When it comes to household maintenance, dealing with congested or clogged drains can be messy, smelly, and downright exasperating, especially when you don’t know what to do.
Random poking down the pipes and experimenting with chemicals without knowing where the problem exactly lies can only take you so far.
That’s why it pays to learn about the enemy before heading into battle.
Finding the Cause
Depending on which drain fails to do its job, you can pinpoint the root of the problem by checking what usually passes through, and what you may have mistakenly let slip through.
- Bathroom drain issues usually stem from hair, dirt, and debris that washes off your skin that can bind with soap scum, creating solid gunks that clog the pipes.
- Toilet blockages happen when you attempt to flush down items that are too large or too unyielding to pass through, such as wads of tissue, feminine pads, diapers, cotton swabs or balls, condoms, and the like.
- Bathroom sinks suffer similar blockages as bathroom and tub drains – hygiene products dumped (cotton swabs, wipes, dental floss, etc.) usually accumulate in the pipes and hinder proper water flow.
- Blocks in the kitchen sink mainly come from food items that get stuck in the pipes, as well as oil-based liquids that may solidify over time or settle and collect, narrowing the passageways. Grains that expand when soaked in water, such as rice or cereals, can also cause these problems.
Drain Blockage Solutions
Troubleshooting and solving these common drain blockages can be a pain, especially if you prefer to do it yourself. You can remedy these issues, however, with the right tools and some time and effort.
Bathroom sink and tub drain blockage solutions range from using a plunger to dislodge the chunks of dirt stuck in the pipes, or manually removing the elbow joints for cleaning.
You can clear toilet bowls with a plunger, but for stubborn clogs, a drain auger can go through up to five feet down the pipes to break down large accumulated chunks of dirt or material or pull them out if necessary.
You can address blockages in the kitchen drain with hot water to soften and break down the food items stuck in the pipes, as well as melt the solidified oils and grease that narrow down the waterways. You can also use chemical drain de-cloggers if water fails to do the job.
If you are unsure of which methods to use to solve your drain difficulties, or if you’ve tried the common solutions and still experience issues, it is always best to consult and seek the services of professionals experienced in dealing with these problems.