Category: Plumbing

Why You Shouldn’t Use Liquid Plumbing Cleaners

Plumbing is the system of pipes, drains, fittings, and fixtures that distribute potable water and remove waste from residential and commercial buildings. It’s a critical part of every building, as it ensures safe and reliable sanitation.


When a home’s drain becomes blocked, it may be time to call a plumber. However, before doing so, homeowners can try a few simple DIY solutions. Visit to learn more.

Liquid drain cleaners are cheap, easy to use and provide a temporary fix for minor drain clogs. However, their harsh chemicals can corrode pipes over time, leading to more serious issues down the road. Here are a few reasons to reconsider using liquid drain cleaners.

Caustic Drain Cleaners

Caustic drain cleaners are composed of highly diluted hydrochloric acid, which is often used in industrial cleaning products and can damage your pipes. These cleaners work by creating a chemical reaction with the materials in your pipes that cause them to dissolve and melt away. The problem is that this chemical reaction also releases heat, which can warp or melt plastic pipes and cause metal ones to expand and bulge.

Another issue with caustic drain cleaners is that they can be toxic to your family, pets and the environment. These cleaners often release strong odors that can irritate your nose, eyes and lungs. In addition, if these chemicals seep into groundwater or soil, they can be harmful to plants and animals that drink or come into contact with it.

Oxidizing Drain Cleaners

Another type of liquid drain cleaner is an oxidizing solution that uses bleach, nitrates and peroxides to clear away organic blockages like hair, soap scum, grease and toilet paper. These cleaners are usually heavier than water, meaning they will move through standing water to reach the clog site and oxidize it. Once the clog is exposed to oxygen, it will break down and be deposited in the sewer system to be removed by the local sanitation company.

Acidic Drain Cleaners

More than just lye, acidic drain cleaners use sulfuric or hydrochloric acid to create a chemical reaction that eats away at the material in your pipes and dissolves it. This process can generate a lot of heat, which can cause polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes to melt or warp. It can also damage older, metal pipes that have deteriorated over time.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners work by creating a chemical reaction with the clog to dissolve it. They typically come in liquid or gel form and are poured down the drain. Caustic chemical cleaners, which are made of strong bases like lye, have the ability to break up a wide range of organic materials including hair, soap scum, and grease. They also work well on clogs that occur near the drain opening. However, these products are not effective for clogs that are further down the pipe.

Acidic cleaners, which are made of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, are the harshest chemicals on the market. These products create a chemical reaction that transfers electrons to the clog, breaking it apart and dissolving it. They are usually only used in extreme situations because they can damage pipes and cause corrosion. They also generate a lot of heat during the chemical reaction which can melt or warp plastic pipes and can even burn or crack metal ones.

All chemical drain cleaners release a lot of harmful fumes during the cleaning process. These fumes can irritate the skin, eyes, and nose. They can also be very dangerous to breathe if the area is not properly ventilated. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products and to wear gloves, a face mask, and protective eyewear when working with them.

While chemical cleaners can be effective in certain situations, they are not good for the environment and can actually do more harm than good. They can release toxins into the water supply, which can kill organisms and make it unsafe for humans to drink. They can also cause erosion of the pipes and be damaging to the surrounding environment.

There are several natural alternatives to chemical drain cleaners that can be just as effective. One of our favorites is Green Gobbler, which uses a blend of natural bacteria and enzymes to digest organic waste. It’s safe for the pipes and the environment, and it works well on a variety of clogs including hair, grease, and soap scum. You can find it online or at many home improvement stores.

Hydro-Jet Drain Cleaning

If you have a serious clog that’s not easily solved with drain snakes or chemical cleaners, it may be time to call in the heavy artillery—a professional plumber with a hydro jetting machine. This highly effective technique scours pipes thoroughly to completely clear away stubborn blockages.

Before attacking a clog with a hydro jetting machine, the plumber inserts a camera into the line to locate the clog and assess its severity. He then attaches a nozzle to the end of the heavy-duty water hose, which has multiple holes facing in different directions and generates powerful water streams that can blast through even the thickest clogs.

The plumber adjusts the force of the nozzle and the type of spray pattern for maximum effectiveness on the specific type of clog. For example, he might use a nozzle with more forward force to break up grease or hair clogs, then switch to a wider back spray to dislodge and remove tree roots. In some cases, the plumber might need to repeat this process a few times to fully clean out the pipe.

