We’ve all been there, those times when, despite your best efforts, you're stuck with a clogged drain at the worst possible time. With the holidays coming up, you’ll need to have some basic knowledge about the tricks of unclogging a drain! There are a few key steps you can take to try to clear the blockage yourself. The good news is, if the beast is a little too big to tackle, you can always call Northern Virginia’s #1 plumbers at F.H. Furr for a little holiday backup!
1. Get it out. If you can see and/or reach the blockage, try to remove it. If there’s a massive hairball in the shower drain or your ambitious toddler tried (semi-successfully) to flush a toy down the toilet, you may be able to remove the obstruction yourself. Sometimes plumbing is as easy as just getting rid of the problem.
2. Grab a plunger. Don’t automatically assume your plumbing problem means reaching for the phone book. Take it back to the basics and employ a good, old-fashioned plunger, particularly if you’re having a toilet problem. Plungers are also useful in sinks, as well.
3. Take it up a notch. If the obstruction is too far down the pipe or reach, try a cable auger, also known as a “plumber’s snake.” These devices, which are essentially long, flexible steel cables wound around a spool with a hand crank, are available in lengths up to 100 feet. These guys can help rid your pipes of blockages that are too far down to see!
4. Go au natural. Skip the harsh man-made chemicals and take a leaf out of Mother Nature’s book. For sink and tub clogs, try pouring a cup of white vinegar down the drain and let stand at least 20 minutes before flushing with boiling water. For stronger action, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain before adding the vinegar. The resulting foam should help clear the pipes.
5. Wave the white flag. As with any home repair situation, knowing when to call in the pros is a crucial step.
You may be tempted to use a store-bought drain cleaning chemical, but hold off. These cleaners may be effective, but they also filled with caustic chemicals that, over time, will wear down your pipes. When you can’t do it yourself, call F.H. Furr instead for all your plumbing needs and let us take care of the dirty work!