Around the House with Julia
One of the most common problems around the house is a clogged kitchen sink. Most people think the clog will be in the “trap” – that little shiny chrome piece directly below your sink drain. But the trap does not trap foreign matter from going down your drain, but instead is a water lock that traps sewer gas from escaping through your sink. So don’t expect to find your problem in the trap. Before you call in the professionals, consider these options to see if you can clear the blockage yourself.
Chemical drain cleaners
Some chemical drain cleaners contain high levels of sulfuric acid. These products pose a hazard to you, your property and the environment. Just having acid in the home is extremely dangerous, especially if you have children. Almost any plumbing professional can tell you a horror story about either being burned or causing at least some damage to a client’s property from using a sulfuric acid product. If you have poured a strong chemical drain cleaner down a drain, don’t ever attempt to plunge it afterward. To do so may put you at risk of getting burned by the acid in the product.
Taking the plunge
Must I call a professional?
If you have a garbage disposal, allow the water to run for a period of time after the disposal has done its thing, so you can be sure the waste has moved into the main sewer line. Also, anything extra fibrous like pineapple tops, artichoke leaves, and the like should be avoided. Just because your disposal can eat it doesn’t mean your pipes can digest it.
If you realize your drains are getting slow and you’ve tried everything short of nuking them, it is time to get down and dirty, or call a pro to get dirty for you. Once your drain is completely stopped your options become much more limited.
Green drain openers: There are also several more earth-friendly drain openers on the market that use bacterial enzymes or microbes to unclog drains. Two of the popular brands are Drainbo and Super Digest-It. Before using a caustic chemical, these are a natural alternative to try first. In addition, these products can be used regularly to maintain a clear drain.
See you around the house!
Julia Strzesieski is the marketing coordinator at Cole Hardware and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org