Slow Drain? Perform These Plumbing Repairs
Simple plumbing repairs can open a slow drain, or it can make the clog worse. Indeed, DIY efforts can have mixed results — you might even end up pushing the obstruction further down the pipe. While you might temporarily restore normal drainage, if chronic plumbing conditions aren’t addressed, a recurrence may develop again. Permanent fixes often require the services of a professional plumber. However, before you call, here are some DIY plumbing repairs you can try to accomplish yourself first:
Take the plunge
Put several inches of standing water in the sink and plug the overflow opening with a wet rag. Then, using a common rubber drain plunger, plunge the drain with a few vigorous strokes, pulling up forcefully at the last stroke. You should repeat this step a few times, and see if the sink empties.
Snake the pipe
Try using a manual drain auger or “snake.” First, add several inches of water to the sink. Then, rotating the auger handle in a clockwise direction, slowly thread it into the drain. If the auger is causing an obstruction in the pipe, rotate the handle back and forth in both directions, then slowly withdraw the auger. Observe the standing water in the sink. If the sink drains, you’ve cleared the clog for now.
Take out the trap
Use a cup to bail standing water out of the sink and put a bucket beneath the trap under the sink. Next, unscrew the slip nuts securing the drain trap, and remove the trap. Clean out any obstructions in the trap before replacing it and hand-tightening the slip nuts. While you’re running water in the sink, check underneath for leaks.
Bail out the sink and pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by an equal amount of salt. Finish with a cup of white vinegar, letting 10 minutes pass. Then, pour a saucepan of boiling water down the drain.
Commercial drain openers
Caustic drain openers can be hazardous and may damage pipes, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you still require a plumber to unclog the drain, make sure to tell him that you’ve used a drain opener.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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