Clogged Drains Tips

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If the water flow on my faucet is slow, can I perform simple faucet repair to correct the problem?

Faucet Repair: Troubleshooting Sluggish Water Flow

If sluggish water flow from your faucet is a problem, you may find the trouble lies with your faucet aerator. This device is most often located at the tip of the faucet and works by mixing air and water in order to give you an even flow of water. When mineral deposits accumulate or if you have a damaged aerator, the best thing to do is forgo faucet repair and replace the part. If it's just dirt that is lodged in your faucet aerator, you can conduct faucet repair in five easy steps:

1. Unscrew the faucet aerator from the spout, using oil to loosen the connection if necessary.
2. Disassemble the parts, keeping in mind the order of the components.
3. Use a toothbrush to clean the disk and screen with soap and water.
4. To clear out debris in the disk, use a pin or toothpick.
5. Flush the components with water before reassembling the aerator.

   
Is there an easy way to fix the water flow problem on my showerhead?

Keep The Water Flowing By Cleaning Your Showerhead

If the water flow in your showerhead is leaving you with nothing more than a sputtering stream, fix the problem by cleaning your showerhead. It's easier than you might think.

  • First wrap a wrench with masking tape to keep the tool from scratching the surface of your fixture.
  • Start cleaning your showerhead by unscrewing the swivel ball nut on your fixture.
  • Unscrew the collar nut of your showerhead.
  • Using a thin length of wire, clean out of the inlet and outlet holes.
  • Rinse off any remaining debris with water.
  • If mineral deposits remain stubborn, you can soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight.
  • Replace the showerhead and you're all set!

   
What can I do to avoid clogged drains?

Five Things You Can Do To Avoid Clogged Drains

To keep the plumbing system in your home running smoothly, it's best to avoid clogged drains by adhering to some practical rules. Here are five things you can do to avoid clogged drains:

1. Clean out the strainers and stoppers in your bathtub or sink on a regular basis. Hair and debris caught on a strainer or wound around a stopper can attribute to drainage problems.
2. Pour grease into a can and toss it into your trash rather than pouring it down your sink. Grease poured down pipes will collect and eventually cause clogs in your pipes.
3. Run boiling water down your kitchen sink once a week to rid your pipes of any grease or fat deposits that may be accumulating in your pipes.
4. Don't dump chemicals such as paint thinner or materials like hot wax down your drains.
5. Use a non-corrosive drain cleaner and pour it down your drain every six months to avoid drainage problems.

   
How can I keep the plumbing in my kitchen clog free?

Preventive Measures For Clog Free Kitchen Plumbing

Want to keep your kitchen plumbing functioning properly? Take on these preventive measures for clog free kitchen plumbing:

1. Don't use the garbage disposer without running water down the pipes to flush out particles. Run the water both 15 seconds before and 15 seconds after you use the garbage disposer.
2. Watch what liquids go down your kitchen sink. Liquid grease shouldn't go down your kitchen sink. Take the time to dispose of it in your trash instead.
3. Keep your kitchen plumbing clog free by not putting food particles with a stringy or fibrous consistency. That means celery pieces, banana pieces, and skins from poultry don't go down the garbage disposer.

   
What are some tools I can use to unclog a drain?

Five Clogged Drain Tools

If you've ever been stuck with a clogged drain or toilet and left wondering what clogged drain tools you should use, look at our handy list:

Plungers – These basic clogged drain tools can be used for unplugging your drains in sinks, bathtubs, and toilets by creating suction through pumping action at the handle. The all-purpose plungers have a flat face while the toilet plunger has an extended rim which you can turn back for use as a multi-purpose drain tool.

Snake – Also known as an auger, the snake is a flexible cable with a corkscrew end, useful for fishing out clogs in your piping. If you're clearing out a toilet, you can get a toilet auger which works with pipes up to 2” in diameter.

Flat Tape – The flat tape flat length of steel wire that is more rigid than the snake and clears out pipes 2” and up.

