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What Should You Do When Your Drain Clogs?

Published by 911 Restoration Tampa on April 17, 2014 in category: Water Damage Restoration with tags:

Dealing with a clogged drain can be a pain. Luckily, understanding a bit more about what causes clogged drains and what you can do to fix them can help you repair and prevent these issues in the future.

What are the Common Causes of Household Clogs?

Although there are always exceptions, these are some of the most common causes of household clogs:

  • Grease – Although you might think it’s acceptable to pour grease down your drain if you use hot water at the same time, grease will solidify as it cools and can cause a blockage.
  • Food – Just because food washes down the drain doesn’t mean that you should allow it to. It can get stuck in your pipes, and things like rice and pasta can even expand in the pipe.
  • Paper -Paper towels, napkins, tissue and other paper products are common causes of clogs.
  • Hair – It’s common for hair to find its way into household drains, but it can clump up.

What are Your DIY Repair Options?

There are a few DIY repair options that you can try if you want to unclog your drains:

  • Plunger – A plunger can be used for many sink clogs. To get started, you should add a bit of water to the sink. Then, position the plunger over the drain and pump it up and down. In some cases, this can help you flush water through with enough pressure to push the clog through the pipe.
  • Chemical Drain Cleaner – There are quite a few chemical drain cleaners on the market that are designed to be poured down the drain. In most cases, you pour it in, allow it to sit for 15 to 30 minutes and then flush it down with hot water.
  • Sewer Snake – A sewer snake is a piece of equipment that can be used when a plunger or chemical drain cleaner won’t do the job.

Chemical Drain Cleaners: The Pros and Cons

Chemical drain cleaners can seem like the perfect solution. They are affordable and very easy to use, and they are surprisingly effective. However, they do have their disadvantages. First of all, you should know that they don’t work for all clogs. They contain harsh ingredients, and they can be dangerous if you come in contact with them.

Lastly, you should know that they can cause damage to your pipes, particularly if they are older or if you use them too frequently. Therefore, it’s best to proceed with caution when using chemical drain cleaners.

How Can You Prevent a Clogged Drain?

The best way to prevent a clogged drain is to be careful about what goes down it. Keep a strainer over your drain to catch any debris before it goes down the sink, and avoid washing food or grease down the drain.

Should You Call in a Professional Plumber?

Although you can try using a plunger or another DIY method for fixing your clogged drain if the issue is minor, serious clogs should probably be left to a plumber. Also, if you notice other problems or if your pipes are old, you should consider hiring a professional. Bad drain clogs can lead to a pipe burst if there is enough pressure or even a sewage backup that will cause serious water damage.

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