If you are a homeowner, there is a better than average chance that you have wondered about the do’s and don’ts of drain cleaning at least once or twice in the past. After all, it is understandable that you would have concerns about cleaning the drains because you have probably heard about how dangerous some of those commercially sold drain cleaners can actually be. The truth of the matter is that many of them can do a lot more harm than good when it comes to putting them down your drain. They are all caustic, so if you’re going to use one of the drain cleaners that you can purchase off of the shelf of a store, you have to be certain that you are using it the right way. Preferably, you can use some other, less harmful products to clean your dreams. Below are some steps that you can follow if you are having problems with clogged drains. If you follow them, it can help you address the problem without doing even more damage in the process.
1) Examine the Drain-
The first order of business is to examine the drain that is stopping up in order to see if there is a foreign body in the drain that can be easily removed. Sometimes, things accidentally get dropped into drains and if you have kids, this is undoubtedly a problem you have experienced before. If that is the only issue that you have, you might be able to pull the debris out of the drain without having any more problems. This is a good place to start if you have stopped up drains. At least you will know where you stand after you take a look.
2) Cleaning the Drains-
Sometimes, the drains get stopped up because of hair, soap and other residue and they must be cleaned. There are a couple of different ways that you can go about accomplishing this. The first thing you need to do is physically remove as much of the grime as possible in order to make the drain as clear as you can before you start putting anything down it. Next, try cleaning the drain with a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. This usually does an excellent job of dissolving gunk and grime, thereby getting the drain to open up a little bit without forcing you to pour something that is potentially harmful down it. If you have already tried that several times and you are still having problems, you have a couple of options available to you but you should consider the options very carefully.
3) What’s Next?
If you must use a drain cleaner that is produced for sale, make sure that you follow the instructions to the letter. Most of these cleaners can be quite dangerous and in some cases, they can do a great deal of harm to the drains and the sewer system. If you have any doubts, refrain from using them all together. If you are certain that you can use a particular drain cleaner without doing more harm than good, don’t use more than directed and don’t use it in any other fashion than as prescribed in the directions. If you have any doubts, contact a qualified plumber and let them handle the situation for you. More often than not, this is a far better option than using commercially produced drain cleaners.
Recapping the Do’s and Don’ts
If you have a problem with stopped up drains, it is imperative that you follow these simple tips in order to attempt to find out what is going on and then correct the problem by either removing the debris that is causing the blockage or contacting a plumber to correct the problem for you. Remember these do’s and don’ts that are listed below anytime that you have a drain that is backing up.
- Do look to see if there is something physically blocking the drain.
- Do remove it if possible.
- Do try cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar.
- Don’t use caustic drain cleaners unless you know what you are doing.
- Don’t use these types of drain cleaners at all in most cases.
- Do call a plumber when you have a problem.
As long as you remember these do’s and don’ts, dealing with drainage issues will be a lot easier. The most important thing to remember is that you should never use caustic drain cleaners without express permission from a plumber and without knowing exactly what you are doing. You should, however, contact a plumber as soon as you notice a problem that cannot be addressed by simply removing a foreign object or cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar.