Although the two are commonly seen as synonymous, drain clearing and drain cleaning have two distinct meanings in the plumbing world.
- Quick fix for minor clog
- Only cleans the immediate clogged area
- Leaves remnants of clogs
- Uses tool called “snake”. Other common household tools like plungers and drain cleaner liquids actually fall under drain clearing
- Both drain clearing and drain cleaning should be performed by professionals. Using a plunger incorrectly can damage pipes and drain cleaner products can corrode and hurt your plumbing more than help.
- Long term, more rigorous solution for major clogs
- Uses professional drain machine, or a highly pressurized water jetter if drain machine isn’t enough to clean the affected area
- Prevents future buildup and extends the lifespan of your plumbing system
Despite their differences, both drain cleaning and clearing should be performed by professionals. Drain clearing should only be seen as a quick fix in preparation for longer term solutions like an annual drain cleaning, drain repair, or jetting. And remember – more money up front will likely pay off in the end by preventing more expensive emergencies down the road.