pipes and is cheap and easy. Unfortunately, while easy, this method won’t work on a serious blockage and should only be used as a temporary fix. The underlying issues are most likely still present, and that's why one should call a professional.

About Falcon Plumbing 

Falcon Plumbing has been serving Miami for 34 years. As a woman-owned business, Falcon prides itself on exceptional customer service and care. Falcon plumbing provides a full spectrum of plumbing services with upfront pricing, personalized service and no overtime charges.