anytime plumbing
04 Jul

Drain Cleaning Vs. Drain Clearing: What is the Difference?

We’ve all been there; you’re in the middle of your daily routine when suddenly, your drain system starts making strange noises and backing up water. This is usually a sign of a clogged drain. The good news is that there are two effective methods for tackling this problem. Namely: Drain Cleaning and Drain Clearing. But what is the difference between these two methods? And which method is best for solving your problem?


  • Drain Clearing

Drain clearing is the process of removing blockages from your drains. This is often done with a plunger or a plumbing snake.

How to Tell You Need Drain Clearing Services

Sometimes, clogs can form slowly over time without any obvious signs that they need to be cleared. However, there are also certain warning signs that indicate it’s time to call in a professional plumber for drain clearing services. These may include:

  • Low water pressure in your sinks or showerheads
  • Repeated standing water after normal draining
  • Lurking odors around your home

Drain Cleaning

Unlike drain clearing, drain cleaning involves a more thorough cleaning of the entire drain system. Plumbers typically perform this service by using specialized tools and equipment to break away clogs and remove blockages. Depending on the nature of the drain, different solutions may be used to remove debris, including chemicals, high-pressure water jets, root action, etc.

How to Tell If Your Home Needs Drain Cleaning

There are a few signs that indicate you may need drain cleaning services, including:

  • Bad smells coming from drains
  • Pooled water around drains
  • Gurgling sounds coming from your drains
  • Toilets that won’t flush
  • Slow draining even when there is no visible obstruction

Differences Between Drain Clearing and Drain Cleaning

The Thoroughness of the Job

One of the main differences between drain clearing and drain cleaning is the thoroughness of the job. On the one hand, drain cleaning tends to be a more thorough process that involves the use of powerful chemicals or tools to scrape out debris, gunk, and sludge from the drain. By contrast, drain clearing only focuses on the clogs or obstructions that are preventing water from flowing freely.

How Often Each Process Should Be Performed

Generally speaking, drain cleaning is preventive maintenance, while drain clearing is reactive maintenance. That means that drain cleaning should be done regularly to prevent clogs and other blockages from forming in the first place. In contrast, drain cleaning should be performed when a blockage has already formed inside the pipe, usually due to excessive build-up of debris or waste material over time.


While both methods are designed to remove blockages and restore good flow to your drains, cleaning is generally a more effective option. This is because it involves the use of chemicals and powerful tools to detach obstructions from the pipes, whereas clearing relies mainly on manual removal of the blockage. In addition, drain cleaning also helps remove any build-up of debris or waste material that could potentially cause problems in the future. So if you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to restore smooth drainage in your home or business, choose drain cleaning over drain clearing.

However, despite their differences, both drain cleaning and drain clearing are important for maintaining a healthy plumbing system. So be sure to keep both procedures in mind when it comes time to take care of your drains!

Anytime Plumbing

Anytime Plumbing is here to help you keep your drains flowing freely! Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Amer Zaghlouleh is the owner of Anytime Plumbing Inc., a trusted plumbing company serving Santa Cruz County. With a focus on delivering quality work and reliable service, Amer has established himself as a respected professional in the industry. He believes in providing honest and trustworthy plumbing solutions to every customer, ensuring their satisfaction and peace of mind. With years of experience and a commitment to staying updated with the latest technical advances, Amer and his team at Anytime Plumbing Inc. are fully equipped to handle any plumbing job with precision and efficiency. Trust in Amer's expertise and dedication for all your plumbing needs.