Taking The DIY Strategy
From hair to grunge and beyond, blockages and many clogs are easily resolved at home, using a number of DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages that are located relatively close to the surface of the drain. These options may be for you, knowing what is blocking your drain, or you need to try a quick fix before calling a professional.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners
The first thing that a lot of people do when faced with a clogged drain is reach for the drain cleaner. There are a number of drain cleaners available on the market that use corrosive compounds to power. These cleaners feature highly concentrated bleach, lye and typically come in liquid form, or potassium hydroxide. Some drain cleaners comprise two elements which can be mixed when poured into the drain, creating a gas that is trapped inside the plumbing by a thick foam. The foam is made to coat the insides of the drain pipe, removing the substance causing the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be really convenient and simple to use. Most of them only require you to pour them into the clogged drain, wait and then rinse with warm water. The disadvantage to chemical drain cleaners is that they’re typically not effective on blockages that occur further down the sewer line, or on more hard clogs. The corrosive nature of the products also makes them potentially dangerous if they come into connection with even lungs, eyes, or your skin if their fumes are inadvertently breathed in by you. Take care to follow the maker ‘s directions if you decide to use a chemical drain cleaner and take appropriate caution to prevent injury.
The Natural Approach
A safer (but equally powerful) option to chemical drain cleaners comes from combining ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Do you recall construction volcanoes for the school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to make an “eruption” This technique builds on that same principle. Pour about 3/4 of a cup of dry baking soda down the drain. Then, pour vinegar down the drain. Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar work great, but any kind will do. As soon as you pour the vinegar down the drain, you will need to cover the drain opening with some kind of drain plug or a rag. The mixture of vinegar and baking soda will cause a chemical reaction, creating a froth that will rise up through the drain (just like the volcano). Covering the drain will keep just as much of the foam inside the conduit as possible, where it can unleash its cleaning power. Allow the froth do its thing for about 30 minutes, then by pouring hot water down the drain flush it totally. This method often leaves your drain clean and flowing easily, although it may require multiple programs. Using vinegar and baking soda is amazing if you’re buying natural option to corrosive cleaners, or when you will need a drain cleaning solution on the fly.
Clearing The Trap
A third DIY solution demands slightly more work in your part, but is well-worth it if you’re faced with a large hair or some foreign material caught in your sink drain. The first thing you’ll wish to accomplish is clear out the place under the sink. Afterward, place a bucket (you are able to use a pot in a bit) under the sink pipes to capture any water or other debris which may fall out of the sink trap. Then, and use pliers to loosen the metal slip nuts conclude removing them by hand. If you’ve got a plastic trap, you can usually skip the pliers, and just turn the slip nuts manually. It is possible to use your hands to knock any blockage from inside the “elbow” of the trap into your pail. If the clog is higher up near the drain (as is frequently the case with hair clogs in toilet sinks), you can straighten a wire hanger and use that to pull the clog down through the pipe. Once the blockage is clear, only put the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Dispose of the water and debris in your bucket (DON’T pour it back down the drain), and voila as good as new!
When To Call In The Professionals
There are some times when it is just better to leave the plumbing repair work to the professionals. Examples of professional draining cleaning jobs include when you have :
Recurring or consistent clogs that don’t respond to DIY treatment:
- Thick grease blockages
- Clogged sewer conduits
- Invasive root development
Master plumbers and other professionals have use of several tools made specifically for handling hard drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, such as those containing sulfuric acid, can be extremely dangerous when used by someone apart from a licensed professional. Other professional tools, like those used for hydrojetting, are much too expensive to be practical for anyone apart from a master plumber. With their considerable training and the right tools, your plumber can effectively clear your drains of even the most demanding blockages.
If you’ve attempted to attack a clog that is difficult to no avail, it really is possible that the blockage is in a place beyond your reach. With a bathtub drain, you might need to go into the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can even occur farther down the water main, outside the house. A licensed plumber has experience and the knowledge to manage complex situations, making certain that your entire conduit send up back in the appropriate positions, preventing problems that are further down the line. A drain cans clear and conduct additional troubleshooting to discover invasive root growth or other problems that you just may have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet along with a drain that is blocked, you may want to call in a professional who can take care of everything at once.