PRACTICAL METHODS IN FIXING PERSISTENT CLOGGED-DRAINS
One of the common household chores is maintaining clean fresh-water facilities and ensuring that these facilities are working well. If the fresh-water facilities are not properly maintained, a plumbing trouble such as a clogged-drain may arise while washing the dishes, using the toilet, taking a shower, or at the storm drains. The common clogs in the kitchen sink, bathroom, and toilet happen when preventive measures are not observed and when piping fixtures get worn and torn over time. One must take immediate step to fixing the clogged drain when water flows slowly or not at all on the bathroom floor, the kitchen sink, in the storm drains, or when the toilet water backs up upon flushing.
Preventive measures in avoiding a clogged drain seem practical and easy to do but are often disregarded and not observed due to lack of discipline and training, or simply not properly guided and directed at all. All fresh-water users should be properly educated that all foreign elements aside from the fresh-water can cause a clog or obstruction when allowed into the drain. Toilet papers, sanitary napkins, human hair and all other objects that could obstruct the free-flowing water should not be allowed into the toilet bowl. A trash can should be placed beside the toilet bowl for the purpose. In the bathroom – hair, soap residues, dental floss, and the like should not be introduced into the floor drain nor the basin. In like manner, cooking oil residues, food leftovers, fruit and vegetable peelings, should not be allowed into the wash drain. Cooking oil residues, food leftovers, and fruit peelings should be disposed of properly according to the local ordinances. Dry leaves, pulled out weed, loose dirt, and sand should not be allowed entry into the storm drain.
In case it is a household, the parents should constantly train, guide, educate and remind their kids to observe the preventive measures. It would be helpful if the kids are taught at a young age on the bad effects if the easy measures are not followed. Explain to the child the possibility that the fresh-water facilities can no longer be used and that it would be expensive to hire a plumber and more expensive to replace the plumbing pipeline.
If the cause of the blockage in the drain can be visually seen, simply use a floor brush or long-nose pliers to remove the foreign particles. If the foreign particles can no longer be reached by a floor brush or pliers, an improvised GI wire with a hooked end will do. Please ensure using safety gloves as protection.
Should blockage persist, loosen and clean the P-trap or U-trap plug if these are accessible? Most traps are threaded type and can be removed by twisting it counter-clockwise using bare hands or a plumbing wrench if too tight. Once dismantled, remove the grime and gunk out by flushing with hot water. Once cleaned, install back in place the plug by screwing it clockwise and hand-tight.
If not comfortable in doing the plumbing traps, the old but reliable toilet plunger can do the work. To ensure the plunger works, ensure that there is enough water flowing into the drain so that plunging the tool back and forth will not be difficult. Give some minutes for the plunger to dislodge the object.
If not comfortable with the plunger, an easy-to-make solvent can also do the trick. Mix 1/3 cup baking soda with a corresponding amount of vinegar then pour the contents into the drain and let it settle for over an hour. If the homemade mix fails, there is a wide line of solvent cleaners in the market, and these are proven effective.
Normally, the problem is fixed after cleaning the plumbing traps and flushing the plumbing pipes with drain cleaners but should the clog persists; this means the probable cause of the blockage is probably in a far section of the drain pipe or stuck at an angle. In this situation, a professional help, like that of a Sydney Plumber, is required. Some professional plumbers use a CCTV to determine the location of the obstruction. With the information, they are guided by the type of tool to be utilized for the purpose. A common equipment used by professional plumbers is a machine operated rotating plumbing snake or auger to remove and clear the plumbing lines. Utmost care should be employed when using this equipment as the pipe may be damaged.
Another equipment available in the market is the kinetic water ram. As the cost of this equipment is quite high, ranging from $200 to $400 and also, the machine uses compressed air to force out objects, thus, one should consider the cost and personal safety prior deciding to purchase and use the equipment.
There is a wide range of practical ways to address the concern of a clogged drain. In choosing which better and practical method, one must take into account his or her personal safety, the safety of the plumbing system, familiarity with the chosen method, and certainly the cost.