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Blogs from November, 2023

Whether it's from years of grease buildup, accumulation of hair, or food debris, clogged drains can be as annoying as they are frustrating! If you're stuck with an obstructed sink or bathtub drain, don't panic. You have several options for dealing with the issue.

This article discusses both DIY and professional methods for tackling a blocked-up drain.

Simple DIY Solutions

Safety First: Wear Protective Gear

When handling plumbing problems, always prioritize safety and protection against potential hazards. Depending on the job, make sure you have gloves, goggles, and a face mask. These items help prevent exposure to harmful chemicals and the bacteria commonly found in plumbing systems.

Gloves can protect your hands from cuts and burns, and goggles shield your eyes from splashes and debris. Additionally, a face mask reduces your risk of inhaling harmful fumes and dust.

Use a Plunger

A plumber’s design creates suction on a drain. This suction may be all you need to dislodge a clog.

First, ensure there is no standing water in the sink or tub. Place the plunger over the drain, making sure to seal the edges with a tight grip. Push down and pull up in a quick motion, building up pressure to force the blockage loose.

You may need to repeat this process a few times to clear the drain completely. Remember to be patient and persistent, and if the clog is small enough, you'll be able to say goodbye to that stubborn clog.

Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner

These products work by breaking apart the buildup that is causing the clog, allowing water to flow smoothly again. When using a drain cleaner, carefully follow the instructions on the bottle. These products can be dangerous if not used properly.

You should wear protective gloves and goggles, and you should pour cleaner directly into the drain. From there, leave it alone for the recommended amount of time. If a clog is particularly stubborn, multiple treatments may be necessary.

Be careful! You can’t use chemical cleaners too often. Repeated use can damage pipes over time.

Prepare an At-Home Solution

By combining vinegar and baking soda, you can create a natural solution that works wonders on clogs. Using this solution can be effective, and it is safer for your pipes and the environment than chemical drain cleaners.

All you need to do is pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Then, allow the mixture to fizz for about 30 minutes. Afterward, rinse the drain with hot water to clear away any remaining debris.

Pour Hot Water Down the Drain

When it comes to unclogging a drain, you can simply use boiling water. This is one of the most straightforward solutions. It sounds almost too simple, but boiling water can work wonders on a clogged drain.

Just boil some water in a kettle or pot and carefully pour it down the drain. The hotter the water is, the better it will work. Carefully, try to pour it while it is still bubbling.

Hot water can break down grease or soap residue, and the water’s force can push other debris through. This method won't work for more severe blockages, but for smaller issues, it's a quick and easy solution.

Professional Solutions

Identifying the Source and Location of the Clog

Plumbers use specialized equipment to inspect and unclog your drain lines. These tools can locate blockages deep within your pipes, whether it's a buildup of hair, grease, food particles, or even tree roots.

By pinpointing the source and location of a clog, professionals can choose the best solutions to get your plumbing running smoothly again.

Inspecting Pipe Fittings and Connections

By thoroughly examining these points in the piping system, plumbers can locate and identify trouble spots that are causing the clog. Doing so allows them to avoid more invasive measures such as breaking open walls or digging into the ground.

This strategy saves time and money, and it is much less disruptive to a home or business owner.

Using Specialized Drain Cleaning Tools

Professionals arrive with the tools for the job, such as drain snakes and augers. Using a combination of experience, skill, and high-tech equipment, professional plumbers can quickly identify the problem and work toward solving it.

Flushing the Pipes

Hydro jetting is another effective method for unclogging pipes. This process uses high-pressure water.

The technique works by sending a powerful stream of water through the pipes. This blast can clear out even the toughest clogs, from grease and oil to tree roots and mineral buildups.

Hydro jetting is considered one of the most effective and versatile clog-busting methods, making it a popular choice. By using hydro jetting, plumbers can save you time, money, and the headache of dealing with a persistently clogged pipe.

Installing New Pipes or Other Drain Components

When a clog is particularly stubborn, or it is located inside an older pipe, new installations may be necessary. By using the latest technologies and materials, plumbers can install your new components to the highest standards. Doing so resolves your current clog issue, and your new system will be more resistant to future clogs.

Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Professionals

The first thing to consider is the severity of the drain blockage. If it's a minor clog that you can see and reach, you may be able to fix it yourself.

However, if the blockage is severe, or it requires significant dismantling, it's best to call a professional plumber.

You should also consider your level of expertise. If you have plumbing experience, you may be able to tackle a more complicated clog. However, if you're not comfortable working with pipes and fittings, it's best to let the professionals deal with your clogged drain.

Smith's Plumbing Services offers top-notch drain cleaning services. To meet with our team, call us at (901) 290-1110 or contact us online.