What Projects a Handyman Can Help You With

Three Tactics To Try Before You Call A Plumber For A Drain Blockage

by Harry Martin

A slow-draining sink or tub might not seem like a major plumbing emergency, but it can certainly pose an inconvenience. If you don't deal with this problem, it will likely continue to worsen to the point at which it could require attention from a professional. While it's a good idea to call a plumber to handle any drain blockages in your home, you can consider attempting to rectify the issue on your own before you make the call. In many cases, you'll be able to free up the drain; in other cases, a plumber's expertise and specialized tools will be needed. Here are three ways to attempt to fix a drain.

Use A Drain Auger

A drain snake or auger is an effective tool for removing blockages in your drain caused by built-up hair or even soap scum mixed with hair. A simple snake is typically made of thin plastic and contains several barbs. You push the tool down the drain as far as you can and then pull it back up; as it comes back, its barbs will catch the hair. An auger is a heavier-duty tool. You operate it by sticking the tip in the drain and then turning a hand crank to push the auger as far as it will go. The small claws at the end will snare any blockages and remove them when you pull the auger back up.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

Two household substances, baking soda and vinegar, can form a potent mixture that can help to clean a blocked drain. Although there are numerous ways to use these products, a typical approach involves pouring some boiling water into the blocked drain and then adding about half a cup of baking soda. After a moment, pour a cup of vinegar and another cup of hot water into the drain and apply the plug. The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar can break up the blockage, while the hot water will send it on its way.

Drain Cleaners

Many people use drain cleaners as a last resort for dealing with a blocked drain before calling a plumber. Buy the product of your choosing at your home supply store and check the instructions. Typically, you pour most or all of a container into the drain and allow the chemical to do its job. If this doesn't work, don't repeat the job -- many of these chemicals are not environmentally friendly. It's a better idea to schedule a visit from a local plumbing contractor like Electric Eel Sewer & Drains Specialists.