Almost every home develops a clogged drain once in a while. There can be many reasons why this happens, including tree roots, inappropriate items flushed down the toilet, food or grease in the kitchen sink drain, or soap scum and hair clogs in the bathtub and shower drains. In some cases, these clogs can be quite simple for a homeowner to remove on their own. In other cases, the services of a professional plumber may be needed.
Here are some of the tools of the trade you may need to clear a clogged drain, along with some tips on how to keep drains running clear.
If you ever need an experienced, licensed plumber, please give Nick a call, 1-847-754-8299. (we are local – Streamwood, Illinois)
Get Yourself a Good Plunger
There are several tools that can come in handy when dealing with household drain clogs. The first is a plunger, which is often the first tool you will reach for when trying to unclog any drain. These are quite inexpensive, usually only costing between five and ten dollars. Be sure to buy a well-made and sturdy one, since a cheap flimsy plumber will not be effective. Having one plunger dedicated for the toilets in your home and another for sinks, tubs and showers is the best approach.
Manual Plumber’s Snake or Drain Auger
This tool makes it easier to dislodge clogs that are situated further down inside the drain pipe. They consist of a long flexible steel cable, which is contained in a spool mechanism. A crank is used to move the cable in and out of the drain, thus clearing the clog. These come in various lengths, but a twenty-five foot cable is usually sufficient for most home clogs.
For really tough clogs that are located even further away from the fixture, you might need to rent a power auger. These tools work basically the same as a manual plumber’s snake, except that they are powered by an electric motor. These devices have a lot of power and can cut through many different kinds of clogs, including tree roots. However, if you feel you need a power auger to deal with your clog, you might just be better off to call a professional plumber. If you do decide to tackle the job on your own, be sure that you have the rental agent explain the proper way to use the power auger, so that you can do the job safely.
If you have a particularly difficult toilet clog that doesn’t respond to a plunger, you might need to use a closet auger. These devices are designed specifically for toilets and use a cable enclosed in a rigid shaft instead of the spool style used by standard plumber’s snakes. They are also controlled by a hand crank. The end of the auger is configured in a certain way so that it can fit properly through the toilet trap, in spite of the tight curves.
Keeping Drains Running Clear
After you get your drain running clear again, there are some regular maintenance tips you can use to keep them that way. Running very hot water down the drain for about thirty seconds once a week can do a lot to prevent clog problems. You can also pour a tablespoon of salt into the drain, followed by a quarter cup of white vinegar. Allow it to sit for about an hour then flush with hot water. Pouring a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar can also be effective.