What to Avoid When Repairing Blocked Drains in the Home

9 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

When your kitchen or bathroom sink or a bathtub in the home is blocked, you don't always need to call a plumber. Sometimes a few minutes with a plunger will get a clog cleared, or you can simply open the stopper to the tub and clean out some excess hair and other "gunk" that might be trapped near the drain opening. However, there are some things you want to ensure you avoid when repairing blocked drains in the home, so you don't do more damage than good and know the job will be done right. Note a few of those things here.

Removing too many pipes

Under a sink in the bathroom or kitchen, there is a curved pipe that can easily be removed and then replaced once the materials inside are cleared away. This can often get a clogged drain flowing again.

However, you want to avoid removing any pipes but this one; this pipe is meant to be easily removed and replaced, whereas other pipes may be connected to filters, hoses, and other pieces that make them harder to replace. You may damage a hose or fitting by trying to remove too many pipes on your own, and you may replace a pipe with something that doesn't fit or which might otherwise lead to corrosion and resultant leaks. If removing that one simple pipe under a sink doesn't fix a clog, call a plumber, rather than trying to take apart the plumbing connected to your bathtub or shower.

Putting things into the drain

Some caustic chemicals are used to clear clogs but they often cause damage to the pipes; homemade remedies like baking soda and vinegar might be difficult to mix up safely on your own, and items like coat hangers or other tools can easily get caught in the clog. Avoid using these things to "stab at" the clog or otherwise try to clear it..

Running the water before you know it's clear

Don't assume that running water will somehow help to unclog a drain, even if you use a chemical product to unclog it or are trying to address it with a plunger. If you don't have the clog cleared all the way, water can simply back up into the tub or sink. This can also put pressure on the area of the clog so that leaks can form around connectors. The water pressure from your sink or shower is not high enough to clear a clog  or move it through the pipes, so avoid turning on a faucet until you're sure the clog is entirely clear.