As a homeowner, you face certain challenges daily. Few obstacles are as troublesome and potentially smelly as a clogged drain. Whether it’s the kitchen or bathroom sink, or a shower or outdoor drain, how do you properly unclog a drain? And what’s the right way to maintain your drain to prevent clogging in the first place?
Think about the drains in your home right now. They could be getting clogged right now, but you might not know it until the tale-tell smell hit you square in the nose. A great way to get rid of and prevent drain odors is to perform regular drain maintenance. Here are some simple and natural suggestions to do your best to avoid clogged drains:
· For weekly maintenance: Boil a large pot of water, pour half of the water down the drain, wait five minutes, then pour the rest down the drain.
· For monthly maintenance: Apply an enzymatic cleaner once a month to clear potential clogs and to stave off odors.
· For seasonal maintenance: Every 4 to 6 months, it’s a good idea to flush with something a little stronger. Running your hot water, pour a ½ cup of baking soda and a ½ cup of vinegar down the drain.
If you’re also dealing with a garbage disposal, running a handful of ice cubes and orange peels through is a time-tested method of eliminating blade residue.
Getting rid of clogs
OK, so clogs can still happen—in large drains and small drains—and with the help of some effective methods, you’ll clear those clogs in no time.
First, is your clog indoors or outdoors? Indoor clogs are typically smaller and easier to clear, while outdoor stoppages often happen on a larger scale and could get a little messy. With that said, it makes some sense to split the clogging solutions into categories.
Indoors: Hand tools are the easiest gadgets to use in unclogging your drain. Hand spinners give you control over where to clear and how much force goes into it. Similarly, sink machines and augers (also called snakes) are designed to reach further down a drain to wiggle or drag the offender loose.
Also, augers are an excellent alternative to the trusty household plunger. It’s more sanitary and there’s less of a chance of the soiled toilet water splashing.
For a hand-held tool with a little more oomph, General Pipe Cleaners’ kinetic water ram includes an extension hose and uses kinetic energy (like a little shock wave) to break up any stoppage.
Other less-sophisticated hand-held clog-clearing products you might need include a general drain flusher and, as an alternative to an auger, sewer tape (ranging in length from 25 to 100 feet). If you need to access the P-trap beneath your kitchen or bathroom sink, you’ll require a wrench to do so (see below for a full list of recommended hand tools).
For power tools you can use in your home, we recommend Ridgid’s auto-spin sink machine. The 30-foot-long cable is designed to reach deep within your pipes and clear any clog.
Outdoors: The main drain to your house affects everything plumbing: the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, dishwasher, and even outdoor faucet. If you live in an area that’s heavily populated by trees, roots may find their way into the drain and branches or other large items might get swept in. This type of heavy blockage can be cleared by a heavy-duty sewer snake. Choose from a hand-operated snake or electrical-powered snake for your job.
Some products are designed specifically to help in an indoor or outdoor pinch, but some tools are ubiquitous when it comes to drain maintenance, like a sink machine, auger, and kinetic water ram.
Other considerations: One of the most popular tools, especially for professional plumbers, is Ridgid’s SeeSnake camera offered with a 9 ½ mm camera head and 17 mm camera head. Ridgid’s MicroEXPLORER digital inspection camera is a hand-held device that portable, powerful, and provides an exceptional picture.
If all else fails…
If none of the above solutions work, you might have yourself a good old-fashioned, industrial-sized blockage. In this case, we recommend contacting a professional plumber ASAP. Because a small or medium size blockage in your home’s main drain can quickly erode into a major fiasco. If you have tried to clear a clog yourself be sure to tell the plumber if you have used any chemicals or gotten any tools stuck in the drain. They need to know so they can properly protect themselves.
Tools you might need for the job
If you need to get into the pipe to check your clog, we recommend the following tools from Rothenberger, which are proven to be “DYI-friendly”:
Wrenches and pliers
Pipe and tubing tools
Featured Bathroom Products
Reasons To Shop at Build.com
© 2000-2013 Build.com, Inc..
All Rights Reserved.
Build.com is a Build.com, Inc Network Store