Water Damage Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your home. Not only can it damage certain rooms and furniture, it can also rot wood, spread bacteria and cause mold infestations. Unfortunately, water damage is inevitable for all homes and buildings. This is true regardless of where you live. Water […]
Your kitchen and bathroom sinks swallow a lot of things. Sadly, some of that stuff doesn’t always go down well. Even top-of-the-line, well-installed plumbing requires cleaning from time to time. A clean drain reduces stress from having backed up water in your sink or tub. It also prevents build-up of damaging residue in your pipes. Depending on what type of things normally go down your drains, you may need to clean and unclog them more often. But, don’t panic! Whether your drain is clogged or just needs freshening, we’re here to help with this handy list of 5 steps to a clean drain.
If your drain is clogged, you’ll find these tools handy:
Bucket or large bowl
Small plastic barbed drain-cleaning tool
For cleaning the drain, you’ll need:
Biological or environmentally-friendly drain cleaner
Steps to unclog your drain
1. Always start with your plunger
Yep, you can use a plunger in your sink. Just be sure it’s not the one you use in the toilet! Fill the clogged sink with enough water to cover the drain and the bottom of the sink. Press the plunger tightly over the drain. Once you have a secure seal, pump the plunger several times to dislodge the clog. If you have a double-sided sink or your sink has an overflow hole, plugging the extra drain or overflow opening will help create more pressure in the pipe as you pump the plunger.
2. Try the small plastic barbed drain-cleaning tool
If the plunger doesn’t work, the next thing to use is one of these nifty drain-cleaning tools. You can find these handy little gadgets in hardware stores and in the hardware departments of places like Walmart and Target. They are inexpensive and very effective on clogs close to the drain, above the P-trap. Simply remove the drain plug and slide the tool into the drain as far as it will go. When you pull it out, the backward angled barbs pull out hair and other debris that has balled up in your pipe. Steps for unclogging the tub drain are a little different.
At this point, there are a couple more DIY things you can try.
If you are not comfortable using more invasive plumbing tools, now’s the time to call in the professional plumbers.
3. The hand auger
Also known as a plumber’s snake, the hand auger drills a hole through the debris creating the clog in the pipe. This loosens the clog enough that it breaks apart and washes down when you flush the drain with hot water. If you’re not familiar with how to use a hand auger, we like the explanation and photos on this site: Family Handyman
Once your drain is unclogged and water is flowing smoothly again, you can finish up by cleaning and freshening the drain. We recommend the following methods for keeping your drain clean and helping prevent the build-up of residue that could lead to another clog.
4. White vinegar, baking soda, & hot water
The next step is to pour about ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow the baking soda with white vinegar. Remember those school science volcanoes that erupted? Yep—that was the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda. Place a cover over your drain and let the reaction continue for about 15 minutes. Finish by pouring boiling water down the drain as a final rinse. (Note: Some people prefer to use biological or enzymatic, environmentally friendly commercial drain cleaners for this step. These are good choices also and won’t damage your septic system like chemical, corrosive cleaners. Just be sure to follow package directions.)
5. Clean the disposal
The final step to a clean drain is one most people don’t even think about the disposal as a something that needs to be cleaned. Disposals can be the source of pretty stinky odors, however. Food debris that doesn’t drain properly can lurk around the sides of the disposal floor where it decays. Cleaning your disposal is inexpensive and easy. Here are a couple of our favorite ways to keep the disposal clean and fresh-smelling. DIY fresh disposal and How Bob Vila cleans a disposal.
Choose your favorite method and get that disposal scrubbed!
Well, there you have it. Five Steps to a Clean Drain.
Hopefully, you were able to clear the clogs yourself and end up with a beautiful clean drain. If not, remember that using too much force can cause permanent damage to a pipe and lead to much greater expense.
Whether you’re fighting a stubborn clog or just don’t have the time to deal with it yourself, we can help! Give us a call today!
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It seems like simple enough logic. If you don’t seal your bathtub drain, you’ll get water damage that effects your home. You know the tub drain by the hole on the floor that water goes through during a bath or shower. We’ll make sure to show you all how to do it well in a step-by-step guide.
USE A RUBBER SEAL IN YOUR TUB TRAIN
The best method to use in sealing the drain is installing a rubber seal. If you use this method, you’ll prevent water from leaking out of the drain since it’s a water-tight block. You fit the seal between the tub drain and the wastewater drain by removing or lowering the floor drain pipe. You’ll need a wrench to unscrew it, put in the seal, and then screw it again tightly so nothing falls apart.
YOU SHOULD ADD CAULKING: After fitting in the rubber seal, use caulking on the outside of the pipe to seal it in. You should buy specialized bathtub caulking, which is waterproof and costs around 5 dollars. If you see any exposed joints, make sure to add caulk onto it as well. There should be no water over the seal.
YOUR LAST RESORT IS THE DRAIN ASSEMBLY KIT
If you find that the rubber seal doesn’t fit, nor does your drain stop overflowing above your seal, you should use a drain assembly kit that will replace the old drain.
- You should put together the overflow pipe. The rubber gasket should be on top of the waste overflow, or better known as the top opening of the pipe. The drain piece should be at the bottom of the pipe with the tub drain hole.
- You should apply plumber’s putty to the bottom of the drain flange. Make sure to clean off the excess.
- You should place the drain flange on the hole of the tub and screw it into the drain tailpiece opening. Don’t screw it too tight because you might have to adjust later down the road.
- You should buy the trip leaver and drain hardware. If you can, make sure it fits into the decor of your bathroom.
- You should put together the trip lever and the pop-up drain stopper, using the instructions provided.
- You should put the trip assembly through the overflow hole that’s on the back of the tub. Your items should come with screws so that you can fasten the trip lever assembly to the overflow cover plate.
- You should put together the pop-up stopper with the link on the trip lever hardware’s bottom. Afterwards, you should tighten.
- Screw everything back together. Test the water to see if it works as intended.
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