How Much Should Drain Cleaning Cost and Is It Worth It?

July 5, 2020

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Regular preventative sewer and drain cleaning is an excellent way to avoid clogs, backups, and burst pipes in your home. Drain cleaning by a licensed plumber also alerts him or her to plumbing damage, water leaks, and the need for potential repairs. Clog removal is also best left to a plumber, to ensure you avoid damaging pipes while clearing clogs and know that the job gets done right!

Professional clog or drain cleaning costs typically average just over $100 and might run up to $250 depending on the extent of a clog, materials needing removal, and other such factors. Preventative drain cleaning, to clean out pipes and ensure they’re free of solid waste and debris, also averages around $150 to $200 for most homeowners.

While most home improvement stores have a wide variety of drain cleaning products and offer tool rentals to homeowners, it’s never recommended that someone attempt DIY drain cleaning or clog clearing! There are many reasons to leave this work to a plumbing contractor near you.

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Before you rent a plumbing snake or try some over-the-counter products to help you clear a clog or clean out a home’s plumbing pipes, note some reasons why you might call a professional plumber instead. You might also consider some advantages of regular preventative drain cleaning as well as signs of plumbing leaks and damage, so you know when to call a plumber and can ensure your home is always in good repair!

Should You Invest in Professional Clog Removal and Drain Cleaning?

Professional, preventative drain cleaning might seem like an unnecessary expense. Homeowners might also assume they can easily clear a clogged toilet, kitchen sink, or bathtub drain. However, note some reasons why you should call a plumber for all your home’s clogged drains and toilets, and some reasons to invest in preventative drain and sewer cleaning as well.

  • Over time, solid matter builds up inside plumbing pipes. Eventually that solid material might cause a clog that puts pressure on pipe connectors, increasing the risk of leaks.
  • Clogs also increase the risk of backups; an overflowing toilet, stopped-up kitchen sink, or plugged-up bathtub drain might be caused by clogs deep inside your home’s plumbing pipes.
  • Homeowners often don’t realize what causes eventual clogs in pipes and drains; for example, food grease and other oils might solidify over time or as they cool. A homeowner who pours cooking oil or food grease down their home’s kitchen sink might then face eventual clogs and backups as that grease solidifies.
  • Even small items that don’t break down very well also tend to collect in a home’s plumbing pipes and then increase the risk of clogs. This includes, for instance, cigarette butts, facial tissue, dental floss, hair, and certain food scraps.
  • Snaking out solid material causing clogs is not recommended! Improper use of a plumbing snake might only push solid materials deeper into plumbing pipes. A snake might also be ineffective against solidified grease and other such materials.
  • Over-the-counter drain cleaning materials are also ineffective at removing certain materials and breaking down solid waste. Their caustic chemicals also tend to corrode pipes, leading to leaks.
  • A professional plumbing contractor near you often uses a small camera on the end of a plumbing snake to determine the location and cause of clogs and backups before attempting to clear anything! This allows them to use the right tools and equipment and ensure they avoid damaging pipes while clearing clogs.
  • Preventative sewer and drain cleaning removes solid waste and other materials before they cause clogs. This service keeps pipes clean and clear and allows for proper draining, reducing the risk of clogs and backups.
  • A plumber offering preventative drain cleaning also typically inspects the home’s plumbing pipes with specialty equipment, looking for leaks, corroded connectors, pipes pulling away from connectors, cracked pipes, and the like. This allows a homeowner to schedule timely repairs before damage gets worse!

Signs of Plumbing Leaks and Damage in a Home

While preventative drain cleaning is an excellent way to avoid plumbing leaks in the home, they do still happen on occasion! When left unchecked, plumbing leaks risk mold growth, damaged wood framing and other building materials, and rusted pipes. A leak also wastes water!

