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 running efficiently again very quickly. How do you know whether to tackle the problem yourself or to call your local plumber in? Below are a few tips 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 numerous DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages which are located relatively near the surface of the drain. Once you know precisely what is blocking your drain, or you want to consider using a fast solution before calling a professional, these options could be for you.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. First of all , lots of people do when confronted with a clogged drain is reach for the drain cleaner. There are a variety of drain cleaners on the market which use corrosive chemicals to power through soft clogs close to the surface of the drain. These cleaners typically come 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, developing a gas that is trapped inside the plumbing with a thick foam. The foam is designed to coat the insides from the drain pipe, taking out the substance resulting in the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be very convenient and easy to use. Most of them just need you to pour them to the clogged drain, wait awhile, then rinse with tepid water. The downside to chemical drain cleaners is they are generally ineffective on harder clogs, or on blockages that occur further along the sewer line. The corrosive nature of those products also makes them potentially dangerous should they enter in to exposure to your skin, eyes, or even lungs if you inadvertently breathe in their fumes. If you opt to use a chemical drain cleaner, take care to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to avoid injury.
Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) alternative to chemical drain cleaners arises from combining ingredients you likely already have inside your kitchen. Remember building volcanoes for the school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to help make an “eruption?” This method builds on that same principle. First, pour about 3/4 of a cup of dry baking soda down the sink. Then, pour about 1/2 a cup of vinegar down the drain. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar work great, but any type is going to do. As soon as you pour the vinegar down the drain, you’ll wish to cover the drain opening having a rag or some type of drain plug. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda will cause a chemical reaction, making a foam which will rise up with the drain (much like the volcano!). Covering the drain could keep as much of the foam inside the pipe as you can, where it may unleash its cleaning power. Enable the foam do its thing for approximately 30 minutes, then flush it thoroughly by pouring very hot water down the drain. It may take multiple applications, but this method often leaves your drain clean and flowing smoothly. Using baking soda and vinegar is wonderful when you really need a drain cleaning solution on the fly, or if you are searching to get a natural alternative to corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. Another DIY solution requires a little bit more work from you, but is well-worth the cost in case you are up against a large hair clog, or some foreign material caught inside your sink drain. The first thing you’ll might like to do is apparent the area under the sink. Then, place a bucket (use a pot in a pinch) beneath the sink pipes to catch water or other debris that might 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, it is possible to usually skip the pliers, and simply turn the slip nuts manually. You may use your hands to knock any blockage from inside the “elbow” in the trap in your bucket. If 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 with the pipe. After the blockage is clear, just place the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Dispose of water and debris within your bucket (usually do not pour it back down the sink!), and voila–just like new!
When to Contact the Pros. There are several times when it is just safer to leave the plumbing repair work to the experts. Types 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 especially 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 costly to be practical for anybody other than a master plumber. With the right tools along with 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 likely that the blockage is in a place beyond the reach. With a bathtub drain, you could have to go into the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can also occur further along the water main, outside of the house. A certified plumber has got the knowledge and experience to take care of complicated situations, ensuring that all your pipe send up during 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 some other issues that you 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 benefits of calling inside the Pros include:
* Expert experience and knowledge
* High-quality tools made to get the job done
* Ease of having another person carry out the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to prevent other issues
In terms of simple drain clogs, it is possible to resolve them all on your own. For larger, more difficult 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 cost on your personal safety and peace of mind. Resolving a difficulty such as a persistent leak may also help you save on your own water bill–savings which are well worth enlisting the aid of a specialist.