Is DIY Drain Cleaning the Way to Go

April 11th, 2021 | Plumbing, Drain Cleaning

Imagine you’re washing dishes and your ring falls down the drain, or your toilet gets clogged with small toys, a whole roll of toilet paper, and who knows what else (you definitely do NOT want to know). We’ve all been in these situations or ones just like them and thought to ourselves, “Maybe I can fix it myself.”

Many plumbing fixes seem simple, especially with tools and chemicals available at your local hardware store. Whether you’ve watched a YouTube video on how to fix a faucet or gotten bad advice from a buddy who fixed his sink, we’re here to tell you that DIY drain cleaning is very rarely a good idea.

Why Do You Need Drain Cleaning?

Drain pipes need enough space for water to flow freely from one area to the next. There are lots of things that can clog your drains, including hair, soap, grease, food particles, paper, sediment, and rust. Pipes that need to be cleaned often exhibit slow-moving or standing water due to partial blockages. They can even come to a complete standstill for a full blockage. 

Other indicators you need drain cleaning include:

  • Strange gurgling sounds
  • Bad odors
  • Frequent clogs
  • Overflowing toilets
  • Fruit flies

You may not always see a partial blockage in your drain when there is a problem. In fact, most drainage problems happen deep in your plumbing system — and are best handled by experts. 

DIY Cleaning vs. Professional Cleaning

If that’s still not enough to convince you to call Tom Moffett Plumbing for your Orange County plumbing needs, these factors will. Here’s just a partial list of what can go wrong — and why a pro is the way to go.


“These pipe fittings don’t look that complicated” could be your last words before your floors are covered with leaking water. Although it may look simple, your pipes are a carefully planned system designed to work in a particular way. Our plumbers use sophisticated tools to get the job done, which helps them avoid disturbing the system and means your pipes are less likely to disconnect or leak. Additionally, our team knows the suitable types of fittings and sealants for each job and can prevent any water seepage from happening at any point in the project. 

Over-tightening can also be a problem for inexperienced DIY plumbers. When a valve or fitting is too tight, the pipe it’s connected to will experience a heavier force of water, which can lead to the pipe weakening over time. A drain cleaning may save you from spending much more money down the road.

Damaged Pipes

There are times when store-bought liquid drain cleaner is an acceptable option for drain cleaning. However, too many of these chemicals can weaken and damage your pipes. They can also loosen the clog only to push it further into your lines and out of reach to anyone other than your plumber. These products are for occasional use on slow-draining pipes only and shouldn’t be used frequently or to clear standing water. 

Time and Money

Many people DIY their drain cleaning to save money but end up spending much more on tools, cleaners, and liquid drain-cleaning products, not to mention their precious time. With professional pipe cleaning, your initial cost will be higher, but you’ll spend less time on hardware runs and fighting with your pipes. Plus, the peace of mind that the job is done and done right is worth every penny. A Saturday well-spent leads to a week of content — and for DIY drain cleaners, the day isn’t well spent under a clogged sink.

No Room for Error

Your pipes connect every fixture in your home that uses water, from your toilets and shower to your kitchen sink and refrigerator. Just like a clog in your main line could affect your shower drain — even though they are several rooms apart — an error in your DIY pipe cleaning can wreak havoc on your entire plumbing system.

There’s not much room for error when it comes to plumbing — that’s just one of the reasons our plumbers are required to have years of experience, certifications, and licensure. The Tom Moffett Plumbing team encourages professional development to stay up-to-date on tools and techniques so we can continue to provide exceptional, error-free service. 

When it comes to pipe cleaning, we’ll leave you with these words of advice: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Stick with professional help when it comes to your plumbing system to ensure your family’s home continues to flow smoothly!

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.