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blocked drain

The Do's and Don'ts of Clearing Blocked Drains

2 Fixes and 1 Warning for Opening Clogged Drain Lines

Every homeowner has or will experience the shock of a clogged drain. While there are many ways to mitigate this issue, and sometimes it is preventable, sometimes a problem of this magnitude cannot be anticipated. Drain clogs, whether in the kitchen, the bathroom, or in outdoor plumbing, can cause a major disruption in a family’s busy schedule, and everyone wants a quicker than a quick fix.

There are many different products that promise to open drains in the blink of an eye, but the hype should not fool the savvy homeowner. Using the wrong thing can cause nasty consequences for the drain pipes in question and cost the customer more money.

Do: Use a Pipe Snakesnaking

A pipe snake, or routing tool, is a good choice for the everyday clogs that may plague a household. Essentially this tool uses a long, flexible metal cable to go down the drainpipe and physically break up the clog with a spinning action. The clog is removed either by being broken up or by being caught and pulled back out by the tool’s head.


  • Ease of Access: Snakes are readily available. They can be powered by a manual crank or by electricity. They can be rented for homeowners to use for a DIY drain cleaning, but it must be mentioned that heavy-duty clogs may call for a professional’s expertise.
  • Little or no damage to pipes: While the physical movement of the snake may cause minor scratches on the pipes, its destructive power is focused on the clogs, not on the whole area.
  • Ideal for Encroaching roots: In their unending search for water, roots of plants and trees sometimes find their way into small imperfections in drainage pipes and create a natural mesh that catches passing detritus and creates a clog. The pipe snake is the perfect tool for shredding these organic invaders.

hydro-jettingDo: Use Hydro-Jetting

What is really supposed to be in drainage pipes? Water is the primary thing that should be in a drainage system. The beauty of the plumbing technique called hydro-jetting is that it uses the water itself as a tool to destroy the most stubborn clogs. Hydro-jetting flushes the clogs by bombarding them with a high-pressure stream of water and blocks the pipe to prevent backflow.


  • Best for Pipes: Because the main ingredient in this formula is water, and pipes are made to carry water even at high pressure, there is almost no chance of damage using this method.
  • Simple and Effective: When managed by a professional plumbing technician, this method provides quick results, as though the inside of the drainage system were being power washed.

Don’t: Use Chemicals (Liquid Drain Openers)

When a clog happens, the homeowner is often tempted to take matters into their own hands and simply run to the local hardware or department store to purchase one of the many drain opening chemicals that are on hand. While these chemicals do sometimes break up clogs, they should not be used. The chemicals that target the clog can also result in damage to the pipe that holds the clog. This can lead to weakness in the pipe that may cause a major plumbing issue in the future.

About Henco Plumbing Services

Henco Plumbing Services has been providing award-winning services and highly-trained technicians for nearly a decade. Financing is available, so call Henco Plumbing Services for plumbing service in Ridgefield, WA.