Clogged drains are a relatively common problem for homeowners everywhere. They can also be unnecessarily expensive problems if you must call in a plumber to fix them. Fortunately, there are a number of handy, easy to use, tools and tricks that can help you, the unskilled homeowner, tackle the job yourself. Here are some tips for how to choose the right drain cleaner for a DIY home repair:
Investigate the source of the problem.
Drains may be clogged by anything from food remnants to hair balls to grease buildup, and it will be impossible for you to choose the appropriate drain cleaner until you’ve identified the cause of your clog. To get to the source of the problem, first remove the drain filter (if there is one), and then use a flashlight to see what you’re dealing with. You may have to do some poking and prodding with a long, straight object to reach the clog.
Choose a drain cleaner that is specific to your problem.
This may seem like a simple enough concept, but with so many drain cleaners on the market, you might find that you will have to do quite a bit of reading, and perhaps even research, to discover which product is best for you. For example, if you have a food clog in the kitchen sink, then a cleaner with a food fragmenting agent will be your best pick; if your clog is due to a tangled mess of hair, then you will need a manual drain cleaner such as a drain cleaning brush (as well as some muscle power).
Consider the frequency of your drain cleaning.
This will also help determine which drain cleaner is right for you. Some drain cleaners are more powerful than others, meaning they have stronger chemicals. Although strong and powerful drain cleaners are very effective at cleaning certain harder-to-treat clogs, when used too frequently, the chemicals in them can actually corrode your pipes and cause much more serious plumbing problems. Therefore, if you plan on using a drain cleaner on a regular basis, then you should choose a product that is labeled as “gentle acting” or “mild.”
Do price and brand really matter?
Due to the widely variant array of products and prices in the market, this is only a natural question to ask. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or get a popular brand to find a drain cleaner that works. If cost is important to you, then it’s a good idea to begin with a relatively inexpensive cleaner and see if it clears your drains, then move up from there.
If clogged drains are a problem in your household, then you should be pleased to know that you can do this simple home repair yourself, without calling in a plumber. Follow these tips for choosing the right drain cleaner for your needs.
About the Author: Nathan Ford and his wife are huge DIY home enthusiasts. They make all of their own minor repairs and they’re preparing to install their own lite kits this summer.