You try to take a shower, and end up ankle-deep in murky water. You brush your teeth, and the sink doesn’t drain. We’ve all been there. There’s nothing pleasant regarding a clogged drain or blocked pipe. Fortunately, there are a number of drain cleaning solutions that will have things running smoothly again very quickly. How do you know whether to tackle the problem yourself or to call your local plumber in? Here are some guidelines to help you make the decision.
Taking the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages can be resolved at home, using several DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages that are located relatively near the top of the drain. If you know precisely what is blocking your drain, or you want to try a quick fix before calling a professional, these options could be for you.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. The first thing that many individuals do when dealing with a clogged drain is take the drain cleaner. There are a variety of drain cleaners on the market that use corrosive chemicals to power through soft clogs near the surface of the drain. These cleaners typically can be found in liquid form and contain highly concentrated bleach, lye, or potassium hydroxide. Some drain cleaners contain two components which are mixed when poured into the drain, creating a gas that is trapped within the plumbing with a thick foam. The foam was created to coat the insides from the drain pipe, taking out the substance causing the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be extremely convenient and simple to use. The majority of them just need you to pour them to the clogged drain, wait awhile, and after that rinse with tepid water. The down-side to chemical drain cleaners is because they are generally ineffective on more challenging clogs, or on blockages that occur further down the sewer line. The corrosive nature of these products also makes them potentially dangerous should they come into exposure to your skin layer, eyes, or even lungs if you inadvertently inhale their fumes. If you opt to use a chemical drain cleaner, be certain to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to avoid injury.
The Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) option to chemical drain cleaners comes from combining ingredients you likely have in your kitchen. Remember building volcanoes for the school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to make an “eruption?” This method builds on that same principle. First, pour about 3/4 of a cupful of dry baking soda down the sink. Then, pour about 1/2 a cup of vinegar down the sink. White wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar work great, but any type will do. As soon as you pour the vinegar down the sink, you’ll want to cover the drain opening having a rag or some kind of drain plug. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda may cause a chemical reaction, making a foam which will rise up from the drain (just like the volcano!). Covering the drain will keep as much from the foam in the pipe as is possible, where it can unleash its cleaning power. Enable the foam do its thing for about half an hour, then flush it thoroughly by pouring very hot water down the drain. It might take multiple applications, but this method often leaves your drain clean and flowing smoothly. Using baking soda and vinegar is great when you really need a drain cleaning solution on the fly, or if you are looking for any natural substitute for corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. Another DIY solution requires a little bit more work from you, but is well-worth it in case you are up against a sizable hair clog, or some foreign material caught in your sink drain. The first thing you’ll might like to do is obvious out your area beneath the sink. Then, place a bucket (use a pot in a pinch) under the sink pipes to trap any water or any other debris that may fall from the sink trap. Use pliers to loosen the metal slip nuts, then finish removing them manually. If you’ve got a plastic trap, it is possible to usually skip the pliers, and just turn the slip nuts manually. You may use your hands to knock any blockage from inside the “elbow” of the trap in your bucket. In the event the clog is higher up close to the drain (as is truly the case with hair clogs in bathroom sinks), it is possible to straighten a wire hanger and use that to drag the clog down with the pipe. Once the blockage is apparent, just place the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Get rid of the water and debris in your bucket (do NOT pour it back down the drain!), and voila–just like new!
When to Contact the advantages. There are several times when it is just better to leave the plumbing repair work to the pros. Examples of professional draining cleaning jobs include if you have:
* Recurring or persistent clogs that don’t react to DIY treatment
* Thick grease blockages
* Clogged sewer pipes
* Invasive root growth
Master plumbers as well as other professionals gain access to several tools made particularly for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, like those containing sulfuric acid, can be extremely dangerous when utilized by someone apart from a certified professional. Other professional tools, like those used for hydrojetting, are way too expensive to be practical for anybody besides a master plumber. Using the right tools as well as their extensive training, your plumber can effectively tgjofu your drains of including the toughest blockages.
In case you have tried to attack a difficult clog to no avail, it is probable that the blockage is in a place beyond the reach. With a bathtub drain, you might have to enter the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can even occur further on the water main, outside the house. A certified plumber has got the experience and knowledge to deal with complicated situations, making sure that your pipe send up back in the right places, avoiding further issues down the road. A master plumber can clear a drain and conduct additional troubleshooting to detect invasive root growth or other issues that you have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet as well as a blocked drain, you might like to call in a professional who can take care of everything at the same time.
The benefits of calling inside the Pros include:
* Expert knowledge and experience
* High-quality tools made to get the job done
* Ease of having another person do the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to prevent other issues
With regards to simple drain clogs, it is possible to resolve them on your own. For larger, more difficult jobs, don’t let the expense of getting a professional deter you. Many plumbing specialists offer reasonable rates for his or her services, and you also can’t put a cost on your personal safety and satisfaction. Resolving an issue such as a persistent leak can also save you on the water bill–savings which can be worth enlisting the aid of a specialist.