Before Cutting Your Own Hair at Home, Beware of Drain Clogs
Drain clogs are never a fun task to deal with in your home. When experiencing a drain clog, it’s important to take immediate steps to resolve the blockage before it leads to further damage. There are various ways to deal with a drain blockage on your own, or you can contact a local plumber to get help right away.Looking for a plumbing service near you? The team at Dial One Plumbing Service is one call away at (972) 291-0740 or visit us online.
2 Reasons Hair Shouldn’t Go Down DrainsThere are plenty of good reasons why you should let hair flow down your drain. The most obvious reason is that it can lead to a major blockage. While there may be wisps and one-offs, it’s important to take the proper steps to avoid hair heading down your sink, tub or shower drains. If experiencing a clogged drain, don’t ignore it: major damage could happen if you just live with a slow flow or minor clog.
1. Clumps of Hair Cause Pipe DamageHaving a clogged drain is not a fix to push to the back burner. Ignoring the blockage can cause critical structural damage to your pipes. You may be clued into a backup or clog when you notice an unpleasant stench wafting from your drain. Any smell like that is a sign to call a plumber immediately. When clogs become severe, the outcome will most commonly result in leaking pipes or flooding in your home. The structural damage caused by leaky pipes can predicate major home renovations. Avoid pipe damage by taking care of clogs when they happen.
2. Hair Doesn’t Dissolve or Degrade on its ownWant to know what happens to the hair you send down your drain? When your hair falls down the drain, it collects in the interior of the pipe’s walls, eventually forming a clog. A clogged drain can be a (gross) mix of hair clumps and soap or scum. As the buildup worsens, the waterways in the pipes become clogged, and the water can’t flow through. A buildup of hair in your drainage system cannot unclog itself. Although hair can decompose, it takes several years for the process to happen naturally. What many people don’t know is that hair is essentially a form of waste and should be disposed of like trash. Each year, approximately 300,000 pounds of hair is thrown away. The base components in hair — carbon, nitrogen and sulfur — can eat away at your pipes. A drain blockage caused by hair is no joke. If the clogged hair in your drain is too hard to pull out yourself, then it’s important to have it professionally removed before it leads to serious problems in your main sewage line.
Water Flow in Your HomeWhen you are experiencing a clogged drain, one noticeable sign will be a change of water flow in your home. Experiencing a change in water flow commonly indicates that there is a blockage of debris in your drain, which can result in a cracked or broken pipeline. The blockage can be seen in poor water flow throughout your home. Once you have identified where the blockage is coming from, you can take further steps to investigate or contact a local plumber to come and identify the problem and fix the blockage.
How to Tell if Your Drains are CloggedThere are many apparent signs of a clogged drain. It is one of the most common plumbing issues that you can experience in your home. To tell if your drain is clogged, here’s what to watch out for:
- Water is slow to drain
- A change in water pressure
- Bubbles form when water is draining
- There’s a bad odor
- Debris coming out of water flow
- Water won’t flow at all
How to Fix Drain ClogsClogged drains happen. The issue usually circles back to clumps of hair or debris that have trickled down your drain. Homeowners should always be prepared to handle a clogged drain before it becomes too big of an issue. Here are some things to try:
- Baking soda & vinegar: Mixing baking soda and vinegar together can be an effective method when trying to unclog a drain. First, start off by squirting a little dish soap (doesn’t matter what kind) down the drain, followed by a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. Wait about five minutes for a chemical reaction to occur and finish off by pouring a cup of boiling hot water down the drain. The mixture should help forcefully clear out the clog. You may still use a plunger to help remove anything that is left behind.
- The snaking device: If the baking soda and vinegar mixture fails to remove the clog, another trick is to purchase a snaking device from a local hardware store. A plumber’s snake may be able to remove a clog by pushing hair through or pulling hair out. To effectively use a plumber’s snake, start off by putting on some clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty, followed by a towel underneath the clogged pipe. Manually insert the snake down your drain and begin to move it up and down. It can also help to run a little cold water while the snake device is in the drain. Within a matter of a few minutes, the hair should start wrapping around the device. To remove the snake, slowly lift it out of the drain and start to uncoil the hair remnants that are around the device. Snaking should help clear the pipe walls and remove any of the clogs that still remain in the drain.
- The plunging technique: The plunging technique can be a useful way to unclog a drain filled with hair. To properly plunge a drain, start by removing the plate of the drain. Once the plate is removed, inspect the interior of the drain to see if you can locate what’s causing the blockage. After inspecting the drain, fill the sink or tub with a little bit of water and begin forcefully plunging with an up and down motion. After a few tries, lift up the plunger to see if the water is draining. If the water remains stagnant, repeat the procedure.