A clogged drain is usually met with frustration, especially since it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time. Yet, you don't want to make the mistake of creating a worse problem in your rush to clear the drain. The following are some things you shouldn't try in order to clear the drain, along with the reasons why.
Don't stick your hand down the drain
This is especially true if you have a garbage disposal. You may think it is turned off, but if the disposal is jammed, it isn't unheard of for the grinding wheels to give a turn or two if the jam is abruptly dislodged — even if they are switched off. This occurs because the tension is released when the jam is removed. You don't want your hand near a moving disposal grinder! Even if the sink isn't equipped with a disposal, keep your hands and fingers out of the drain. There could be rough patches or even damaged metal on the pipes that could cause injury.
Skip the drain snake
Unless you are well versed in their use, a metal drain snake can do more harm than good. Most snakes are made to be placed down the main drain pipe, which is the one that protrudes from the wall. This requires the removal of the undersink pipe (the curved one usually referred to as the trap). If you try to use it down the sink drain, the snake can punch a hole right through the curved pipe so that you will have to replace it. The only exception are the plastic drain "zipper" tools. These can be used down the sink drain to remove hair and minor clogs.
Homemade snakes are also a bad idea
There are several DIY clog removal tool ideas that make the rounds of the internet, and none of them are good ideas. The most common is the bent coat hanger. Older pipes may be made of coated metal, so sticking any sharp object down the pipe that shouldn't be there can damage the coating and cause future rust or corrosion. Also, just like an improperly used snake, a DIY tool can punch a hole through both metal and PVC pipes.
Avoid chemical fixes
Liquid drain cleaners are toxic and should only be used under the instruction of a plumber. Using them for clogs often doesn't even work, simply because the cleaner can't work its way through the entire clog before it becomes too diluted to be active. Even worse, once you use a cleaner, all other methods of clog removal become more dangerous, since you now have to worry about the caustic cleaner splashing out of the drain. Instead, try pouring boiling water down the drain — if the clog is caused by soap scum or something else that can be dissolved, this will solve the issue.
For more help, contact a plumbing contractor who offers drain blockage clearing service in your area.
13 September 2017
When you get a clogged drain or a toilet that just won't flush, do you reach for the phone and call for a plumber? When you have these seemingly simple plumbing problems around your house, you have to make a decision quickly. Do you pay for someone to come out and make the repairs, or do you attempt the repair on your own? This blog is all about DIY plumbing repairs. You will learn the basics and find tips for when to cut your losses and call in for professional assistance so you don't make a small fix one that needs serious repairs.