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 variety of drain cleaning solutions that will have things working well again in no time. How do you know whether to tackle the situation yourself or to call your local plumber in? Below are a few ideas to help you make the decision.
Utilizing the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages can be resolved in your own home, using numerous DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages which can be located relatively close to the surface of the drain. If you know precisely what is blocking your drain, or you need to use a quick solution before calling a specialist, these options might be to suit your needs.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. The first thing that many people do when confronted 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 come 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, developing a gas which is trapped inside the plumbing by way of a thick foam. The foam was created to coat the insides in the drain pipe, taking out the substance causing the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be quite convenient and simple to use. Many of them just require that you pour them to the clogged drain, wait awhile, and after that rinse with tepid to warm water. The down-side to chemical drain cleaners is they are usually ineffective on more difficult clogs, or on blockages that occur further down the sewer line. The corrosive nature of such products also ensures they are potentially dangerous should they enter into exposure to your skin, eyes, or perhaps lungs should you inadvertently breathe in their fumes. If you opt to use a chemical drain cleaner, take care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to prevent injury.
Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) option to chemical drain cleaners arises from combining ingredients you likely curently have in your kitchen. Do you remember building volcanoes for that school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to help make an “eruption?” This technique builds on that same principle. First, pour about 3/4 of a cupful of dry baking soda down the drain. Then, pour about 1/2 a cupful of vinegar down the drain. White wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar work great, but any type will do. Once you pour the vinegar down the sink, you’ll desire to cover the drain opening with a rag or some form of drain plug. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda can cause a chemical reaction, developing a foam that will rise up from the drain (much like the volcano!). Covering the drain could keep the maximum amount of of the foam inside the pipe as you can, where it can unleash its cleaning power. Enable the foam do its thing for about half an hour, then flush it thoroughly by pouring hot water down the drain. It may take multiple applications, but this method 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 looking to get a natural alternative to corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. Another DIY solution requires a little more work on your side, but is well-worthwhile in case you are confronted with a big hair clog, or some foreign material caught within your sink drain. One thing you’ll want to do is obvious out your area under the sink. Then, place a bucket (you can use a pot in a pinch) under the sink pipes to catch any water or other debris which may fall from the sink trap. Use pliers to loosen the metal slip nuts, then finish removing them by hand. If you’ve got a plastic trap, you are able to usually skip the pliers, and merely turn the slip nuts manually. You can use your hands to knock any blockage from within the “elbow” of the trap into your bucket. When 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 tug the clog down from the pipe. When the blockage is apparent, just place the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Dispose of the water and debris inside your bucket (do NOT pour it back down the drain!), and voila–as good as new!
When to Call in the benefits. 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 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 along with other professionals get access to numerous tools made particularly for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, including those containing sulfuric acid, can be extremely dangerous when employed by someone other than a licensed professional. Other professional tools, such as those used for hydrojetting, are much too costly to be practical for anybody other than a master plumber. With the right tools and their extensive training, your plumber can effectively tgjofu your drains of even the toughest blockages.
If you have attempted to attack a difficult clog to no avail, it is actually probable that the blockage is in a place beyond the reach. Using a bathtub drain, you could have to go into the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs may even occur further down the water main, away from house. A licensed plumber provides the experience and knowledge to handle complicated situations, being sure that your pipe send up 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 some other issues that you may 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 simultaneously.
The pros of calling inside the Pros include:
* Expert experience and knowledge
* High-quality tools made to complete the job
* Convenience of having somebody else perform the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to stop other issues
With regards to simple drain clogs, you can often resolve them all on your own. For larger, more challenging jobs, don’t let the price of hiring a professional deter you. Many plumbing specialists offer reasonable rates for his or her services, and also you can’t put a value on your personal safety and satisfaction. Resolving an issue such as a persistent leak could also help you save on the water bill–savings which can be really worth enlisting the aid of a specialist.