Clogged drains are a constant annoyance for homeowners — even washing your hands can turn into a headache when your bathroom sink isn't draining quickly enough. Thankfully, there are a few ways that homeowners can attempt to unclog the drain themselves. If you have a plumbing fixture that drains slowly, try out these methods before you call a professional to fix the problem.
Try Hot Water First for a Simple Solution
Hot water is a simple and effective solution for removing clogs. It works best on clogs that are due to grease build up since the hot water will liquefy the grease until it's easily flushed through the pipe. Simply run hot water through your drain until the clog is gone.
You can also use boiling water to unclog drains, but make sure you never use boiling water if your home has PVC piping. PVC is only rated for temperatures up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Water from your hot water heater doesn't pose a problem, but boiling water will certainly damage your PVC pipes.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Fight Clogs Naturally
Vinegar and baking soda is a well-known solution for clogged drains. Simply pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for two minutes. Follow it up with a cup of baking soda dissolved in water. Vinegar is a fairly strong acid that dissolves clogs, and the baking soda both neutralizes the vinegar and causes a foaming action that helps to dislodge the clog. Follow this up by running hot water through the drain.
Rent a Drain Snake to Manually Dislodge the Clog
As a last resort, you can attempt to manually remove the clog with a drain snake. This works best when the clog is due to hair or other physical obstructions. Rent a drain snake from a hardware store, remove the drain cover and feed the snake into the drain. Once you encounter resistance, rotate the snake into the clog until the drain snake hooks the clog. When you pull the snake out of the drain, the clog comes back with it.
Before using a drain snake, you should consider calling a professional plumber to unclog your drain — if you're too forceful with the drain snake, you run the risk of breaking your pipes. You'll also run into trouble with any junctions in your plumbing system. The resistance you feel on the snake may be the clog or it may be a junction or offset in the pipe. Attempting to hook a junction is a quick way to rip your pipes apart, resulting in hefty plumbing repair bills. When you consider the cost of renting a drain snake and the potential to damage your pipes, it's wise to call a professional before resorting to a drain snake.
As a final note, you should never use chemical cleaners to unclog your drains. The drain cleaners you purchase at the store are very strong bases and often contain large amounts of lye — they work by eating away at the clog in your drain until the water can easily flush it out. Unfortunately, harsh chemical drain cleaners eat away at your pipes as well, causing them to become weak. To preserve the plumbing in your home, stick with less caustic drain cleaning methods.
If your attempts at unclogging your drain fail, it's time to call in a professional plumber. Plumbers have access to drain cameras to spot the source of the clog and check the condition of your pipes, allowing them to be precise in removing the clog without damaging your plumbing.Share
22 April 2018
Hi and thanks for visiting my website. My name is Bob. I am 32 years old and single. And like many of you, I am barely making ends meet on my own. That's why I decided to create this website. I've run into a few plumbing problems in my home, and in order to save money, I found some remedies that I could do myself, rather than calling a plumber. I decided to share these secrets with you, as well as tell you when a plumber is absolutely needed. I hope my website helps all of you do-it-yourselfers when it comes to fixing your plumbing.