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DIY Drain Cleaning Methods

Looking For Signs Of A Drain Clog

There’s never a good time for a dirty or clogged drain, but unfortunately, it’s an inevitable part of owning a home or renting an apartment. Not all slow drains require the skill and expertise of a trained plumbing professional — there are lots of things you can try on your own first. But if any, or all, of the below fail, it’s a good idea to call in a plumber before things get even worse.

How Do You Know If You Need Drain Cleaning?

Here are a few key signs to be on the lookout for:

  • Standing or slow-moving water in the shower, tub or sink.
  • A toilet that isn’t flushing or that takes a long time to refill after a flush.
  • Unpleasant odors coming from the drain.

It’s best to act right away when you notice a slow drain. After all, it will only get worse as more grime, dirt, and debris flows down the drain. Here’s what you can do on your own before you call in for back-up.

How To Clean A Drain With Baking Soda & Vinegar

  • Step 1: Head into the kitchen (or wherever you might have baking soda and vinegar handy).
  • Step 2: Gather your baking soda and vinegar and head back to the affected drain(s).
  • Step 3: Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Let it sit for about an hour.
  • Step 4: After an hour is up, pour a pot of hot (but not boiling), water down the drain to help move things along and hopefully clear the drain.
  • Step 5: If the clog persists, repeat steps 3 and 4 multiple times.

How To Use A Drain Snake

  • Step 1: Stick the end of the drain snake into the drain opening and turn the handle that contains the coiled-up snake.
  • Step 2: Push the snake down into the drain until you begin to feel resistance. Hint: this is likely the spot where the clog is located.
  • Step 3: Rotate the snake around and through the clog until you feel like you are able to continue feeding it freely into the pipe. Rotating the snake will help spin the clog away or at least you’ll be able to pull the clog up out of the drain as you retract the snake.
  • Step 4: Run warm water down the drain to clear out any remaining debris to make sure the drain is now unclogged.

Avoid Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If neither of these options does the trick, your best bet is to call in a professional. Never, we repeat, NEVER, use a chemical drain cleaning solution to clear a clogged drain. These products contain harsh toxins that can damage your plumbing system or worse, make you and your family sick.

Tips For Preventing Clogged Drains

  • Never use your toilet as a trash can. Always keep a separate trash can in the bathroom for all other items besides toilet paper.
  • Install hair and debris strainers in the shower and tub drains and remember to clean them out regularly.
  • Avoid pouring kitchen grease and cooking oils down the drain.
  • Only grind small, soft food particles in the garbage disposal and make sure you wash them down with plenty of water.
  • Remember to clean your drains monthly. Use the above mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

Trust your drain cleaning services to the professionals with adequate training and experience at Love Plumbing, Air & Electrical. Call (803) 302-3350 or complete an online form to schedule your annual drain cleaning appointment in Columbia today and enjoy the benefits immediately!

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