One of the most common plumbing issue is a clogged drain. All too often, the first attempt to clear a clog is to use a chemical clog remover. While these may be effective in some cases, more often than not they fail to work and now the drain and sink is filled with dangerous chemicals. This makes it unsafe for a homeowner to continue trying to clear the drain, while also adding a layer of difficulty for any plumber you call in to attempt a repair. Instead of chemical clog removers, keep the following tools on hand to combat clogs.
Hair catchers and drain screens
The most important tools in your anti-clog arsenal are screens for the drains. In the bathroom you need covers designed to catch hair, since these are the most common causes of clogs. Hair catchers are designed for easy removal so you can clear the hairs from the devices as needed. In the kitchen, covers designs to catch food and any other larger items that can fall into the drain are a must, especially if you don't have a garbage disposal. Many clogs are simply avoided with the right cover.
There are two types of plungers that should be in every house. The cup plungers is made for use on sink drains, where the cup can sit flush to the sink bottom to create a good seal.There are short handle varieties for sinks and longer handle types for floor drains. The flange plunger has a flexible flange around the cup, which ensures it gets a good seal on an uneven surface, such as the toilet. There are also accordion plungers available, but they can be difficult to use and aren't necessary in most homes.
When plungers fail, drain snakes often succeed. These consist of long, flexible metal "snakes" that go down a drain. The snake whips around and dislodges the clog. Varieties made for toilet use have dulled tips so they don't damage the porcelain. Sink versions usually don't have these tips, and they must be used carefully so they don't puncture through the pipe. Generally, it's best to remove the curved pipe under the sink, called the trap, and to use the snake directly down the main pipe that emerges from the wall. There are also toothed plastic snake varieties that are meant to be fed directly into the sink drain so they can snag any hair that is caught in the pipe.
For more help with removing a clog, contact a residential plumbing service in your area.