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How Do I Unclog My Drain, and Why Does It Clog?

Having your own home is a great sense of pride for millions across the globe. It is a landmark that shows you have accomplished something meaningful in life. It signifies that you have secured one of the essential components of life- namely, food, clothing, and shelter. 

However, owning a home comes with an extensive list of responsibilities. You must care for it, much like you would for your child. Houses require regular maintenance work. This could include upkeep of the yard, roof repairs, repainting, and so on.

Among the things to take care of are the house’s plumbing and drainage. Drains often get clogged and this may initially seem like a non-issue. However, if this isn’t dealt with in time, it could result in widespread damage such as seepage of water into walls or even burst pipes. So, how do you unclog drains and why do they get clogged in the first place. Let’s find out:

Drains Blocked by Hair

Hair is one of the most common objects that block drains. This is true for drains in showers where hair falls from the body or head and also for sinks where hair may be introduced during shaving, etc. While small hair particles may not cause issues and get washed away, some of them may stick in the drain. Over time, these can accumulate, first slowing the drainage and then completely clogging the drain.

Solution: For starters, remove all hair that is visible superficially over the drain. Then, wear gloves and insert your fingers into the pipe, and pick out a bunch of hair. If the issue persists, the hair is clogged deeper than your finger can reach, you could use a bend wire hanger or a drain snake to get to it.

Drains Blocked by Grease

It’s a common practice to discard leftover food in the kitchen sink drain. Now while solid food particles could block the pipe, the more common obstructions are caused by fats, oils, and grease. These may enter the drain relatively quickly, but they solidify on the drain pipes due to a cooler environment and cause problems.

Solution: If grease gets stuck in a drain, pouring boiling water into it should do the trick. This melts the stuck fat and helps move it along the pipe. Pour the boiling water carefully and with intervals instead of in one go. However, the best way to prevent grease blockages is by not discarding greasy things down the drain and throwing it out in the garbage instead.

Drains Blocked by Toiletries

People often discard toiletries into the toilet, and while this may not cause issues most of the time, it certainly can do so. Excessive toilet paper, baby wipes, diapers, and feminine hygiene products are some of the things that get thrown flushed down the toilet. While they made seem small, they can expand since they are water absorbent. Once they do, they could easily clog the toilet.

Solution: Unfortunately, in most cases, these items get stuck too far down a toilet drain to pull out without an expert’s help. Thus, if it were my toilet, I’d look for reliable plumbers near me without wasting a minute. But don’t you agree that it would be much easier if you dispose of such items in the trash instead of trying to flush them down the toilet? I’d say so. 

Drains Blocked by More Serious Issues

While drains getting clogged due to objects or particulate matter is the more common issue, significant issues may also be present. These include pipes that have been broken by tree roots aging, wear, and tear. If you installed the ducts in your house yourself or had an inexperienced plumber do the job, the pipes may be improperly installed, to begin with. Both these issues would result in poor drainage.

Solution: Keep a lookout for any signs of a broken pipeline. These include leaks or damp staining of roofs and walls. In case you find such issues, locate the pipe responsible and close its input valve to prevent further damage or water loss and call a plumber to check it out. To avoid poor pipeline installation, always hire an expert for the job instead of trying to save a buck doing it yourself. The extra cost is worth it in the long run as it set you up for years to come. After all, prevention is better than a cure.

Final thoughts

House upkeep is doesn’t come cheap. And yet, it must be done regularly because if it isn’t, the situation could worsen. It’s better to spend several hundred dollars instead of the thousands you may have to if an untended issue exacerbates beyond control.

To save money, you can learn a few tips and tricks that you can use for simple repairs. These include the tips mentioned above on how to unclog drains. However, if this ‘do it yourself’ approach isn’t enough, it’s essential to contact a professional to get the job done.A

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Audrey Throne, the author of this post, is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics. Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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