Waiting for the Plumber: DIY Drain Cleaning Fixes
It's 6:00 am and you're just waking to get ready for your day. As you step into your shower and into the spray of the warm water you look down to see your feet submerged in a pool of used water backing up in the bottom of your tub! Today you have a very important meeting, but unfortunately you also have a clogged tub.
Ounce of prevention!
This situation occurs more often than you think, but there are some simple steps to help prevent this problem and possible tips that may rescue your sinking ship.
Prevention is as easy as ensuring that the strainer in your tub or shower drain is properly installed and is the correct size to capture any hair or foreign objects trying to get into your drainage system. This strainer should have smaller holes to catch the most debris and be easy enough to remove, so when you have to clean it, the job is quick.
- Take the plunge!
Regular use of a plunger is a good measure to help try to keep any build up from restricting your drain pipes.
- Lighten up!
Heavy soaps and conditioners tend to settle in pipes and fixtures and assist in restriction and clogging of pipes. (A simple test of your products is to see how easily they dissolve in water - How easily do they rinse off cleanly?)
- Old softy!
Soft water has many benefits including savings on the amount of soap needed for all washing. The reason for this is that it tends to be better at carrying away soap etc. in the say way that it helps with soap buildup on your fixtures. Softeners are generally very user friendly and require little maintenance other than adding salt.
This may be less of a problem than you think. First, check and clean the strainer (usually the culprit). Then use your plunger (the proper tool is called a force cup and is different from the bee hive plunger used for a toilet).
- Try this!
The use of warm water with the plunger, instead of cold, helps to loosen the clog. If the drain is slow draining but not clogged you can try very hot water or baking soda and vinegar to try to loosen the clog.
- Watch out!
The use of chemicals may be a tactic that some may try, but due to the added cost, combined with the potential danger, harsh fumes, possible environmental issues, and limited success of such products, you may decide to bypass this step.
- Go natural!
Whenever dealing with drains in your house, think of them like you would of your body: Be careful what you put into them (heavy soaps, conditioners, grease, coffee grinds, etc.). Like the triple cheeseburger you ate at lunch, it may not create a problem immediately but in the long run but may be harmful down the road.
Who are you going to call?!
However you decide to proceed, always err on the side of caution and if the job is not up your alley, feel free to call a professional who will arrive at your house, advise you of all your options and prices.
You better shop around!
Do your homework and make sure the company you call is a true full service drain cleaning company with all the proper equipment. Make sure, if your problem is outside regular business hours, that the company you call offers 24hr service at no extra charges.