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3 Drain Cleaning Tips Everyone Should Know

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You may encounter a clogged sink, shower drain, or toilet at some point in your life, which is why it is helpful to know how to deal with the situation when you encounter it. Here are three drain cleaning tips that everyone should know.

Tip #1: Hot Water Often Does the Trick

When you encounter a clogged drain, the first thing you should try pouring down it to unclog it is some hot water. Drains get clogged because some material has built up inside of the drain and is blocking the passage of liquid down the drain. Oftentimes, all that is needed to get rid of the build-up is some boiling hot water.

For a kitchen or bathroom sink, put in the stopper and fill the sink halfway up with boiling hot water, then pull the stopper out. The pressure and hot water may clear the clog. You can utilize the same trick in your shower or bathtub. Its best to boil the water on the stove, but if that is not an option, turn the faucet to the hottest possible setting and see if that flushes the clog away.

Hot water is the easiest and often quickest way to deal with a clogged drain, and it is simple enough that anyone can try this trick.

Tip #2: Always Keep Two Plungers Around

You should always keep two different types of plungers around — a toilet plunger and a sink plunger. Although you can interchange these types of plungers, they both work best when used for their intended application.  

Make sure that you don't just have a plunger but that you understand how to use it. Take the plunger and cover up the drain. Then, move the plunger side to side at a steady and consistent rate for a couple of minutes. Don't press down on the plunger or move it quickly. Then, remove the plunger, and hopefully, the consistent force of the pressure from the plunger will clear the drain.

If the drain has an overflow drain, cover it up. If the overflow drain is not covered up, the pressure will not build up and the plunger will not work. Overflow drains or vents are common on kitchen and bathroom sinks. If you have a split sink, be sure to cover up the drain on the other side for the same reason.

Tip #3: Use a Household Cleaner

Two household staples you should always have on hand include baking soda and vinegar. Putting equal parts baking soda and vinegar down a drain and allowing them to mix together for a few minutes before following up with some boiling hot water is often all that is needed to break-up whatever is clogging up your drains.

You should know how to unclog a drain so that if you ever encounter a clogged drain, you know what to do. When you encounter a clogged drain, always try the hot water trick followed by the vinegar and baking soda trick. If those two tricks don't work, use a plunger. If your drain is still clogged, that is when you know that you have a serious problem and that it is time to call in a plumber.

To learn more, contact a plumber.