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 about a clogged drain or blocked pipe. Fortunately, there are a variety of drain cleaning solutions that will have things working well again right away. How do you know whether to tackle the issue yourself or to call your local plumber in? Here are some ideas to help you make the decision.
Taking the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages are easily resolved at home, using a number of DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages that are located relatively near to the top of the drain. Once you know what is blocking your drain, or you need to try a quick fix before calling a professional, these options might be for you.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. The very first thing many individuals do when confronted with a clogged drain is reach for the drain cleaner. There are a number of drain cleaners on the market which use corrosive chemicals to power through soft clogs near the top 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 that are mixed when poured into the drain, making a gas that is trapped in the plumbing by a thick foam. The foam is made to coat the insides of the drain pipe, removing the substance creating the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be quite convenient and easy to use. Most of them just require that you pour them in to the clogged drain, wait awhile, and after that rinse with tepid water. The down-side to chemical drain cleaners is they are generally ineffective on more challenging clogs, or on blockages that occur further along the sewer line. The corrosive nature of these products also makes them potentially dangerous if they enter into connection with your skin layer, eyes, as well as lungs should you inadvertently breathe in their fumes. If you choose to use a chemical drain cleaner, take care to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to prevent injury.
The Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) option to chemical drain cleaners comes from combining ingredients you likely already have inside your kitchen. Remember building volcanoes for your 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 cup of dry baking soda down the drain. 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. Once you pour the vinegar down the sink, you’ll wish to cover the drain opening having a rag or some kind of drain plug. The mix of vinegar and baking soda will cause a chemical reaction, making a foam which will rise up from the drain (much like the volcano!). Within the drain will keep the maximum amount of from the foam inside the pipe as you can, where it can unleash its cleaning power. Allow the foam do its thing for about 30 minutes, then flush it thoroughly by pouring very hot water down the sink. It may take multiple applications, but this process often leaves your drain neat and flowing smoothly. Using baking soda and vinegar is excellent when you want a drain cleaning solution on the fly, or if you are searching for any natural option to corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. One third DIY solution requires a little more work from you, but is well-worthwhile in case you are confronted with a big hair clog, or some foreign material caught inside your sink drain. One thing you’ll might like to do is obvious out your area beneath the sink. Then, place a bucket (you can 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, and after that finish removing them manually. If you’ve got a plastic trap, you can usually skip the pliers, and simply turn the slip nuts manually. You can utilize the hands to knock any blockage from in the “elbow” from the trap in your bucket. If the clog is higher up close to the drain (as is usually the case with hair clogs in bathroom sinks), you can straighten a wire hanger and utilize that to drag the clog down with the pipe. When the blockage is obvious, 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 sink!), and voila–as effective as new!
When you should Contact the Pros. There are a few times when it is just preferable to leave the plumbing repair work to the experts. Samples of professional draining cleaning jobs include once you have:
* Recurring or persistent clogs that don’t respond to DIY treatment
* Thick grease blockages
* Clogged sewer pipes
* Invasive root growth
Master plumbers along with other professionals gain access to numerous tools made specifically for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, such as those containing sulfuric acid, can be extremely dangerous when utilized by someone other than a licensed professional. Other professional tools, like those employed for hydrojetting, are much too expensive to be practical for anybody other than a master plumber. With the right tools as well as their extensive training, your plumber can effectively tgjofu your drains of even toughest blockages.
In case you have tried to attack a hard clog with no success, it really is probable that the blockage is in a place beyond the reach. With a bathtub drain, you might have to go into the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can also occur further down the water main, away from house. A certified plumber provides the knowledge and experience to take care of complicated situations, being sure that all your pipe send up during the right places, avoiding further issues down the line. A master plumber can clear a drain and conduct additional troubleshooting to detect invasive root growth or some other issues that you have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet in addition to a blocked drain, you might like to call in a professional who can look after everything at the same time.
The pros of calling in the Pros include:
* Expert knowledge and experience
* High-quality tools made to complete the job
* Convenience of having another person carry out the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to stop other issues
With regards to simple drain clogs, it is possible to resolve them on your own. For larger, harder jobs, don’t let the expense of hiring a professional deter you. Many plumbing specialists offer reasonable rates for his or her services, and you also can’t put a price on your personal safety and reassurance. Resolving a problem just like a persistent leak could also save you on your own water bill–savings which can be well worth enlisting the assistance of a specialist.