Nothing is more frustrating than a clogged or slow moving drain! Not only does it create quite a mess it instantly brings to mind a big plumbing repair bill! You may need the assistance of a professional plumber but before you call, there are a few things you can do to attempt to clear the drain yourself.
Determine the Clog
Before you can be successful, clearing your plumbing you need to have a good idea of what the problem is in the first place. First, consider which drain is causing you issues. Is your bathtub taking forever to drain or has your commode refused to flush at all? Bathroom plumbing is most commonly clogged by hair and, in homes with small children, tiny toys. As you can imagine even the most potent drain cleaner will do little against a Lego or Lincoln log blockage. If you are not sure what caused the clog, analyze the most common items to go down this particular drain, some possibilities include:
Kitchen: food particles and grease
Bathroom Sink: Whiskers, hair, soap scum
Commode: Large amounts of toilet tissue or small toys
Bathtub: Hair and soap scum with hair being the likeliest culprit.
Stop before heading to the hardware store or yellow pages and try some simply drain cleaning options. One of the easiest and cheapest clog busters is probably already in your kitchen cabinets. Start by pouring a generous amount of baking soda into the offending drain, followed by an equally generous amount of vinegar. The chemical reaction between these two substances can power through some pretty tough clogs and clear your plumbing in minutes.
Of course, sometimes all you need is a little elbow grease to get the job done. Try plunging or snaking the plumbing (snakes are cheap and readily available at most hardware stores).
Assess and Decide
Once you have tried the simple home solutions to no avail, it is time to consider a more in depth approach. The only question is, who is going to dig in and find the clog? If you are pretty handy around the house, you probably have a pipe wrench and have taken the drain apart already. However, if you would have a hard time differentiating between a pipe wrench and a socket wrench; it is time to call the plumbing professionals!
There is nothing wrong with seeking a plumbing expert, especially when you have tried every home remedy known to man with no relief. If you are dealing with serious issues such as sewage in your bathtub or other drains, it is likely a problem with the main line, which will require specialty tools and knowledge. When your plumbing issues have gotten this bad, hiring a plumber is money well spent.