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 running smoothly again in no time. How do you know whether to tackle the situation yourself or to call your local plumber in? Here are a few tips to help you make the decision.
Utilizing the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages can be resolved in the home, using several DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages which are located relatively close to the surface of the drain. Once you learn what exactly is blocking your drain, or you would like to use a quick solution before calling an expert, these options might be to suit your needs.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. The first thing that lots of people do when confronted with a clogged drain is grab the drain cleaner. There are a number of drain cleaners on the market that use corrosive chemicals to power through soft clogs near the top of the drain. These cleaners typically are available in liquid form and contain highly concentrated bleach, lye, or potassium hydroxide. Some drain cleaners contain two components which can be mixed when poured into the drain, making a gas that is trapped in the plumbing with a thick foam. The foam is made to coat the insides in the drain pipe, removing the substance causing the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be quite convenient and user friendly. Most of them just need you to pour them in to the clogged drain, wait awhile, then rinse with warm water. The downside to chemical drain cleaners is they are usually ineffective on harder clogs, or on blockages that occur further down the sewer line. The corrosive nature of those products also makes them potentially dangerous should they come into contact with your skin layer, eyes, as well as lungs should you inadvertently breathe in their fumes. If you decide to utilize a chemical drain cleaner, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to stop injury.
The Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) option to chemical drain cleaners arises from combining ingredients you likely curently have inside your kitchen. Do you remember building volcanoes for the school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to make an “eruption?” This procedure 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 cupful of vinegar down the sink. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar work great, but any type can do. When you pour the vinegar down the sink, you’ll want to cover the drain opening using a rag or some kind of drain plug. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda will cause a chemical reaction, creating a foam that can rise up from the drain (similar to the volcano!). Within the drain could keep as much of the foam within the pipe as possible, where it could unleash its cleaning power. Allow the foam do its thing for around thirty minutes, then flush it thoroughly by pouring warm water down the sink. It could take multiple applications, but this method often leaves your drain clean and flowing smoothly. Using baking soda and vinegar is excellent when you need a drain cleaning solution on the fly, or if you are searching to get a natural substitute for corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. A third DIY solution requires a bit more work on your side, but is well-worth the cost should you be faced with a sizable hair clog, or some foreign material caught in your sink drain. One thing you’ll wish to accomplish is obvious the area underneath the sink. Then, place a bucket (use a pot in a pinch) beneath the sink pipes to catch water or some other debris that may fall from the sink trap. Use pliers to loosen the metal slip nuts, and after that finish removing them by hand. If you’ve got a plastic trap, you can usually skip the pliers, and just turn the slip nuts manually. You can use the hands to knock any blockage from in the “elbow” from the trap into your bucket. When the clog is higher up near the drain (as is often the case with hair clogs in bathroom sinks), you can straighten a wire hanger and utilize that to pull the clog down from the pipe. After the blockage is clear, just put the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Get rid of the water and debris within your bucket (do NOT pour it back down the sink!), and voila–just like new!
When you ought to Contact the benefits. There are several times after it is just better to leave the plumbing repair work to the experts. Examples of professional draining cleaning jobs include when you have:
* Recurring or persistent clogs that don’t reply to DIY treatment
* Thick grease blockages
* Clogged sewer pipes
* Invasive root growth
Master plumbers and other professionals gain access to several tools made specifically for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, like those containing sulfuric acid, can be very dangerous when utilized by someone apart from a certified professional. Other professional tools, like those utilized for hydrojetting, are way too costly to be practical for anybody other than a master plumber. With all the right tools and their extensive training, your plumber can effectively tgjofu your drains of even the toughest blockages.
For those who have attempted to attack a difficult clog with no success, it is actually probable that the blockage is in a place beyond your reach. Using a bathtub drain, you might have to enter the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can even occur further down the water main, away from house. A licensed plumber has the knowledge and experience to deal with complicated situations, ensuring that your pipe send up in 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 any other issues that you might have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet as well as a blocked drain, you may want to call in a professional who are able to take care of everything simultaneously.
The pros of calling in the Pros include:
* Expert knowledge and experience
* High-quality tools created to do the job
* Ease of having somebody else carry out the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to avoid other issues
In terms of simple drain clogs, it is possible to resolve them by yourself. For larger, more challenging jobs, don’t let the expense of getting a professional deter you. Many plumbing specialists offer reasonable rates for their services, and you can’t put a value on your own personal safety and reassurance. Resolving an issue like a persistent leak may also help save you on your own water bill–savings that are really worth enlisting the aid of an expert.