Dealing with a clogged drain can be a hassle, but it’s a task that’s always best performed as soon as possible after the issue arises. Clear pipes are important not just to the home’s plumbing, but to the health of its inhabitants. Read on to find out when to attempt a DIY repair and when to call a professional.
Plungers are available at just about every hardware store for a reason. They’re helpful tools for resolving minor clogs, especially in toilets. When using the plunger, make sure it is locked to the drain with a perfect seal and try plunging it at least a dozen times. If this doesn’t work, it might be time to call a plumber. Homeowners can check out maplewoodplumbing.com to find out about one local company that can help.
Minor Clogs Close to the Surface
If there’s a bit of hair stuck near the opening of the drain, a home drain auger might be able to get it out. These devices aren’t as strong as the tools used by professionals, though, so they may not be able to get past the blockage. If homeowners can’t remove the blockage using a drain snake, they should call a plumber. Professional plumbers have access to better, stronger equipment, and it’s often motorized to provide faster results.
Multiple Drains Are Clogged
If multiple drains in the home are clogged, backing up, or running slowly, there’s little homeowners can do about it by themselves. Don’t bother with DIY fixes. The blockage is almost definitely too far down. A plumber with high-tech equipment and professional training will be able to locate and resolve it quickly, but DIY methods for removing it will likely prove ineffective and frustrating.
Built-Up Soap or Grease
If there’s soap built up in a bathroom drain or grease in a kitchen drain, homeowners may be able to remove it themselves by pouring boiling water down the sink. Try pouring it in three stages to give the water time to work through the clog, or use baking soda and vinegar before pouring in the boiling water to maximize its effectiveness. If that doesn’t work, or if it works for a little while but the clog comes back, call a plumber.
Even if one of the DIY methods mentioned above works perfectly the first time, they aren’t fool-proof, and they don’t address the underlying plumbing problems. If one or more drains keep backing up, call a plumber to inspect the home’s plumbing system. He or she may be able to suggest ways to prevent future issues.
What About Chemical Drain Cleaners?
Homeowners may be tempted to use chemical drain cleaners to resolve their plumbing issues, but they shouldn’t give in to the temptation. They’re bad for the home’s plumbing, residents’ health, and the environment. In houses with septic systems, using chemical drain cleaners can even cause the system to stop working entirely.
If baking soda and vinegar, boiling water, plungers, and home drain augers don’t resolve the clog, a chemical drain cleaner won’t either. All it will do is cause homeowners more problems.
The Bottom Line
Minor clogs can sometimes be resolved at home using common tools and products like baking soda, vinegar, and plungers. Serious clogs that can’t be broken up, keep coming back, or affect multiple drains are best handled by professionals.