How to Unclog a Drain

Posted on August 15th, 2015 by carrolladmin

Most plumbing issues are high priority and require immediate attention. Clogged drains certainly rank high on this list.   Shower, tub, kitchen or bathroom sink, blocked drains are an inconvenience that create a nasty mess.  While most blockages are easily fixed by digging in, around and removing contents causing the clog, drain issues that go on too long require a bit more work.

If you have a clogged drain, the first step is to get your hands dirty!  Remove the drain gate or sink stopper and attempt to retrieve whatever is causing the clog.  In bathrooms, it’s usually a combination of hair and soap buildup, as for kitchen sink clogs, the culprit is oftentimes excessive food waste, grease or oil.

If you can’t pull the blockage yourself, there are several ways to remedy the problem.  If you depend on liquid drain cleaners, proceed with caution. Chemical drain solutions are only moderately effective, and can cause damage to pipes, people and the environment. There are enzyme and bacteria-based formulas suitable for metal and PVC pipes.  Natural remedies, made from boiling water, baking soda, water, vinegar, among other common household products, are effective as well.

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Regardless of experience with clogged drains, homeowners should prepare themselves to handle blockages.  There are a variety of tools that are both affordable and easily found in hardware stores.  Here’s what to keep handy…

Plunger: This is the primary device for tackling clogged plumbing fixtures or toilets.  Plunging causes suction that forces air through the pipes to push out the clog.  Don’t use a plunger in conjunction with drain cleaners because it could lead to contact with your face and body.

Auger/Plumber’s Snake: This is a favorite plumbing gadget of most homeowners.  Augers and snakes are known to release clogs located deeper in the line, those a plunger can’t dislodge.  Augers or snakes are cable like devices that you fish, or “snake” through a drain to release the clog.  Toilet augers are specifically designed for lavatory clogs where plungers don’t cut it.

Homemade Drain Cleaner: Various concoctions exist and do a fairly good job of busting through drain clogs.  Surprisingly, many of the ingredients are already in your kitchen cabinet.  Research homemade drain cleaners, or ask your plumbing service provider to recommend their preferred formula.

Simple drain clogs usually don’t require plumbing service call.  However, it’s possible that even with these tools you’re unable to release the clog and clear the drain.  Sometimes more serious problems are lurking inside the pipes that can lead to corrosion and damage to sewer lines.  For assistance solving difficult drain clogs, or to learn more about DIY techniques for battling these dirty inconveniences, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

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