There are some things that you have to deal with from time to time. There’s the occasional car tune-up, there’s your run of the mill carpet stains, and then there’s the clogged drain. But unlike the others, unclogging a drain has many levels of complication and possible severity. It can range from just a minor hair plug to a problematic buildup of grease that will take a professional to clean up. Most people go directly to the drain cleaner. The issue with this option as your go-to move is that these commercial drain cleaners have harmful chemicals that can do more harm than good. On top of that, consistent use can lead to corrosion over time. This spells trouble for houses that have older plumbing or plastic pipes. Before you decide to go with drain cleaner, here are the essential options to try out first. Who knows, maybe one of them will work.
1. A Plumbing Snake
There’s one tool that every plumber has that the average person might not have and that’s having a good plumbing snake. A plumbing snake is perfect for both light and heavy jobs. They are also used in tandem with sewer drain cleaner in order to really get to the root of the problem. When you have a snake, though, there is a possibility that you can get the drain unclogged with just a few pushes. If you can snake out the gunk, and the water drains, you’ve pretty much got it fixed. The only hole in its performance comes from frequent or multiple clogged drains. That’s usually symptomatic of a greater problem. In the event that this happens, it’s probably a good idea to call a plumber to see if there are any underlying issues that you can’t get to with basic home sentinels.
2. Boiling Water
Pouring boiling hot water down has been known to clear up a lot of grease and oil-based gunk. This may not work for plugs that are deep into your main line or, for potential small animals that have gotten stuck. But for the basic gunk? It actually works pretty well. Just make sure that you’re not pouring it down old and worn plastic tubing, due to the potential erosion scalding liquid can cause.
3. Baking Soda And Vinegar
For the environmentally conscious, there are a few formulas you can try out in order to get a drain unclogged. Pouring things into the main line without prior experience can be a bit of a misguided move. There are always softer and gentler options to try first. A popular one among home remedy experts in the hot baking soda and vinegar trick.
- First, get out any standing water.
- Next, pour out half the box of baking soda down the drain.
- Get your hand on the stopper or plunger ready.
- Pour half a cup of vinegar down and plug the drain. The mixture will cause a “volcano” reaction, so hold it down pretty tight.
- Then flush it out with boiling hot water.
These three options have been used to unclog lines for years and years. And for the minor issues, they seem to work pretty well. There are, of course, a lot of cases in which one really needs an industrial strength drain cleaner. And if that doesn’t work, or if the frequency of clogs increases, seeking professional help is always a good idea.
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