Clogged drains call for quick action. Stop! Before you pour that liquid drain cleaner into your kitchen or bathroom sink, step back and take a deep breath. In fact, you may have to take a step back in order to take a deep breath, if your clogged drain is emitting a foul odor!
How Liquid Drain Cleaners Work – and Damage Your Pipes
Liquid drain cleaners use a caustic chemical to dissolve drain clogs. But the chemical reaction occurring inside your pipes can create heat. Heat can soften and damage PVC pipes or lead to corrosion of older metal pipes.
Furthermore, if the liquid drain cleaner does not work on your drain clog, you may be tempted to pour in more. At some point, your pipe may burst, and you may get burnt by the chemicals.
Biological drain cleaners may work on your clogged drain. They contain enzymes that eat away at the organic material causing the clog. They can be an effective, if somewhat slower, solution.
The Baking Soda Solution Fizzles Out on Clogged Drains
The Internet abounds with do-it-yourself drain cleaning solutions. The most popular is pouring baking soda (a base) down your drain, followed by vinegar (an acid), and waiting a few minutes for the “fizzing” to unclog your drain, following this with a flush of hot water. If you remember anything from your chemistry class, combining a base and an acid simply produces water, with a small amount of salt in it. Hardly a fat-busting solution.
Hot water, however, can melt fat. Most kitchen drain clogs are caused by fat, oil, and grease. Pouring boiling hot water down your drain, mixed with a few tablespoonfuls of dish detergent to serve as a surfactant to help the water carry away the greasy clog, is a safer and greener solution to your clogged kitchen drain.
Take the Plunge – on Food Particles in Clogged Drains
Food particles can also become stuck in kitchen pipes and cause clogs. Fill the sink about halfway with warm water and clear the area around the sink in case of splashing. Using a rubber plunger, give the drain a few hard plunges. The suction action should dislodge the food and the water flow should carry it away.
Hair, There and Everywhere in Clogged Drains
A frequent cause of clogged bathroom sink and shower drains, hair often gets trapped in pipes where there is a build-up of grime. It often sits in the p-trap below the sink. It will eventually form a plug that even a plunger cannot dislodge. You can try to fish it out with a curved wire hook, but that can be a tedious and messy job. The professionals at Avis Plumbing can use a motorized drain snake to remove the clog. Use drain covers in your sink and shower to help prevent future drain clogs.
The Scum of Clogged Drains
Soap scum is another culprit causing clogged drains. It builds up along the walls of the pipes. While it is impossible to prevent soap from going down the drains, using a mesh drain trap can help prevent clogs by catching soap particles. The continued force of the water will eventually dissolve them.
All of these tips and techniques may serve to remedy the simplest of drain clogs, but there are times when only the services of professionals like Avis Plumbers can unclog your drain. This is especially true if your clogged drains are caused by tree roots or perhaps small objects that went down the drain. Do yourself and your pipes a favor — if your early attempts at simple drain cleaning do not work. Call Avis, the preferred Cape Coral plumber, today at 239-542-4421, to keep your drains clean.