Another advantage of hydro jetting is that it can eliminate clogs without damaging pipes, unlike some other drain cleaning methods. When performed correctly by a trained professional, this technique is safe for most piping materials, including PVC and cast iron. However, this method can cause damage if it’s used improperly or on older, smaller-sized piping systems.

One of the biggest reasons to call in a plumber for hydro jetting is to deal with a sewer line clog that’s causing sewage backup into your home or business. A severe clog in the sewer line is not only an unpleasant problem to have, but it can also lead to toxic black mold and other health concerns for your family or employees.

For this reason, you should always have a professional inspect your sewer lines on a regular basis to ensure they are functioning properly. By scheduling routine hydro jetting services, you can prevent the buildup of unhealthy substances and keep your piping in good condition for years to come.

Ongoing Drain Cleaning Maintenance

The best way to keep drains working properly is to have them cleaned regularly. This will prevent the accumulation of materials that can lead to clogs or worse, full-blown disasters like sewage backup and flooding. It will also help prevent costly repairs and replacements for plumbing pipes that can result from the build-up of materials.

It’s important to have your drains professionally cleaned if you notice any of the following signs:

Foul Odors: Foul smells coming from sinks, showers, or toilets are an indication that a blockage or serious problem is present in your home’s plumbing system. A clogged drain is filled with bacteria and organic matter that can be harmful to your family’s health.

Gurgling Noises: When water or sewage is flowing into your home’s drains, it causes a loud and unpleasant gurgling sound that can be difficult to ignore. It’s an indicator that the drains or pipes are blocked and that a professional plumber is needed immediately.

Slow Drains: If your bathroom or kitchen drains take a long time to empty, it’s likely due to a clog or serious problem. A professional plumber can use a variety of tools to clear the clog quickly and effectively.

Clogged Pipes: A clogged pipe can lead to severe water damage in your home and may even cause the entire sewer line to collapse. It’s important to call a plumbing expert for emergency services as soon as possible to resolve the issue and protect your property.

Regular drain cleaning prevents clogs and ensures that water can flow freely through your plumbing system, keeping it sanitary, functional, and safe. It’s also less expensive than repairing or replacing plumbing pipes that have been damaged by a clog.

What Does a Plumber Do? Exploring the Key Responsibilities and Tasks

Plumbers Near Me install, maintain, and troubleshoot piping systems that supply water, gas, and sewage in residential and commercial settings. They also collaborate with architects and construction teams to ensure plumbing is integrated into building projects and meet all required standards and regulations.


Plumbers must have strong customer service skills to listen to customers’ concerns and recommend the best solutions. They must also have excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities.

When water backflow occurs in plumbing, it can contaminate the water supply. This can occur when a backward pressure change causes dirty or used water to siphon into the clean water lines, or when contaminated water is pushed into the clean water lines because of back-pressure from a water utilizing fixture like a toilet tank fill valve (anti-siphon). Backflow prevention devices prevent this by keeping water flowing in the right direction and protecting against these problems.

These devices are required in many homes and businesses, especially those that get their water from wells or public water systems. They protect the water supply from contamination or pollution, and they prevent dangerous chemicals and toxins from being back-siphoned into the water system. Backflow prevention devices are also important for commercial properties that use large amounts of water, such as restaurants and office buildings.

There are many different types of backflow prevention devices, and the best one for your home depends on the type of plumbing you have and how you use it. The simplest device is an air gap, which simply creates a physical separation between the potable water supply pipe and the vessel it connects to. This is the most common backflow prevention device, and it is easy to install.

Another option is a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB). These devices are spring operated and will shoot air into the pipeline to break the vacuum created by backflow, which can carry contaminated water. They’re the most effective backflow prevention device, and they can be installed directly on the water main for optimal usage.

Another type of backflow prevention device is a reduced pressure zone assembly (RPZ). These are the most complex and expensive backflow prevention devices, and they’re typically found in places where backflow is more likely to occur, such as commercial or industrial buildings. They consist of multiple components, including an inlet shutoff valve, two independently operating spring-loaded check valves separated by a pressure differential relief valve, four test cocks, and an outlet shutoff valve. This type of backflow prevention device is typically installed by a professional plumber to ensure that it’s working properly.


