I get some of the same questions on a lot of my inspections, usually due to common problems that I find in all types of homes and buildings. Every few weeks I'm going to try and provide some practical advice for common disruptions in any homeowners or homebuyers daily life.
This entry deals with clogged or slow drains. Most sink and bathtub slow drainage is easy to remedy without caustic chemicals or the aid of a plumber. I don't lean toward drain cleaning fluids because they can be dangerous if not handled carefully. A better method is a plunger. If you buy a drain cleaner and it does not work you are out the money and still staring at water in the sink. If you buy a plunger it will work over and over again to clear countless numbers of slow drains, the trick is using a plunger the right way, and never using it after using a drain cleaner.(If the plunger works you could end up with a face full of caustic cleaner!!)
To clear or increase flow in a basin or tub you first need to put water in the fixture and run the water, being sure not to over flow the same while using the plunger. Do not push down on the drain with the plunger, this will only push the offending material deeper into the pipe and compress it , worsening the problem. Put the plunger to the side of the drain in the water standing in the fixture, push down to make a good suction, slide the plunger over the drain and pull up. Be sure to cover the overflow opening in the sink or tub so that you don't waste time sucking air. Repeat this action several times and you should see some real nasty material coming up into the fixture, keep the water running so that as you loosen the glog it breaks up and gets carried down the drain.
For clogged toilets=just put the plunger in and push down, it will force the offending material down through the toilets contorted works.
If that fails, call a plumber. Remember to buy a good quality plunger that is useful for both toilets and other fixtures. A good plunger will work for years and does not put chemical into the environment or damage pipes.
Go clog go.
Chris Baczewski, All Season Home
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