From foreign objects dropped down the drain to a heavy build-up of hair, gunk and grease, clogged drains are the worst plumbing nightmare. These disasters tend to happen at the most inconvenient times and cost you money, time and a lot of aggravation. However, a little DIY know-how and preventative measures can help you avoid these costly, headache-inducing plumbing issues.
Dental floss, animal fur, stringy materials and other hair are common causes of clogged drains in showers, bathtubs and sinks. These materials can knot up, combine with other clogs and create chemical reactions that lead to hard-line blockages. To keep these items from causing a problem, remove them frequently, run hot water after washing, drain excess hairs in the trash and use non-toxic cleaners that are safe for pipes.
Another major culprit is hard water that contains minerals. These minerals can form a layer of scum on the inside of pipes, blocking water flow and causing a clog. To avoid this issue, install a water softener in your home.
If your clogged drain is a result of one of the above problems, try using a plunger or plumbing snake to dislodge it. If these methods fail to work, it’s probably time to call in a professional plumber. For more serious clogs, an electric power auger may be necessary. To use this tool, first remove the strainer and locate the clean-out plug on the side of your drain basin. This allows you to bypass the trap and feed the cable down directly into the pipe. Plug in the auger and start feeding a few feet of cable into the pipe. If you feel the tip of the tool hit an obstruction, stop the motor and switch to counterclockwise rotation to reposition the cable. Repeat this back-and-forth procedure until the clog is completely removed. clogged drain