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Tips To Deal With Clogged Drains

In this second installment on clogs, we’ll cover some tips on how to deal with them and avoid them in your home. If you’re experiencing a clog in a kitchen or bathroom drain, it’s important you act quickly so you can restore normal operation of the drain and avoid potential backups and damage. A lot of people will simply rely on liquid chemical drain cleaners to clear out their drain, but we like most plumbing professionals, will recommend against using these products. They have some extremely harsh, caustic chemicals that can damage your pipes, especially if you overuse them, and might result in the clog moving farther down the drain, which will worsen the backup and be harder to resolve.

So instead of using a chemical drain cleaner, here are a few other alternative methods you can use for dealing with clogged drains.

Vinegar and baking soda

Chances are you did the “science experiment” involving vinegar and baking soda at some point in grade school. This mixture can help you clear a drain. Pour half a box of baking soda down the drain, then half a cup of vinegar. Stop up the drain with rags or a metal stopper, and let the chemical reaction occur. The hope is that this reaction will clear the clog, and you’ll then be able to pour boiling water down the drain to clear up the rest.

Boiling water

You might, in some circumstances, be able to get away with using just boiling water without having to try the vinegar and baking soda method first. By boiling, we mean boiling, not just hot. Boiling water will dissolve organic matter built up in the sink. However, if you have PVC pipes instead of metal pipes, you should not use this method, as the heat could result in the joints cracking. In addition, if the sink bowl is made of porcelain, you have to be extremely careful to pour the water directly into the drain and not let it splash on the bowl, otherwise it could crack the porcelain.

Plungers

If there’s a large obstruction in your sink to the point where no liquid is capable of flowing through, you’ll likely need to use a plunger. When the blockage is in a sink, you’ll use a different kind of plunger than you would with a toilet. It should be cup-shaped and not flanged. You can find small handheld plungers as well as full-length plungers. Remove strainers and stoppers, then fill up the sink halfway full with water. Place the plunger of the drain and plunge sharply and quickly. Check every now and then to see if the sink is draining.

Drain snakes

You can also find handheld drain snakes at hardware supply stores, which will feature long steel wires that can snake down into drains. When you meet the clog, twist the snake to catch it and remove the debris.

Remove the drain pipe

If none of these methods work, you might need to remove the P-trap, or the U-shaped piece of the plumbing, and remove the clog manually.

If you’re finding it difficult to remove a stubborn clog in your plumbing, contact our professional plumbers today and we’ll be happy to provide our services and tips. Contact us at: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063.

PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. All rights reserved.
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