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Categories: Drains & Sewers

What’s the Difference Between Drain Cleaning & Drain Clearing?

The Quick Answer: DrainVision!

You’ve probably never given a lot of thought to cleaning your drains. With water running through your drains regularly, why would they need to be cleaned?

Keep in mind that water isn’t the only thing running through your drains. Grease, garbage, hair, and more run through them as well. Without going into details, there are many other “things” that run through your drains.

So, how do you know if it’s time for a professional drain cleaning? And, how do you know whether your drains need to be cleaned or cleared? — because there’s a difference.

photo of clogged pipe in home's basement Drain clearing would typically be done for something that happened suddenly. For example, your drain suddenly won’t drain, but it was working fine the night before. This would indicate a clog — something in the drain that shouldn’t be there or got stuck and is now not letting water flow through as it should.

There are many drains and drain lines throughout your home that all eventually tie into a main line that carries all the waste from the home out to the city sewer system or a septic tank. There are subtle issues you may have noticed along the way, but never really thought about.

Some examples of subtle issues include:

  • Water draining slowly from your kitchen and/or bathroom sinks
  • Gurgling noises coming from your toilet, tub/shower, or sink drains – especially when they’re not being used but water is being used and draining somewhere else in the home
  • Unpleasant odors coming from your drains
  • Fruit flies suddenly appearing around your drains
  • Needing to more frequently use commercial drain cleaners or clog dissolvers

These are all signs of drains that need to be cleaned. However, if these things are happening in more than one drain simultaneously, it could indicate a bigger problem, such as a clogged sewer line, and that should require clearing first, and cleaning second.

Once the drain is cleared and flow has been restored to the drain line, a camera can be inserted into the line to inspect what’s actually causing the drain backup, what needs to be done to clean the drain line, and to ensure the drain line is cleaned to prevent the clog returning. A camera-assisted inspection can diagnose the problem and ensure what needs to be done. 

A camera-assisted inspection of the main line is like performing a colonoscopy of your drain line. We call it DrainVision. Rather than just puncturing a hole in the clog and providing a band-aid fix to a backup in the main line, we use DrainVision to ensure we cleaned your main line and not just cleared it. This is why we have cameras on all our trucks and can provide DrainVision every time there’s an issue with your main line.

The DrainVision process is where we use camera-assisted equipment once we restore flow to the drain and verify that they’re clean. We can use DrainVision to check the main line before you buy a new home to ensure sewage isn’t going to back up into the home shortly after moving in as we have seen many times. Our cameras can ensure we’ve cleared everything in your drain lines by diagnosing issues you may not realize you had.

We once had a customer who called back at 10 p.m. to say he was sorry he went with another national company because he thought they were much cheaper. In reality, they were more expensive because he had to pay for their camera tech to come out at another time to see what the problem may have been caused by and if what was done was thorough enough.

He said it was a little more than our charge, but the real issue was having to take more time to be there for a second appointment. We understand everyone’s most important commodity is their time, and we do everything we can to respect that. That’s why we have a camera on all our trucks. If you want your line cleaned rather than cleared, we take care of it all right then and there.

Watch Our Video To Learn More About DrainVision

Call Three Way Plumbing at (704)-795-9349. We’re happy to help you explore your options!

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