Plumbing problems happen, and they can occur in the most undesirable and unexpected moments. If you’ve been skimping on your annual plumbing check-ups, it’s only a matter of time until your sink drain backs up on you.
If the unfavorable happens, what do you do then? Here’s our advice, don’t panic and keep on reading. We’ll tell you the essentials you should know about stopped drains below.
Clogged Drain vs Slow Drain
Many often confuse the two terms. A clogged or stopped drain means that something is blocking your drain and nothing could penetrate. Whereas, a slow drain means water can still pass through albeit not at its typical draining speed. However, if not dealt with immediately, slow drains can escalate to complete blockage. Therefore, managing both at first encounter is imperative.
What Not To Do
A clogged drain can be a real pain, but there are common pitfalls for homeowners when dealing with it. Remember to keep these in mind, so you don’t make the same mistakes:
1. Don’t keep the water running
This is often every homeowner’s initial response to clogged drains. Water will not go anywhere if you have a completely stopped drain on your hands. So don’t keep the water running or stop from repeatedly flushing a clogged toilet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with either a filled-up sink, a puddled floor, or a stuffed toilet– whichever it is you’re dealing with.
The key here is to quit adding to the problem.
2. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners
If you notice water not sinking, don’t rush to the nearest hardware to get one of those chemical drain cleaners. Chemicals like Drano or Liquid Plumr are not meant to magically unstop completely clogged sinks. They’re effective when you’re dealing with drains that are partially blocked, they can penetrate as long as there’s flow going into the drain.
Pouring chemical drain cleaners on a bowl or sink of standing water will not go anywhere nor do anything. You’ll simply end up with a bowlful of diluted chemicals, that are still hazardous.
3. Don’t attempt to disassemble the sink if you’ve used chemicals
If you’ve tried to use and put chemicals on the sink, refrain from disassembling any fixtures to fix the drain, especially if it’s your first time. Most of the time, you’ll find a problem in the P-trap. This is the piping segment connecting your sink to the horizontal overflow pipe that gives your plumbing a downward-facing “p” shape.
For example, once you start taking the apart, sink water is bound to flow and get somewhere. The chemical suspended in the sink may splash into your clothing and cause damage. Worse, they splash into your eyes or mouth and result in injuries.
What To Do
Here are the best courses of action if you have a completely clogged drain.
1. DIY if you have the technical ability
Fixing clogged drains can be messy. Unless you have the tools, the working knowledge or feel comfortable that the repair is up your alley, then feel free to do it yourself. For example, if you’re dealing with a clogged sink, releasing the P-trap and taking the pop-up out will allow you to relieve the sink of hair or anything that blocks it.
2. Call a professional plumber
There are professionals who are trained to deal with plumbing problems like completely clogged drains. The best action is to still give them a call and let them take care of it. Experts have the expertise and the specialized equipment to clean clogged drains. They can fix your drain in a very efficient way.
It’s advised that you inform the professional of any prior actions you may have done before calling them up. Chemicals can be especially unsafe to deal with, especially if the chemical used is unknown. Some drain cleaners can be harsh which would require specialists to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid injuries.
We’ve been running our $99 dollar drain cleaning promotion for years, so if you’re dealing with clogged drain problems, our plumbing pros can help you out. Give Wisler Plumbing and Air a call at 540-483-9382.