Blogs from August, 2023

baking soda down sink
| < rel="author"> By Bjc Plumbing Drain Services

Steps to Take Before Calling a Plumber

Dealing with a clogged drain can be a frustrating experience. However, before contacting a plumber, you can try several methods to unclog the drain yourself. This can save you time and money, especially if you are dealing with a minor issue that has not compromised the integrity of your plumbing system.

This blog post will share practical tips for tackling common drain issues, helping you restore proper drainage in your Bethlehem home.

1. Boiling Water

One of the simplest yet effective methods to unclog a drain is by pouring boiling water down it. Boiling water can break down grease and other substances that might be blocking the drain. Carefully pour a pot of boiling water down the drain and wait for a few minutes. Repeat the process if necessary.

Note: this method is best suited for metal or ceramic drains, as it may damage PVC pipes.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar or Lemon Juice

Combining baking soda (a base) and vinegar or lemon juice (acids) is a natural and environmentally friendly solution to unclog drains. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or cloth to prevent the mixture from overflowing. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes, then flush the drain with hot water.

This chemical reaction helps break down debris and clear the clog. This method works best for kitchen sinks and garbage disposals where grease and other food waste may have accumulated.

3. Plunger

You may know that a plunger can help clear a toilet clog, but it can also work well on clogged sink drains? A plunger is a handy tool for unclogging drains, especially in cases where the blockage is caused by solid material.

Ensure enough water is in the sink or tub to cover the plunger's head. Place the plunger over the drain and vigorously plunge up and down for about a minute. The pressure and suction the plunger creates can dislodge the clog and restore proper drainage.

However, if you have to plunge a drain frequently, this may be a sign of buildup in your drainage system, causing a narrowing of the pipes. This can lead to more instances of blockages.

4. Plumbing Snake

Using a plumbing snake can be highly effective if the clog is stubborn and not responding to other methods. A plumbing snake is a long, flexible tool that can reach deep into the drainpipe to break up or retrieve the obstruction. Insert the snake into the drain and rotate it clockwise until you feel resistance. Continue pushing and rotating until the clog is dislodged. Remember to pull out the snake slowly to avoid damaging the pipes.

Plumbing snakes can effectively remove clogs from hair and similar blockages. However, if you have cleared a clog with a plumbing snake but are still seeing slow draining or the backup reappears, it may be a sign that more is happening with your system. For example, in some cases, a professional drain cleaning may be necessary to resolve chronically clogged pipes fully. 

5. Enzyme-based Drain Cleaners

Enzyme-based drain cleaners are an excellent option for maintaining clear drains and preventing future clogs. These cleaners contain bacteria and enzymes that break down organic matter, such as hair and soap scum, which commonly cause blockages. Follow the instructions on the product carefully, as each brand of cleaner may have a different application method.

Make sure you are using an enzyme-based drain cleaner and not one that is corrosive. Corrosive drain cleaners can cause significant damage to your pipes, leading to more problems and costly repairs.

When It's Time to Call in a Professional Plumber

Even with these DIY solutions, there are situations when it's best to call in a professional plumber. If you're dealing with a chronic issue where the clog keeps reappearing or if multiple drains in your home are clogged, it could be a sign of a more significant problem that requires a professional's knowledge and tools. Additionally, if you've tried a DIY unclogging method and it didn't work, it's time to call a professional to prevent further issues or potential damage to your pipes.

Here are some signs that it's time to call a professional:

  • Multiple drains in your home are clogged
  • The clog reappears even after you've unclogged it
  • There's a foul smell coming from the drain
  • Water is backing up out of the drain
  • You've tried a DIY method that didn't resolve the issue.

In short, before reaching out to a professional plumber, it's worth trying the five aforementioned methods to unclog your drain. However, remember to exercise caution and avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive force, as they can damage your pipes.

If your efforts are unsuccessful or you prefer professional assistance, Bjc Plumbing Drain Servicesis here to help. Our experienced team in Bethlehem specializes in unclogging drains and providing top-notch plumbing services. Contact us today for expert assistance!