Ooops. Clogged drain again? Jeez, you just can’t win. And, this one looks worse than the last one. I wonder how much it’s going to cost this time?
A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems. Even if you pay close attention to what’s going down your pipes and traps and screens, and perform regular drain cleaning, clogs can still happen, leaving you annoyed and frustrated. Nine times out of ten, though, a call for expensive professional help is not required. Keep reading to discover a few quick and easy tips to help you unclog those stubborn drains.
An easy (and cheap!) solution is to make a homemade plumber’s snake. No, we’re not talking about coaxing a squirming reptile to crawl down your drain. Very simply, a plumber’s snake is a device you can use to remove a blockage. Start out with a simple wire clothes hanger. Straighten the hanger, make a small hook on one end (like a fishhook), and “snake” the hook down the drain to the clog to pull out the blockage.
When you are using a snake to clear a clogged drain, it is important to try to remove the blockage by pulling it out rather than pushing. If you try to push the blockage through you may wind up creating more of a blockage, and you won’t know it until it’s too late. Then, if the blockage is not removed, it will continue to build up until it reaches a point where it can only be removed by a plumber. It takes a bit longer to pull the blockage out, but it will pay off by keeping you from suffering severe blockages.
Purchasing and using over-the-counter chemicals to unclog drains is like playing roulette with your pipes. Sure, it might work great the first time, which reinforces the urge to keep using it, but these harsh chemicals can actually be eating away the inside of your drain. This creates a lot of weaknesses in the pipes and the joints, so avoid the harsh stuff and use natural methods if you can.
You can avoid using the over-the-counter stuff by mixing equal parts hot water and bleach to make a very potent drain cleaner. Pour the mixture into the sink and then turn on the hot water and rinse the bleach mix down the drain. You can use a toilet plunger to break up any remaining blockage if the drain is still clogged. Be sure to wear eye protection to avoid getting bleach in your eyes if splashing occurs.
You may be tempted to give your clogged pipe a good whack, but this probably won’t solve the problem, and may actually make things worse. Banging on the side of the pipes or the P-trap with a rubber mallet might initially break up clogs, but you’ll likely be doing long-term damage to your pipes that will eventually catch up with you. Or, you could be knocking debris off the inside of the pipes that can accumulate and result in a permanent clog in the pipes. Either way, this will likely require a professional to fix.
Like the old saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Knowing simple ways to deal with a clogged drain can solve your problem without having to wait for the plumber to arrive. You would do well to remember these tips the next time you’re thinking about banging on the side of your pipes, or before you pour harsh chemicals down your drain. Instead, use the natural methods from this article to get rid of even the toughest clogs.
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