Whether they install, repair, or replace backflow prevention devices, plumbers must also test them on a regular basis. This ensures that the device is working correctly, that there are no pressure differentials, and that the clean water supply is safe from contaminants like untreated sewage or chemicals.

Testing a backflow preventer involves shutting off your water and using a special tester to look for signs of backflow. Depending on your location, you may need to do this annually or bi-annually. If you do need to get your backflow tested, call a plumber who specializes in this service. Backflow tests are expensive, and they require a lot of specialized equipment to perform.

The plumber will begin the process by shutting off your water supply. They will then open and close the valves on your backflow preventer, while watching for changes in gauge movement and checking that air ports open when they’re supposed to. If a valve fails to activate, it must be replaced. The test is complete after the plumber has documented your results and has filed them with the city.

This type of plumbing service is required for businesses on a yearly basis, and it’s strongly recommended for homes as well. The main reason is that backflow can occur at cross-connections, which means that contaminated water can be back-siphoned into clean water lines. This contaminant could be anything from human waste to chemicals, which can be harmful to the health of your family or employees. Backflow testing helps to ensure that this does not happen, and plumbers are trained to know how to test your backflow device properly. This can include temporarily disconnecting your water service, ensuring that all of the test points are working, and filing the appropriate paperwork with the local government.


Plumbers install the piping and fixtures that allow water to flow through a building. They follow blueprints and building codes when installing new plumbing systems, including water heaters, toilets, showers, faucets, and sinks. They may also be responsible for installing sprinkler and irrigation systems. Plumbers can also be called upon to repair existing plumbing fixtures, such as leaky or broken pipes or water and sewage appliances.

Most plumbers work on residential plumbing systems, though some are experienced in working with commercial and industrial plumbing systems. The plumbing systems in these larger buildings often have more complex plumbing components than those in residences, so it takes a more skilled and knowledgeable plumber to work on them.

One of the most important skills a plumber needs is attention to detail. This allows them to identify the source of a problem, find a suitable solution, and repair the issue correctly. It also ensures that the customer is satisfied with the work done and doesn’t have any further issues down the line.

Other essential skills for plumbers include critical thinking and the ability to weigh options before making a decision. They must be able to make informed choices about the tools and equipment they use, as well as how to best approach each job. For example, if a pipe is cracked or corroded, they need to know whether it can be repaired with a simple patch or if it will require a more involved replacement.

Plumbing jobs can be dangerous, especially when working with sewage and other hazardous materials. Plumbers are frequently exposed to toxic chemicals and abrasive materials, as well as being at risk of injury or death from falling or getting caught in machinery. The nature of the work also requires a certain level of physical strength and stamina, as plumbers must be able to lift heavy objects and navigate cramped spaces.

Many plumbers enjoy the freedom of being self-employed, as they are able to set their own schedule and choose which projects to take on. However, this type of work can be stressful as it is often on-call and prone to unforeseen circumstances. It also involves constant learning and keeping up with new technologies and techniques.


As a plumber, you must be prepared to tackle a variety of tasks. The right tools can help you complete jobs efficiently and safely, saving you time and money.

One of the most important tools for any plumber is a pipe camera. These devices allow plumbers to see inside pipes and identify problems like clogs or leaks. This can help prevent costly repairs in the future and keep customers happy.

Another essential tool is a tubing cutter. This allows plumbers to cut clean, precise lines in a variety of materials, including copper and plastic. This helps ensure that the new lines will fit properly at their points of connection and avoid leaks. Plumbers also use tubing cutters when they’re replacing old or damaged piping.

Plumbers use a variety of wrenches to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts on pipes. Some of these include offset wrenches, which have a bent handle for accessing tight spaces, and tongue-and-groove wrenches that can grip various shapes and sizes of nuts. Plumbers also use pliers to grab small nuts and bolts that their wrenches can’t reach.

Other important maintenance plumbing tools for plumbers include pipe cutters, a plumber’s torch, and a soldering iron. These tools allow plumbers to repair and replace a variety of items, including toilets, faucets, sinks, and appliances. They can also use these tools to create water-tight seals on joints. Plumbers also use caulk to repair and seal gaps around bathtubs, sinks, showers, and toilet bases.

Protective eyewear is another must-have for plumbers. These tools protect the eyes from hazardous materials, such as chemicals, and can help prevent eye injuries during a job. Some types of protective eyewear include goggles, a face mask, and a pair of safety glasses.