I think we can all agree that at some point, we’ve experienced a clogged drain. Some homeowners pull the trigger right away and call the plumber, while others will do everything to fix it themselves. There are some basics when it comes to clearing a simple clogged drain. We want to emphasize “simple” because there are those drains that should be left up to a plumber. For example, sewer lines or pipes that may have something lodged in them should be left up to a professional. You don’t have to be a do-it-yourselfer to clear a drain; in fact, the average homeowner can clear most drains themselves.
Our Most Common Clogged Drain Is The Bathroom Sink
The most common clog is when our bathroom sink gets clogged. If you have teenagers, this is a common occurrence, especially if they’re sharing the same bathroom. What happens is black slime builds up in a drain and becomes a catch-all for hair, and the drainpipe becomes clogged. The slime is made up of shaving cream, hair products, toothpaste residue, dead skin cells, mildew, soap scum, and phlegm. It is a bacteria that lives on all of the above. It can be prevented by slowly pouring a kettle of scalding hot water down the drain once a week for heavily used sinks. You can also remove black slime by pouring a small amount of baking soda down the sink then slowly pouring vinegar over it. Repeat several times if need be, then follow up with a kettle of hot water.
An Auger Will Usually Clear The Drain When A Plunger Couldn’t
Without question, we’ve all had to deal with a clogged toilet. For many homes, the plunger sits next to the toilet, ready to be used. Even most of our kids know how to use the plunger. There are those rare occasions when the pressure applied from a plunger just doesn’t do the trick, and you need to use a different method. A three-foot or six-foot toilet auger, also known as a plumber’s snake, will usually clear the clog if the obstruction is not too far down the drainpipe. You can pick one up at your local home center. They range from $10 to $35 and are very handy. Every home should own one.
What About Drain Clearing Chemicals?
Our first choice in clearing a drain should always be eco-friendly products. When using eco-friendly methods, they cost less, and in most cases, it’s just as effective. Anyway, who wants to keep harmful chemicals around the house?! Most people have heard that drain cleaners are bad for their pipes, and while that may be true for some, others are just fine. For instance, the most common brands are Liquid Plumber and Drano. Both will not harm your pipes, but it is not advisable to put the chemicals down the toilet drain because it may cause damage to the wax ring.