Plumber’s Tips for Clogged Drains
At home, we all experience clogged drains from time to time. Whether the problem lies in your sink, toilet, or shower, a clogged drain can often be an easy fix. There are many different methods that you can attempt yourself, which range from the traditional plunger to a DIY drain cleaning solution. With these tips from Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, you can take on simple unclogging jobs yourself. Furthermore, you will know when it is time to contact your local plumber to do the job instead.
Before your drains end up with major clogs, there are a few ways that you can prevent clogs from building up. First, be sure the clean your strainers and stoppers regularly. To ensure that clogs will not occur, you should do more than just empty these out. Instead, take them apart and wash them thoroughly. In the kitchen, never pour grease or coffee grounds down the drain. You should poor boiling water down your drain once every week to clear out any potential clogs. In the bathroom, never flush heavy paper products. Finally, do not pour chemicals or hot wax in any drains.
Flush With Boiling Water
When a clog occurs, one of the best ways to treat it immediately is by flushing it with boiling water. Wait until the area has drained entirely before doing this. Furthermore, be sure to only use this method if you have metal pipes. PVC pipes can be softened or melted by boiling water; however, you can use hot tap water instead.
Use a Plunger
In addition to flushing with boiling water, using a plunger is another simply way to unclog drains. Ensure that the plunger forms a complete seal around the drain in question. You can also use a piece of duct tap on the top of the overflow drain on your tub or sink. This will prevent air from escaping through the overflow drain.
Create a Snake
While you could buy a snake to use on your clogged drains, you can also easily make a snake yourself. Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it out, but leave a small bend at the end of it. This bend will snake your drain and remove whatever is clogging it. However, you should be cautious when using a homemade snake. You could accidentally damage the pipes instead.
Take it Apart
In combination with the snake method, you can clear out the clog by working on the trap of the sink. First, remove the trap, or the clean-out plug, that lies underneath your sink. Next, take the snake that you have to eliminate the blockage in the area. Be sure to wear goggles and to keep a bucket underneath the trap, as a lot of water will escape.
Chemical methods of drain cleaning are never recommended! These can be bought at a local hardware store. However, chemical methods can also be dangerous. These often contain caustic agents, which can cause serious damage to certain types of fixtures and drain lines. The risks of damage to yourself or your home outweigh the rewards which is why they are not recommended.
DIY Drain Cleaner
Because chemical methods have the potential to be dangerous, it is best to create a DIY drain cleaner with household products. First, you can pour a cup of baking soda down your drain, and then follow this with three cups of boiling water. Repeat until you have cleared out the clog. The boiling water causes the baking soda to become more alkaline. You should only try this if there is no water backed up in the drain. Vinegar and baking soda is another great method. Use the same formula of a cup of baking soda and three cups of boiling water, but add a cup of vinegar to the mix.
In addition to baking soda, washing soda is also very useful in unclogging drains. First, pour one cup of washing soda into your drain, and allow this to sit for a period of time. Next, add in a cup of baking soda and three cups of water as described above. Because washing soda is even more alkaline than baking soda, you should never use this method if you have already tried using a chemical drain cleaner. Furthermore, washing soda should not be used on PVC pipes. Finally, an enzyme culture can also be utilized to clean out your drain, but these are best for monthly maintenance.
When to Call Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
If none of these methods has worked for you, or if your drain is severely clogged, you should called Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling immediately. Signs of a severe drain clog include water that will not drain at all or is beginning to leak into your home. Our company understands that situations such as these are plumbing emergencies, and we will do our best to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Contact Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to learn more about our drain cleaning services.