When your drains are acting as they should, then you do not even have to consider them. They are just another part of your everyday life. And yet a blocked drain can make your whole life feel stressful, and make everyday tasks that much harder to complete. Think about how often you run water in your home – a blocked drain can cause water to drain more slowly and even lead to overflowing, flooding, and further damage to your home.
So how can you clear your blocked drains and make sure that these problems stay small and easy to deal with? We have collected 10 top tips to clear any blocked drain – so read on to discover how you can make those clogged drains a thing of the past!
Your kitchen is often the place where the most blockages occur. This is because you can forget about not putting food waste, oils or grease down your sink, and this can lead to some serious problems later down the line. The best way to keep the blockages to a minimum is to never put oils down the drain – they may seem like liquids, but they can create a greasy layer on your drain and end up building up, as well as catching other bits of food waste to create a clog. You should also scrape all food waste off plates before washing them. This is far better than having to fix a blockage in the future.
We know that accidents happen. Even once you have decided to never again rinse cooking fats down the kitchen sink, you might accidentally do so. If this happens, make sure that you immediately run some very hot water down the drain in order to shift the fats and make sure they do not cling to your drains. This should prevent a greasy buildup in your U-bend, which can become hard and fixed over time, causing further clogs.
When you get a clog down your drain, it can be tempting to reach for the chemical options you have seen around. However, these can be very damaging to your drains and pipes, and can also be damaging your skin if you accidentally touch them. For a gentler approach, try a home remedy for blocked drains, whether that is a bathroom or kitchen sink, or even a shower or bathtub. You can simply combine a cup of baking soda with hot water and vinegar and put this in your drain, letting it sit for half an hour (or even overnight) before rinsing it away with more boiling water. This natural method can break down food waste and less serious clogs – you can even use this recipe to clean with, too!
This is a delicate operation, so go carefully! A wire coat hanger can be useful when it comes to showers and bathtubs – places where long hair may build up and cause a blockage issue. You can bend the hanger so that the hook can be used to fish out hair that is high up in your drain. Be careful though – you do not want to scratch your pipes or the porcelain around them. This is a great way to prevent clogs from occurring.
If a wire hanger isn’t working, you may want to use a toilet snake (otherwise known as an auger) to break up the blockage so it can be flushed down your pipes. This long and thin wire is easier to use than a coat hanger. In some cases, you may need a hydro jet to clear serious and immovable blockages – this is when it is time to call a plumber in, as this isn’t a tool to be handled by amateurs and could seriously damage your pipes.
Toilets are one of the main culprits when it comes to a blockage or clog. These are usually caused by too much toilet paper being put down the toilet, or foreign objects such as sanitary items, makeup remover wipes, or even odd items put down there by children. Make sure that you educate everyone in your home on what should and should not be placed down the toilet in order to help prevent clogs from occurring. Sometimes your pipes will be to blame for these issues, but you can prevent other problems from occurring with a little education.
Perhaps the most well known of all the drain clearing tools, a plunger is a handy tool to have around. A toilet plunger is an invaluable item for shifting clogs. A plunger can also be useful when it comes to sinks and bathtubs. Both of these drains can get blocked by hair and soap, and a plunger can help to dislodge blockages high up in the drainage system, and perhaps move them so that you can pull them out.
Do you have floor drains in your laundry room or kitchen space? Then it is vital that you ensure they are not blocked. Hair can gather on the floor and cause blockages that can easily result in a flood. Flood drains do usually have water inside them, but if you see more than the usual amount of water is not flowing down the drain in a normal way, it is best to call a professional to check for a blockage further down the drainage system.
Depending on where you live, your stormwater drains may see a lot of use. If you are in a sub-tropical climate, heavy rains can wash leaves and other debris towards your storm drains and it is vital to not forget them just because they are not inside your property. Remember to make clearing your stormwater drains part of your regular gardening, and remember to tidy up any debris that might get washed into them. This is especially important after storms or a heavy gardening session – and this lowers the chances of floods occurring in the future.
While you can use DIY methods to keep your drains clear, nothing quite beats the professional knowledge that a qualified plumber can provide. They will also know how to prevent blockages and clear drains in ways that are safe for you and your home. By going the DIY route, you could end up costing more money than you save… so be smart about how much you can actually achieve!
Are you feeling more confident about unblocking those clogged drains? Remember, the most useful tool you will have at your disposal is the help of a great plumber. Plumbing professionals like the ones you will meet at Andrew J. Robertson Plumbing have the skills and expertise to diagnose and deal with a whole host of plumbing problems, from clogged drains and leaks to advising you on how to prevent such issues from occurring. When it comes to blocked drains, prevention is better than a cure, so keep Andrew J. Robertson Plumbing in mind and take care of your drains.
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