Coronavirus Update: We are open as an essential business and continue to service our customers safely. Read More

Skip navigation


Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Frequently Asked Questions About Drain Cleaning

Handling drain cleaning in San Bernardino, CA and elsewhere in our wide service area is one of the most important jobs we do. Below we’ll go over a few of the questions customers often ask about this service, how it works, and why it’s important.

Q: Are drains clogs usually minor?

A: They can be. However, it’s risky to assume that any drain clog is as simple as a hair clog or a buildup of grease and soap scum. Drain clogs can indicate more serious problems down in the drainage system, such as a broken or clogged sewer pipeline, root infiltration in the sewer line, or blocked drain vents. If these larger issues aren’t dealt with, clogs could soon be in every household drain and sewage may start to flood into the lower parts of the house.

Q: Should I schedule drain cleaning annually, even if I don’t have clogs?

A: We recommend it, since it’s one of the best ways to maintain healthy home plumbing and keep away clogs in the future. There are a number of situations where we strongly recommend calling for preventive drain regularly: your home is more than 30 years old or clogs occur with higher frequency. You should also call for drain cleaning when you move into a new house.

Q: I’m cautious about what goes down the drain, so why am I still getting clogs?

First, you’re doing the right thing. Some basic steps like drain covers and keeping grease and fats from being poured down the drain go a long way toward preventing clogs. If clogs are still happening, please remember that you can’t stop all unwanted waste from going down the drains. Eventually, drains are going to clog up, and this is one of the reasons routine drain cleaning is so helpful. The clogs may be due to other issues, such as hard water deposits or the previously mentioned broken sewer line.

Q: Won’t liquid drain from the store cleaners handle the unclogging job?

No! No professional plumber recommends using store-bought “drain cleaners”—and for many reasons. They aren’t very effective, since they only chew open a small hole through the drainpipe obstruction without actually cleaning anything. The clog will come right back. Their acidic action (sulfuric acid and lye) can end up damaging drain pipes. And they are extremely toxic, putting dangerous fumes into the air and burning eyes and skin.

Q: What methods do you use to clean drains?

It depends on the job. A simple unclogging may only require using motorized drain augers, which drill into the clogs and break them up or pull them out. If we are taking care of a thorough drain cleaning, we’ll use a hydro-jetter, which blasts high pressure water along the interior of the drainpipe. The force of the water scours away almost any buildup.

Q: Can I buy the more powerful equipment and use it myself?

This is neither a cost-effective solution nor a practical one. Motorized drain augers and hydro-jetters are expensive professional pieces of equipment that won’t receive enough use in your home to make them remotely worth the cost. Plus, they require special training to use correctly. A hydro-jetter is potentially dangerous in unskilled hands and without proper safety equipment.

Handling drain problems and regular cleaning is easy when you call our plumbers. We don’t charge by the hour—we charge by the job!

Sweetwater Plumbing Serves All of Southern California, And We Are Always Open for Business!

Comments are closed.