Has your drain been a bit sluggish lately? - Do you think there might be a clog in one of your pipes? Does the drain in your sink have a distinct odor? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then you're definitely in need of drain cleaning. Hiring a plumber can sometimes be quite costly, however, and some drain problems may not be serious enough to warrant a call to a local professional. So, here is a guide to drain cleaning, in order to help you get the job done yourself.
Trying using conventional drain cleaning methods first - You'll want to try running hot water down your drain and pouring a bit of baking soda and vinegar into your drain before you attempt any other methods of drain cleaning. These are both simple and all natural ways of potentially clearing the pipes. However, if they don't work, then you might want to consider using a drain snake or liquid drain cleaning agent, making sure to verify that the product is safe for your pipes beforehand. If you're dealing with a drain odor problem, then you'll want to consider pouring in a salt water solution, or even one that includes baking soda or fresh lemon.
Take apart the pipes - Should all else fail, it may be time to take the pipes underneath your sink apart. Sometimes the clog is so large or lodged in there so securely that only manually removing it is going to get rid of the problem. Though it might seem like a rather complicated task, taking apart the piping beneath your sink is relatively simple and it only requires a bucket to catch the remaining water and a few basic tools. If you're dealing with a clogged bathtub train, where the pipes can't be accessed, then you're probably going to want to skip to the next step on this list.
What if the problem still persists? - If you've carried out the above steps and nothing seems to be working, then you may want to call a professional to get the job done. A licensed plumber usually has the tools and experience in the area of drain cleaning to find the clog and get rid of it for you. Make sure that you ask if the plumber is licensed and insured, and see if they have any sort of guarantee before you hire them.
How to keep your drains from clogging - You should never place anything in your drain that can't easily dissolve. For instance, thick or sticky foods or grease should never be poured down your drain. Also, in order to ensure that your drains flow smoothly, it's a good idea to carry out regular drain cleaning, so that you can keep the pipes free of debris or waste products.
Other Clogged drains, drain cleaning and general advice