Everyone hates a slow drain. Whether you discover that your feet remain underwater after you turn off your shower or your sink fills up while brushing your teeth, it’s all frustrating. As a competent Phoenix homeowner, you’ve decided that it is high time you learned how to clean your drain.
Signs You Have a Clogged Drain
Other than slow draining, some other signs indicate you need to find out how to clean your drain. If you smell an odor coming from your drain, that could mean the presence of bacteria, mildew, or mold that has built up on the residue in your pipes. Also, if you notice rust around your sink drain, you could be headed for trouble. Water with high iron content can cause corrosion when exposed to humidity or saltwater, which can catch and trap substances inside your pipes.
What Not To Do
You may think you know how to clean plumbing pipes. However, you’ve probably only learned what you know from advertisements that sell gadgets or drain cleaner. Not only could some of the methods be dangerous if not done correctly, but you could end up doing more damage to your plumbing. In the end, you would have saved time and money by calling a professional in the first place.
Using Caustic Drain Cleaning Chemicals
The reason chemical drain cleaners work is the high concentration of corrosive chemicals like lye and sulphuric acid. Use an abundance of caution with these and store them away from children, as they can cause injury or death if ingested, inhaled, or exposed to delicate skin. Some of the pitfalls of using drain cleaner include:
- Too much cleaner can damage the metal in pipes and sink traps
- Caustic chemicals can destroy rubber gaskets or weaken the adhesive used in pipe joints
- If the drain cleaner doesn’t resolve the problem, removing the trap arm could result in burns when the trapped chemicals rush out.
Using a Plunger After You’ve Used Drain Cleaner
Make sure that a plunger is the clog removal method you try first. It is the easiest and quickest way to remove a clog. However, if you’ve already tried to apply a chemical drain cleaner, do not attempt the plunger. If the sink or toilet has standing water mixed with drain cleaner, attempting to plunge it could result in splashing. Drain cleaner on the skin can cause severe burns, but it could be a much more dangerous situation if it ends up in the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Auger or Snake
You may have heard the term snake, auger, or auger snake as clog removal devices. While these can be very effective, if you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up driving a hole into your pipe. DIY instructions say to push past the point of resistance. However, if you have no experience with augers, you may not know how much force should be applied or the proper time to use it.
If you want to try to clear your clog before you call an experienced plumbing professional, stick with a simple plunger. If that doesn’t work, call one of the Day and Night Plumbing offices near you in Phoenix. Contact us today for an appointment.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Stanislaw Mikulski