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 number of drain cleaning solutions that can 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 a few guidelines to help you make the decision.
Using the DIY Approach. From hair to grease and beyond, many clogs and blockages can be resolved in your own home, using several DIY techniques. These work particularly well on soft blockages which are located relatively near the surface of the drain. Once you know what exactly is blocking your drain, or you would like to consider using a quick solution before calling a specialist, these options might be for you.
Corrosive Drain Cleaners. First of all , many people do when dealing with a clogged drain is grab 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 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 into the drain, making a gas which is trapped in the plumbing by way of a thick foam. The foam is made to coat the insides from the drain pipe, eliminating the substance creating the clog. Chemical drain cleaners can be extremely convenient and easy to use. The majority of them just require that you pour them in to the clogged drain, wait awhile, and then rinse with tepid to warm water. The down-side to chemical drain cleaners is that they are typically ineffective on more challenging clogs, or on blockages that occur further along the sewer line. The corrosive nature of these products also means they are potentially dangerous when they enter in to connection with your skin, eyes, or even lungs if you inadvertently inhale their fumes. If you opt to use a chemical drain cleaner, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper caution to prevent injury.
The Natural Approach. A safer (but equally effective) substitute for chemical drain cleaners originates from combining ingredients you likely have within your kitchen. Do you remember building volcanoes for the school science fair by combining vinegar with baking soda to make an “eruption?” This technique 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 sink. White wine 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 want to cover the drain opening with a rag or some form of drain plug. The mix of vinegar and baking soda may cause a chemical reaction, developing a foam that will rise up from the drain (similar to the volcano!). Within the drain will keep the maximum amount of of the foam inside the pipe as possible, where it could unleash its cleaning power. Enable the foam do its thing for about half an hour, then flush it thoroughly by pouring very hot water down the drain. It might take multiple applications, but this technique often leaves your drain neat 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 alternative to corrosive cleaners.
Clearing the Trap. One third DIY solution requires a little bit more work on your part, but is well-worth it should you be faced with a sizable hair clog, or some foreign material caught inside your sink drain. The first thing you’ll wish to accomplish is clear out the area beneath 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, 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 utilize the hands to knock any blockage from within the “elbow” of the trap in your bucket. If the clog is higher up close to the drain (as is usually the case with hair clogs in bathroom sinks), you are able to straighten a wire hanger and utilize that to drag the clog down with the pipe. After the blockage is apparent, just put the elbow back on and re-tighten the slip nuts. Dispose of water and debris within your bucket (do NOT pour it back down the drain!), and voila–as effective as new!
When you should Get in touch with the Pros. There are a few times when it is just safer to leave the plumbing repair work to the professionals. Samples of professional draining cleaning jobs include if 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 gain access to a number of tools made especially for handling difficult drain clogs and blockages. Professional drain cleaners, including those containing sulfuric acid, can be very dangerous when used by someone apart from a certified professional. Other professional tools, including those employed for hydrojetting, are far too costly to be practical for anyone apart from a master plumber. With the right tools along with their extensive training, your plumber can effectively tgjofu your drains of including the toughest blockages.
For those who have attempted to attack a difficult clog with no success, it is actually possible that the blockage is in a place outside your reach. Using a bathtub drain, you might have to enter the pipes behind a wall. Some clogs can also occur further along the water main, outside of the house. A certified plumber has the knowledge and experience to handle complicated situations, making sure that all of your pipe send up back 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 any other issues that you may have overlooked. If you’ve got a leaking faucet together with a blocked drain, you may want to call in a professional that can care for everything at once.
The advantages of calling within the Pros include:
* Expert experience and knowledge
* High-quality tools designed to get the job done
* Convenience of having somebody else carry out the work
* Troubleshooting knowledge to prevent other issues
In terms of simple drain clogs, it is possible to resolve them by yourself. For larger, more difficult jobs, don’t let the price of hiring a professional deter you. Many plumbing specialists offer reasonable rates for his or her services, and you can’t put a cost on your personal safety and peace of mind. Resolving a difficulty like a persistent leak may also help you save on your own water bill–savings which are well worth enlisting the help of an expert.