Build and Restore Do-It-Yourself Guides

Do it yourself home plumbing – 101

Tell me if you’ve ever experienced this. You’re in the shower, enjoying the refreshing gentle patter of the water upon your back. After 5 or 10 minutes (however long it takes you to get zestfully clean) you proceed to step out of the shower only to realize that you are shin-deep in a tub full of water. ‘Oh darn … I forgot to open the drain’, you think to yourself. You reach down to open it and … lo and behold! Its open already! What’s gone wrong! Why on earth is the water still there!

Does this sound familiar? Yes … woe unto you … you’ve got the dreaded clogged drain. As despicable as this scenario is … if you live long enough you will quite possibly experience it at least once in your lifetime. Now the question is … what does one do? There are only a couple of options. You can, number one, call a plumber. This is my least favorite option by the way. The very thought can invoke images of money draining from one's pocket. Do you know how much these guys get paid? There could be rocket scientists at NASA who don’t take home as fat a paycheck as some of these guys do! But, I digress. I would save the plumber option for last unless you’re a distant relative of the Rockefellers.

Number two, you can do it yourself! I like this option. I gain the knowledge and experience of doing it on my own and I get to keep my money!!! Now before we get into the how to, let’s go over some simple tips for prevention of this situation.

#1. Don’t … I repeat … DO NOT pour grease down a drain. Never, ever, ever, ever do this. Why you ask? Let’s do a simple experiment. Cook a nice greasy meal (but don’t eat it for goodness sake .. bad for the heart you know!). Now let the grease stand in the pan. Come back in a few minutes and what do you notice? That’s right Sherlock! It has solidified! Now what do you suppose it is going to do in your drain? Hmmmm.

#2. Drains and hair don’t mix, these two must remain separate. Period.

#3. Buy a strainer and place it over your drain. This will keep food, hair, and other drain clogging items from causing you a headache later.

#4. Try not to use chemical drain cleaners. If you have metal pipes they could cause corrosion.

Now to the how to. Let’s say that you’ve already flagrantly violated all of these preventive measures. Fear not … there is hope! Try some of these suggestions:

#1. Take a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Then pour of cup of vinegar down afterwards. (You’ll likely notice a fizzing sound after doing this). This is a good monthly maintenance routine to follow.

#2. Pour several gallons of boiling hot water down the drain. This will help to dissolve any grease that has built up in the drain. It’s a good idea to do this on a monthly basis as well.

#3. Try to plunge the drain if the water refuses to go down.

#4. If none of these work try a snake (only if you know what you’re doing).

#5. If none of the above works then be prepared to cough up a couple of legs, an arm, and your firstborn (if you don’t have a firstborn, say goodbye to the other arm), and call a plumber.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. If none of these work then just try taking shorter showers. Happy plumbing!


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