Power Auger – Like a power drill for cleaning out drain clogs, the power auger is a professional tool which cleans out large pipes up to 10” in diameter. Some models can reach lengths of 200 feet.

Rocket Nozzle – The rocket nozzle is a professional tool which sends a strong steady stream of water through your pipes to break up an obstruction. Rocket nozzles can clear out pipes as small as 1/2” in diameter to as large as 8” in diameter.

   
What is a good technique for using a plunger?

Drain Cleaning With A Plunger

If you're tired of clogged drains in the house, one way to clear up your plumbing is by using a plunger. Though most people use the plunger for toilets, remember that you can use it for other applications, including drain cleaning a sink. You just might want to keep one used for a toilet separate from plungers used around other parts of the house. You can make a tighter seal on the plunger by spreading a thick petroleum jelly film around the rim of the plunger. You'll get a greater suction and it'll be easier for you to clear out a clog. When using a plunger, use a great deal of force to press the plunger handle down over the drain obstruction. Wait a minute and then see if the clog is cleared. You can then repeat the drain cleaning process as necessary.

   
What do I do if more than one fixture in my home is clogged at the same time?

Clearing Out A Main Drain Clog

Sometimes, your sink, toilet, and bathtub are clogged all at once. If you have more than one fixture clogged at the same time, you may have to go through the main drain in order to clear it out. Read on to find out how you can clear out a main drain clog yourself.

1. First, locate the clean out plugs on the large drain pipes of your home in order to clear a main drain clog. You can find the clean out plugs on the vertical pipes in the crawl space of your home or in the basement, if you have one. Occasionally, the drain pipe will be horizontal, rather than vertical.
2. Use a wrench to remove the metal or plastic cap of drain pipe. Have a bucket handy to house any waste flow from the pipes.
3. Insert a plumbing snake into the pipe to break up any clogs above and below the opening.
4. As an added measure, spray a strong stream of water from a water hose in order to clear out debris.
5. Once you've finished clearing the clog in the drain pipe, replace the cap.

   
What is an easy way to prevent clogs in my bathroom shower drain?

Prevent Bathroom Shower Clogs With A Bathroom Strainer

You can often attribute clogs in the bathroom shower to the accumulation of hair and debris in your pipes. Try these preventive measures for clog free kitchen plumbing:

Available as a perforated metal or plastic disk, the bathroom strainer typically works in conjunction with your existing drain. Simply place the bathroom strainer on top of your existing drain and it will allow the flow of water while restricting hair and other larger particles through its openings.

   
How should I use drain cleaning products when clearing out a clog?

Using Drain Cleaning Products

One way to clear out a blockage in your pipes is by the use of drain cleaning products. You'll find many drain cleaning products carry lye or sulfuric acid – ingredients which burn through the materials in the clog and clear out your pipes. Remember to read through all the safety precautions on your drain cleaner before use. After use, run warm water through your pipes to flush out the remainder of chemicals residing in your plumbing system. Also keep in mind these safety considerations:

  • Never mix your drain cleaning products with any other chemicals.
  • Avoid skin or eye contact with your drain cleaner.
  • Make sure the area where you are using the drain cleaning products is well ventilated.

   
What are some good ways to avoid plumbing problems in my bathroom?

Three Easy Steps To Avoid Bathroom Plumbing Problems

If a backed up toilet or slow draining sink is plaguing your bathroom, there's no need to fret. Taking preventive measures is the best way to avoid clogging problems in your home. Follow these three easy steps to avoid bathroom plumbing problems:

1. Avoid bathroom plumbing problems by keeping products like facial tissue, paper towels, and sanitary napkins out of the toilet.
2. The pop-up stoppers in your sink can collect hair, dirt, and debris. Clean them frequently and you'll avoid plumbing problems.
3. Mineral deposits can interrupt the flow of water from your showerhead. Remove mineral deposits collecting on your showerhead with a cup of vinegar in a sandwich bag. Use a twist tie to hold the bag in place over your showerhead. Let it stand overnight. Remove the bag of vinegar in the morning and you'll be able to remove the mineral deposits with a damp cloth.

   
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