3 Common Plumbing Issues That A Homeowner Can Fix Themselves

How To Clear A Slow-Moving Bathroom Drain

Your drains are slowly draining because your pipe has black slime attached to the drain. The black slime forms when you brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave or wash your hands. Bio-slime is a collection of bacteria brought on by organic matter found in bathroom products and human fragments such as skin cells and phlegm. To get your plumbing drains moving again, you’ll need to clear the slime from your drain. The best way to clear a slow-moving bathroom drain:

  • First, make a clear path to a workspace under your sink.  
  • You have a strap and screw attached to a horizontal rod with a clip at the end. This is what makes your stopper move up and down. Remove the clip but before removing, count the holes that your horizontal rod was attached to. It will help when reinstalling.
  • Once you remove the clip, you can remove the stopper from the sink. In some cases, you may need to loosen the nut on the horizontal bar.
  • Now you have complete access to your drain pipe. Using a wire coat hanger with a hook at the end, put it down the drain to fish out any hairballs. In most instances, the hair and the slime will get wrapped around the stopper. Another handy low-cost tool is a ZipIt it’s a long plastic strip with barbs made for clearing bathroom drains.
  • Once your drain is clear, take a small brush (old toothbrush) with detergent and clean the drain. Baking soda and vinegar also work well. Don’t forget and clean the stopper as well. 
  • Then run hot water down the drain for a minute.

How To Keep Slime From Coming Back

To keep the black bio-slime from backing up your bathroom sinks, boil a kettle of water and slowly pour it down your drain every couple of weeks; this should keep the bacteria from growing. You can also keep your sink clean by maintaining your highly used bathroom drains once a month. Pour 1/3 cup of baking soda down the drain and slowly pour 1/3 cup of vinegar over the baking soda and let it sit for twenty minutes, then rinse with a kettle of hot water. 

black slime in your plumbing system

How To Fix A Smelly Kitchen Sink?

A stinky scent coming from your sink is typically caused by food remnants that have become lodged on or inside one or more sections of the kitchen sink plumbing system and have begun to degrade. In some instances, the cause is grease, oils, or fat, which should not go down your drain in the first place. The first place to start is your P-trap under your sink. Here are a few suggestions to get rid of the kitchen sink odor. As suggested above, vinegar and baking soda are a great organic solution for any drain. Running your garbage disposal with ice cubes can loosen food particles, break up grease. By the way, ice does not sharpen your garbage disposal blades. Your garbage disposal does not have blades, it has impellers that crush your food into very small particles. 

You can use a bio-enzyme drain cleaner that will break up food particles and is friendly to the pipes. Finally, you can use citric acid, which is present in the peels of lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits. It has the ability to break up food residue from your disposal and the wall of your sink drain, as well as mask an unpleasant stench with a sweet smell of citrus. Put four to five citrus peels into the garbage disposal and run for 40 seconds to ground the peels will release their acid and deodorize the sink.

Lemon, Orange and Lime Peels For Your Plumbing System

How Can I Unjam My Garbage Disposal And get my plumbing back on track?

In most cases, something has dropped into your garbage disposal like a nail, screw, bottle cap, or even a bone, and it has the blades trapped. NEVER put your hand in the garbage disposal to try and unloosen what’s stuck in the blades. If a foreign object gets stuck in the impellers, it will stop working. Immediately turn off the unit. 

First, unplug it or turn off the power at the breaker box. One way of freeing an object from your disposal is to use a 1/4 or 5/16 Allen wrench, whichever one fits. If you have an InSinkErator garbage disposal, use your jam buster tool that came with your disposal when you purchased it. You can buy one online for less than nine dollars. In the middle of the bottom of your disposal, there’s a place for the tool. Place it in the slot and move the wrench back and forth to loosen the jam. Ace Hardware has a great video that will give you a visual: Ace Hardware.

Jam Buster For Your Garbage Disposal and Plumbing

If the jam doesn’t loosen then, you can use the back end of a broomstick or plunger handle to try and move the blades back and forth from the top; this might give you slightly more leverage. Finally, use a shop vacuum to suck out anything that’s dislodged itself.  

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