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How To Keep Your Bathroom Drain Clear
Keeping bathroom drains clear from clogs is a great thing to know. There are few things as gross as standing in backed up shower water. Debris and soap scum gets stuck in the walls of the tub causing the surface to become even slipperier than normal if not addressed quickly. The following are tips which will help keep your bathroom drains clear.
The plunger is your best friend for dealing with clogged bathroom drains. A plunger, also called a “force cup” or a “plumber’s best friend,” is normally used to clear up clogs in tubs and toilet sinks. Make sure you cover the overflow opening in the sink before you use the plunger. Also, pour a few inches of water down the sink before placing the plunger over the drain, and then plunge rapidly using up and down movements for several minutes. When you remove the plunger, the water should automatically drain away. If not, try again.
An auger, also called a snake, is made of a coiled spiral cable which is usually ¼ inches in diameter. It comes in varying lengths, the most basic type having the z-shaped handle used to crank the cable as it snakes its way through the drain. There is also a funnel shaped container used to store the cable and then spin it as it travels through the drain.
A good alternative to the auger is sewer tape. This is basically a flat metal band that has a hook at one end. It is important to note that the sewer tape is effective only when the drain is not severely clogged.
If you’re looking for a homemade remedy to a clogged drain, you could try using baking soda mixed with three gallons of boiling water which you pour down the drain. To make sure you do not burn yourself, you should hold the container close to the drain and pour the boiling solution into the drain slowly. While this is a quick and easy solution which usually works, if there is a heavy gunk buildup, you will need to use a commercial drain opener.
The best thing about using a commercial drain cleaner is that it is heavier than water and thus able to seek the blockage easily. These chemical drain openers are made up of a combination of potassium hydroxide, which easily turns gunk into soft soap. The second active ingredient in these chemicals is thioglycolic acid which can dissolve any hair present in the drain. There are others which also contain sodium hydroxide, lye, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide. Most commercial drain cleaners contain toxic liquids, and carry warnings on the labels. Read a product’s label before you purchase it. You should also be careful when using these products. Always use eye protection and gloves while clearing a drain by using drain cleaners since toxic chemicals can easily harm sensitive skin.
Preventing the Clog
Since having to clear a blocked drain isn’t fun, here are tips that will keep you from having to deal with the problem in the first place:
- Don't drop pieces of soap down the drain assuming it will wash away.
- Always use a strainer in all of your drains to stop small pieces of soap and hair from going down the drain.
- Pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain every month. This will help wash away any gunk before it builds up in the drain.
- Visually inspect the bathroom drain each time you are in the bathroom. If you find signs of something clogging the drain, you should act quickly and remove it before it causes any problems. This practice will keep any foreign debris from accumulating underneath the drain cover.
Dealing with a clogged bathroom drain isn’t rocket science, but you could prevent the hassle of a clogged drain if you stop it before it begins. By taking the time to do monthly maintenance, you can make sure that your bathroom drain is never clogged.
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