Drain Cleaning vs. Drain Clearing | Winters® Home Services

July 19, 2021

When something goes wrong and one of your drains backs up, there’s a good chance you will want to call a professional plumber to have the issue fixed. We wouldn’t blame you—getting rid of a clog can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it the proper way, and many of the supposedly “easy” solutions you might find at your local home improvement store are actually anything but ideal. In fact, some can actually make your predicament worse by damaging your drain line and causing leaks that are even more expensive and difficult to fix!

When it comes to clogs, plumbers will generally have two different options: drain cleaning and drain clearing. While the two sound almost identical and many times are used interchangeably, there is a critical difference between the two that you absolutely should know.

What Is Drain Clearing?

When you have a blocked drain in your home, the process of removing the blockage and freeing the line again is known as “drain clearing.” In essence, it means that you are clearing the path for water and waste to reach your sewer line so it can be carried away. Drain clearing is performed by a number of different methods, including snaking, plumbing augers, claws, and more. The actual method used for removing an obstruction will vary based on where the blockage is, what it is made of, and the size of the drain itself.

However, this is the extent of your drain clearing service. Once the blockage is removed, your drain has been cleared and the job is done. For many people, you might assume this means the job is finished and you are free to use your drains again. However, this is typically only half of the job. While you might have a moving and freely-flowing drain again, the problem with a blockage is that they usually come back fairly soon because parts of the blockage remain behind inside the drain line. Before long, the remaining bits of the blockage become a starting point for the clog to re-form. Whether it’s over the course of a few weeks or even several months, you’ll find yourself dealing with the same drain being slow again.

What Is Drain Cleaning?

Drain cleaning is the second step in a comprehensive drain treatment process, and something that you shouldn’t forego or ignore to make sure your drains really are free and clear. Once your obstruction has been removed with a drain clearing process, drain cleaning is the process of going into the line and removing the grime, residue, and leftover bits of the blockage from the interior walls of your drain. By knocking all of this nasty scale and debris out of your drain line, new debris that goes down your drain will have a much harder time finding something to stick to. When it can’t stick to anything, it can’t hold and form a clog, and when it can’t form a clog, you’ll be able to continue to use your drain normally for the foreseeable future.

Drain cleaning is typically done with a modern tool known as a jetting machine. While different machines have different features, the principle is essentially the same: they use a jet of water under high pressure to blast the debris off of the inside of your plumbing line so it can be easily removed. This process is fast, effective, totally safe, and can completely remove a wide variety of different types of debris from your line, thus preventing nearly all clogs from returning.

Maintaining Cleaner Drains

Now that your drains have been thoroughly cleaned, how can you prevent the clogging issues you were facing from coming back? The answer is a simple one: by being aware of what you put down your drains and actively avoiding putting anything potentially harmful down the drain as well. For kitchens, this means not dumping bacon grease and other fats or oils down the drain, but instead putting it into a can to let it cool and solidify before throwing it in the trash. For your bathroom, this might mean putting a hair strainer over your shower or bathtub drain in order to prevent large hairballs from forming that clog this all-important drain. These simple preventative measures can do wonders when it comes to helping you avoid the need for a plumber for yet another nasty drain clog.

Got a problem with a drain? Call the team at Winters® Home Services at 617-221-5899 today and let our drain experts take care of the problem right away!