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  • If you notice any odd sounds coming from behind your home’s walls or along the ceiling, don’t ignore those noises or assume it’s normal for an older home. Those sounds might be caused by dripping and water along the home’s plumbing pipes.
  • Leaks also allow air into the home’s plumbing pipes. That air might cause those pipes to bang around when water runs or might create a gurgling sound.
  • Since plumbing leaks waste water, you might also note any sudden increase in your home’s utility bills. If you haven’t faced a water cost rate hike, haven’t invested in a new appliance that uses more water, or have any other explanation for those increased costs, have the home checked for potential plumbing leaks.
  • A plumbing leak also allows water to drip out of a pipe or connector; in turn, you might notice low water pressure in showers and taps. When this happens, call a plumber near you to check for potential leaks.
  • Persistent clogs might also indicate a plumbing leak. Water moves solid material through plumbing pipes; when water leaks out a corroded connector or broken pipe, solid material builds up, leading to clogs. If your home’s toilets or drains are always clogging, call a plumber to check for leaks.
  • Cracked and otherwise damaged pipes allow dirt and other sediment to get into those pipes. You might then notice dirty, cloudy, or unpleasant tasting water in the home. Don’t simply assume you need a water filter or softener but call a plumber to check for leaks and damaged pipes when you notice dirty water in the home.

How Do You Find a Good Plumber?

No doubt one reason homeowners tend to put off needed plumbing repairs and maintenance is that they’re afraid of “being taken,” meaning charged for unnecessary services or services the plumber didn’t actually perform, being overcharged, and the like. While it’s good to take your time in finding a reliable plumber, note that the vast majority of plumbing contractors typically conduct themselves honestly with customers, so you shouldn’t avoid scheduling their services altogether.

One excellent way to find a reliable plumbing contractor near you is to check their online reviews and comments from past customers. While a random negative review isn’t necessarily a red flag, avoid companies with a very low rating or lots of mixed reviews. Also, read what reviewers say and especially if they note that the plumber didn’t seem to fix the problem, didn’t seem to perform a thorough inspection before starting work, or was otherwise unprofessional and unreliable.

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It’s also good to choose a plumbing company that specializes in plumbing work rather than a general contractor or home repairperson. Proper clog clearing and drain cleaning requires skill and expertise as well as experience with the right tools and equipment. General contractors who only provide plumbing repairs on occasion might not have the same experience as true plumbing professionals.

In the same way, opt for a plumbing company near you that offers a variety of services, not just clog clearing. If a plumbing contractor is thoroughly experienced and trained in plumbing repairs, he or she should be able to install kitchen sinks, plumb a room for a new bathtub, and other such services! The more skilled a plumber, the more services they offer, so choose one who does more than just basic plumbing installation and repair work.

Why Avoid Homemade Drain Cleaners for Clogs

Spend any amount of time online and you’ll see a number of suggested ideas for homemade drain cleaning products and solutions, including vinegar and baking soda, dish soap and hot water, and many more. Despite any online recommendations, however, it’s best to avoid homemade drain cleaning products!

One reason for calling a plumber to clear clogs is that those products are often ineffective at removing layers of grease and small items that cause clogs; instead, they only add another layer of material to that solid waste! Your plumbing contractor might then need to do even more work to clean a home’s drains and remove plumbing clogs.

Some homemade drain cleaning solutions such as vinegar and baking soda might also bring some solid materials and water back to the surface of a drain, or cause clogged toilets to overflow. Plumbing messes are not just unpleasant to clean up; they’re often dangerously full of germs, bacteria, and other harmful sediment. Trying to clean that plumbing mess can actually spread it around or cause some sediment to become airborne so that it becomes even more dangerous to you and your family.

It’s also vital to remember that clogs put pressure on pipes and connectors, often leading to leaks. The longer you wait before calling a plumbing professional, the more likely it is that your home’s clogs are causing water leaks and resultant mold growth and other such damage. Rather than risk that, call a plumber for needed drain cleaning and clog removal!

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