Every single homeowner will be faced with a problem sink at some point. As plumbing ages and it is subjected to the everyday debris of our daily lives it is almost inevitable that a blockage will occur. The signs are easy to see. Sinks take that little longer to drain and there is that puddle of water that will not go away. There is a smell which is unpleasant and will not leave the kitchen – and sometimes spreads throughout the house.
But it’s not only the kitchen sink that is a challenge. Hair can plug up showers, and even outdoor drainage area areas can become blocked.
Can you do anything as a homeowner to solve the problem? It might be easier than you think.
The first challenge is to remove the drain covering. That is usually not a complex task. A normal screwdriver will enable you to lift that cover. But then the real challenge arrives. You can try normal drain cleaner -or a plunger, but sometimes they do not bring the results you want.
Now run the water. Still not draining. It is time to go to step number two. It will not usually cost you a cent – but you might have to find something a bit old fashioned. A wire coat hanger. They are not as easy to find as you might imagine these days.
This is one of the most unpleasant tasks that you will ever have to encounter as a homeowner. You are going to have to put on a pair of sturdy rubber gloves and reach down into that drain and pull out all the gunge and built up fat and, yes, in some cases hair that is blocking the drain.
Now here we are going to go old school. And you might not be able to find the tool you need. An old-fashioned wire clothes hanger. If you are lucky enough to find one (and they are becoming increasingly rare) straighten it out and bend the end into a small hook. And put it down the drain and start fishing. You are not going to enjoy the process. What comes out that drain sometimes smells very bad. But always remember, don’t push, pull. Once you have got that gunge out, flush with hot water and everything should be golden.
But say that doesn’t work. The yu are going to have to turn to an age-old remedy. The remedy for everything that is not clean in the home. Baking soda and vinegar. The rule of thirds. One-third vinegar and one third baking soda. Keep your face away and immediately pour it down the drain. It goes very fizzy and will usually dissolve any blockage that is causing the problem. There is an alternative approach. Simply take a generous helping of baking soda and pour it into the drain. Then pour in the vinegar. Once again, keep your face out of the way of the drainage hole. The last thing you want is a trip to the emergency room to wash out your eyes.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to go nuclear on the problem. That is going to require a wet or dry vacuum cleaner. You will first have to set that vacuum to the wet setting. You are going to need a tight seal. One of the best ways to achieve this is going to take a bit of work. You will need an old plunger head. Cut a hole in the top, insert the vacuum and set it to its highest power, then her rip. It is not a perfect solution, but usually, it will pull up all that grease, grime, hair and fat that has been clogging up the pipe.
If that doesn’t work, then you will have to take the next drastic step. And this really does require gloves and eye protection. Caustic soda is not to be messed with. Add a healthy (caution) into a bucket with normal tap water. Stir it well and pour it down the drainage entrance. Leave it to his for about 30 minutes and then pour in hot water.
If at the end of all of the processes you are still left with a blocked drain it is time to call in the professionals. Then you might have an issue that is slightly more complex than a simple clog. A professional plumber will usually be able to sort the problem out in under an hour (at the most). Rather than frustrate yourself and use up your valuable time give that neighborhood plumber a call. Most have very reasonable rates – and their work will have a guarantee. Most have emergency services and can be called upon at any hour of the day or night. Sometimes it’s simply better to call on a professional, rather than attempt the job yourself.