Let’s face it – we are not all the average do-it-yourselfers (DIY). Have you ever met someone that can build or fix anything? Then you have the technology people that can make their computers sing and dance. But for most of us, we are too quick to pick up the phone to call someone to fix our drains. At Big B’s Plumbing, we’ve heard it all regarding plumbing issues. While most issues should be left to your plumbing technicians, there are a couple of clogs any homeowner can clear. That’s why, before you hire a plumber, give it your best shot and save a few bucks.
Any Homeowner Can Fix A Clogged Toilet
The first drain is your toilet. There are some exceptions to the rule regarding your clogged toilet. For example, if the clog is deep down the drain pipe, you’ll need to rent a plumber’s snake or call your plumber. Of course, your first plan of action should be your faithful plunger. It’s probably the best tool in the house for the money. Everyone has at least one good story about a clogged toilet; in the end, your plunger may have saved the day. As a side note, not all plungers are the same, so don’t buy the cheapest plunger. If you splurge on purchasing a quality plunger, it will still only cost you less than fifteen bucks. Why not buy the best?
Buy A Quality Plunger, Before You Hire A Plumber
If the plunger doesn’t fix the problem, purchase a closet auger. You can buy a three-foot closet auger at Home Depot for less than 10 dollars. Unfortunately, a six-foot auger jumps to just over 50 dollars, but it sure beats a service call from your plumber. Also, the average clogged drain costs about $99 to clear for starters. If you drop fifty bucks on an auger and use it once, you get your money back and save fifty bucks to boot. You’ll always have an auger if the toilet ever clogs again.
Toilet augers are commonly referred to as a plumber’s snake, and we’re all familiar with a plumber’s snake. It’s one of those tools we always associate with our local plumber. When we think of our local plumber, a plumber’s snake always comes to mind. However, over the years, small, affordable toilet and drain snakes have been developed for the average homeowner. These small snakes are ideal for clearing small tub and bathroom drains.
Fixing A Slow Moving Sink Is Easy
The second drain is your bathroom sink drain. We get calls on bathroom sinks regularly. If you have teenagers, you’re almost guaranteed to have a slow-moving drain at least a couple of times a year. When products such as toothpaste, hair gel, soap, lotion, and phlegm mixed with hair go down the drain, it becomes a recipe for a clogged sink drain. The mix of products and hair creates a bacteria called black slime, which sticks to the sides of your drain, building a black slimy hairball that usually wraps around the drain stopper, causing your slow-moving drains.
Make A Habit Of Regular Maintenance
Assuming your drain gets daily use, you can take 1/2 a cup of baking soda and pour it down the sink, then slowly pour 1 cup of vinegar after the baking soda. Use a spatula to direct the baking soda and vinegar down the drain. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour it directly down the sink. Repeat if necessary. Make a habit of this method every once a month as regular maintenance, and your drain will always be clean. We have found this maintenance method will keep your drains clean. However, there are better ways to clear the drain if it is clogged or slow-moving. This maintenance method will also remove odors and kill bacteria.
Don’t Hire A Plumber, Use A Quality Branded Drain Cleaner
To clear slow-moving drains, you can use a quality drain cleaner such as Liquid Plumr Clog Destroyer + Hair Clog Eliminator, Draino Max Gel Liquid Clog Remover, or Bio-Clean. Each product works great for clearing clogged, or slow-moving bathroom or kitchen drains. Most plumbing companies would never recommend a drain cleaner, but these products have been scientifically tested. They have been clearing minor bathroom clogs for over sixty years. Nevertheless, we do not recommend it for toilets or major clogs. Additionally, the products have been tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Don’t Feed Into Scare Tactics From Other Plumbing Companies
Don’t feed into the scare tactics brought on by misinformed plumbing companies who have never read the research. Instead, they will tell you those drain cleaners are bad for your pipes. All drain cleaners have a hazardous side but not on your pipes or fixtures, just like any household cleaners. Like all products, read the labels and follow the directions.
Before you Hire A Plumber, Try Drano Max Gel For Your Minor Bathroom Drains
Consumers love this top performer. Drano Max Gel, this thick gel easily breaks through standing water to arrive at the source of the problem. Once it hits the clog, it starts breaking down grease, soap scum, hair, and other debris, and it’s safe for your plumbing and septic systems. The gel works quickly in 15 to 30 minutes for minor obstructions or slow-moving drains. If the problem persists, apply once more. In most cases, the second time is a charm.
Thick Gel From Liquid-Plumr Cuts Through Tough Bathroom Clogs
The thick gel from Liquid-Plumr was created specifically to cut through hair obstructions in sinks, tubs, and shower drains. Based on the manufacturer’s claims, Liquid Plumbr thick gel is safe for septic systems. As directed, pour the entire bottle of Liquid-Plumr Thick Gel slowly down your slow-moving or clogged bathroom drain, but only after the water has drained or the water gets manually removed. The recommended time for working is at least 15 minutes. On those tough to clear bathroom drains, you can have it sit overnight before flushing it with hot water.
Bio-Clean Is Best For Regular Maintenance
Bio-Clean uses a unique blend of naturally occurring enzymes and bacteria to break down organic waste, including hair, oil, paper products, food particles, soap scum, and more. Since it is an enzymatic cleaner, it operates slower than conventional chemical drain cleaners and performs best when used once a month as a maintenance solution and overnight on slow-flowing drains. It won’t remove a full obstruction, and multiple applications may be required to unclog partially blocked drains completely. However, Bio-Clean is praised by its users for preventative maintenance, as seen by its many reviews. In addition, Bio-Clean can be used in toilets without harm because of its makeup.
Before You Hire A Plumber, Check out These Other Products
These are just a few products that work wonders on your slow-moving drains. Other products include Green Gobbler Drain Opening Pacs and CLR Clear Pipes & Drains. But, again, these are just a few products that any homeowner can use on minor clogs. Before you hire a plumber, DIY and save a few bucks. However, know when to say, “Enough is enough,” and call Big B’s Plumbing for a drain cleaning expert. If you can’t tackle that pesky clog using a drain cleaner, call your plumber.
Things to remember:
- These branded drain cleaners have been in the market for over 60 years and have cleared thousands, if not millions, of drains without ever calling a plumber.
- Using drain cleaners on minor clogs or slow-moving drains would be best.
- Never use a drain cleaner if all your drains are moving slowly.
- We all want to save a few bucks but know when to call your plumbing specialist.
- Follow the direction recommended by the manufacturer.
- Make a habit of performing regular maintenance on your drains.
- Use your plunger before you use drain cleaners. Like other household products, drain cleaners are hazardous if not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- You can purchase small household drain snakes at your local home center or online for less than fifty dollars.
The next time your sink or toilet gets clogged, don’t hire a plumber, fix it yourself and take the family to dinner with the savings. License #986152