Tips & Advice
What are the basic plumbing tools for DIY drain cleaning?
The following tools and common household objects can be used to clean drains at home:
Homeowners can mix boiling water with any of the last three products to break up grease and grime.
- A plunger
- A drain snake
- Baking soda
- Grease-fighting dish soap
Are clog removal liquid products environmentally friendly?
The main ingredients in clog removal liquid products are sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, both break down into relatively harmless components when it comes into contact with water or soil. However, both substances cause mild irritation to skin and internal tissues.
Also known as a drain auger, a drain snake is a coiled device around ¼-inch thick. To use a drain snake, put the end into the entrance of the drain. Turn the handle to force the snake deeper, using extra pressure to force it through the bend in the pipe. Keep turning until the snake hits the clog, then either pull the snake and remove the obstruction or force it through. Once the snake is out of the drain, run the water on full blast for a few minutes to ensure the obstruction is completely removed.
Can plungers damage residential pipes?
Plungers don't damage residential pipes, but the force created by the act of plunging weakens the seal between the toilet and the floor.
Do plumbers offer emergency drain cleaning services?
Many plumbers, both local businesses and nationwide chains, offer emergency or same-day services.
What is the best way to unclog a drain?
Use a tiered process to unclog drains. Start by flushing the pipes with hot water. If that doesn't work, pour a combination of baking soda, vinegar, liquid dish soap, and hot water down the drain. Beyond that method, try a liquid clog remover. Should the clog persist, use a pipe cleaner or drain snake to manually clear the debris. If all else fails, hire a professional plumber.
A rooter is a specialist trained drain and septic cleaning and maintenance.
What is the best way to clear a minor clog?
Before resorting to liquid drain clog removers or a professional plumber, use hot water and any combination of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap to dissolve minor clogs.
How can homeowners reduce or prevent drain clogs?
- Run hot water through the sink after every use to force stray food oils down the drain.
- Regularly clean your garbage disposal.
- Place mesh screens over drains to catch any debris.
- Brush hair before showering or bathing to remove loose strands.
- Wash pets outside if possible.
- Never put the following down the drain: Cooking oil, grease, fat, coffee grounds, gum, hair, cat litter, lotions and cosmetics
How much does drain cleaning cost?
Depending on the severity and location of the clog, professional drain cleaning costs $100-$250. Homeowners can remove minor clogs for less than $20 by flushing the pipes with a mixture of boiling water, baking soda, vinegar, and liquid dish soap.