Sewer, Septic, Drains, & More

The #1 Choice for Sewer Service
in Decatur Illinois Since 1957

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A professional drain cleaner using a commercial drain cleaning tool in a residential bathroom in Decatur, IL.

DIY Drain Cleaning and Why it can be a Bad Idea

Sometimes, no matter how many times you try to fix your clogged toilet or drain, the problem never goes away. If your toilet or other drain is having repetitive clogs, then there may be something wrong inside your pipes. Unfortunately, not all DIY clog repairs fully fix the job. In this article, we will highlight common DIY clog repairs and discuss why we believe you are better off hiring a local plumbing expert like Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service in Decatur, IL.

The Danger of Chemicals

A homeowner in Decatur, IL pouring store-bought drain cleaner down the drain of their bathroom to remove a clog in the plumbing system.

When facing a tough clog, we recommend avoiding the chemical cleaners sold at the big retail stores. The most common chemicals used in these drain cleaners are lye (sodium hydroxide) and sulfuric acid. These are toxic chemicals that can melt away your skin just as fast as they can dissolve a clog. Also, as the chemicals dissolve the clog, heat is produced. This heat can cause your pipes to swell, warp, and crack. They can also damage the glue that holds your pipes together.

In addition, drain cleaners may only poke a small hole in the clog, allowing the water to pass through temporarily, but ultimately re-clogging soon after. The cleaners may also just loosen the clog just a bit and cause it to slide down further into your pipes.

Finally, these chemicals, when used by millions of homeowners, can cause damage to septic tanks, sewer lines, sewage treatment equipment, and the environment. 

The Danger of DIY Snakes

If chemicals fail to fix the problem, your next move might be to use a drain auger or snake. This is a long piece of thin metal that snakes down your pipes, then makes physical contact with the clog and tears it to pieces. This is a device commonly used by professional drain cleaning companies.

However, professionals know what they are doing thanks to training and experience. They know how much force to use. Inexperienced users can make scratches and dents in their pipes, leading to future corrosion, or giving future clogs another area to get stuck on. 

Physically shaking and banging a pipe through the improper use of a snake can weaken pipe joints; especially pipes that may already have been weakened by chemical drain cleaners.

The Benefits of Camera Inspections

Alt tag/title: A commercial drain cleaning machine looking inside a small drain with camera and video technology to detect a clog in Decatur, IL.

Professional drain cleaning companies like Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service in Decatur, IL have the equipment and expertise needed to inspect your pipes before they start to unclog them. By inserting a fiber optic camera down your drain, they can visually see what is clogged and if the pipe has suffered any other damage. 

When our plumber has finished unclogging the pipe, a camera inspection can occur again to ensure the clog is completely gone and no other problems exist.

Hire a Professional

If you want your drain fixed properly and on the first try, hire a professional drain cleaning company like Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service in Decatur, IL. We have been Decatur’s plumbing repair experts since 1957! Visit our website today to learn more about the plumbing and sewer services we offer. Schedule an appointment today at 217.428.3066.

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