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 in regards to a clogged drain or blocked pipe. Fortunately, there are a number of drain cleaning solutions that will have things working well again right away. How do you know whether to tackle the situation yourself or to call your local plumber in? Here are some tips to help you make the decision.
Utilizing the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages are often resolved in your own 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 exactly is blocking your drain, or you want to consider using a fast solution before calling a specialist, these options may be for you.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. The very first thing lots of people do when faced 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 close to 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 which are mixed when poured in to the drain, making a gas which is trapped inside the plumbing by way of a thick foam. The foam is made to coat the insides of the drain pipe, taking out the substance creating the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be very convenient and simple to use. Most of them just require that you pour them to the clogged drain, wait awhile, then rinse with warm water. The down-side to chemical drain cleaners is that they are generally ineffective on more challenging clogs, or on blockages that occur further along the sewer line. The corrosive nature of those products also makes them potentially dangerous when they enter in to contact with your skin layer, eyes, as well as lungs should you inadvertently breathe in their fumes. If you opt to use a chemical drain cleaner, be certain to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to avoid injury.
Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) option to chemical drain cleaners arises from combining ingredients you likely already have within your kitchen. Do you remember building volcanoes for that school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to help 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 cup of vinegar down the drain. White wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar work great, but any type will do. When you pour the vinegar down the drain, you’ll wish to cover the drain opening using a rag or some form of drain plug. The mix of vinegar and baking soda can cause a chemical reaction, making a foam that can rise up from the drain (just like the volcano!). Within the drain could keep the maximum amount of of the foam within the pipe as is possible, where it can unleash its cleaning power. Let the foam do its thing for approximately half an hour, then flush it thoroughly by pouring hot water down the sink. 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 should you be looking to get a natural substitute for corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. Another DIY solution requires a little bit more work on your part, but is well-worthwhile if you are up against a big hair clog, or some foreign material caught within your sink drain. One thing you’ll want to do is apparent the area under the sink. Then, place a bucket (use a pot in a pinch) beneath the sink pipes to capture any water or some other debris which may fall out of the sink trap. Use pliers to loosen the metal slip nuts, and after that finish removing them yourself. If you’ve got a plastic trap, it is possible to usually skip the pliers, and just turn the slip nuts manually. You can use your hands to knock any blockage from inside the “elbow” from the trap into your bucket. In the event the clog is higher up near the drain (as is truly the case with hair clogs in bathroom sinks), you can straighten a wire hanger and use that to pull the clog down through the pipe. After the blockage is obvious, just position the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Get rid of this type of water and debris within your bucket (do NOT pour it back down the sink!), and voila–as good as new!
When to Call in the Pros. There are some times when it is just better to leave the plumbing repair try to the pros. Examples 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 as well as other professionals gain access to numerous tools made especially for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, including those containing sulfuric acid, can be quite dangerous when used by someone other than a licensed professional. Other professional tools, such as those used for hydrojetting, are far too costly to be practical for anyone besides a master plumber. Using the right tools as well as 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 likely that the blockage is in a place outside your reach. With 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 certified plumber provides the experience and knowledge to take care of complicated situations, being sure that your pipe send up back 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 some other issues that you may have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet in addition to a blocked drain, you might want to call in a professional who can look after everything at once.
The advantages of calling inside the Pros include:
* Expert knowledge and experience
* High-quality tools made to complete the job
* Ease of having somebody else do the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to stop other issues
When it comes to simple drain clogs, you can often 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 services, and you can’t put a price on your own personal safety and peace of mind. Resolving a problem like a persistent leak can also save you on your water bill–savings which are really worth enlisting the aid of an expert.