Once you confront a household drain that won’t clear with a common plunger, it may be time to seek professional drain cleaning from a qualified plumber. The fact is, other DIY options all have potential drawbacks, and may, at the least, only delay seeking the trained expertise required to open the drain. In the worst case scenario, do-it-yourself attempts may damage plumbing and cause added repair expense. Here are three common DIY strategies that may only make things worse:

Over-Reliance On Caustic Chemicals

Residential plumbing isn’t fabricated to withstand the effects of sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid—the two most common chemical drain openers. These substances are formulated to dissolve organic clogs; however, repeated use can also deteriorate galvanized steel, copper, and PVC, the most common drain pipes in residential use. The worse the clog, the more likely it is that chemical drain cleaners will damage your pipes. Since there’s no water flow through a totally obstructed drain to dilute the chemical, the pipe is subjected to concentrated exposure to any caustic substance poured down the drain.

Damaging Power Snakes

It happens when inexperienced do-it-yourselfers rent power snakes to unclog drains. These industrial-strength units put a great deal of stress on aging residential pipes or joints, and in untrained hands, may actually rupture drain lines. Instead of resorting to the heavy-duty snake, a qualified professional plumber dealing with a clogged residential pipe may opt instead for hydro-jetting equipment that uses high-pressure water jets to clear clogged drains without traumatizing the plumbing.

Mistaken Diagnosis

Water accumulating in a tub or sink may not actually be the result of a clogged drain pipe that you can clear yourself. An obstructed sewer line out in your front yard may cause drain water from elsewhere in the home to back up into other fixtures. All the plunging, snaking, and drain cleaning chemicals in the world won’t open the drain, because the problem’s in your sewer.

Avoid the downsides of DIY approaches by contacting Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for professional drain cleaning.