Are your drains making your life unbearable? It’s amazing how something as simple as a clogged drain can turn a sunny day into a frustrating one. When it comes to drain cleaning Chantilly residents can opt for the DIY approach or call a plumber.
When one of your drains stops working, it’s a helpless feeling that might end up with a call to the plumber. The good news is this: even if you can’t unclog that stuck drain all by yourself, hiring a professional is often the best way to prevent a recurrence and prevent a small problem from becoming a much more costly one.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a go-to list of easy ways to resolve plumbing problems on your own. That’s just common sense. But if the DIY techniques don’t work, never hesitate to bring in the pros and get the job done right.
Here are some practical ways to unclog a stuck drain:
DIY Drain Cleaning Methods
Remember to opt for the simplest, least forceful technique first, so you don’t put undue stress on the entire plumbing system’s pipes. Wear safety goggles to avoid getting chemicals in your eyes, and use waterproof work gloves to protect your hands.
- BS&V (baking-soda and vinegar): Pour a few cups of boiling water into the clogged drain. Then, pour one cup of baking soda directly into the drain. Next, prepare a mixture of one cup white vinegar and the same amount of water in a large plastic container. Heat the mixture in your microwave until it’s near the boiling point. Pour the super-hot stuff down the drain and let it sit for two hours. Test to see if the clog is gone by running hot water into the drain.
- Hanger: Take a wire clothing hanger and uncoil it completely. Use pliers to make a half-inch fish-hook on one end. Place the hooked back into the drain and wiggle it every which way, being careful not to force it in. Pull it up occasionally and throw debris into the trash. Repeat until the clog is gone or quickly rinses away with hot water.
- Plunger: Plungers are good if you know how to use them. Try putting some Vaseline on the rim to help create a suction lock. And use smaller plungers for small drains like sinks and tubs. Give five or six good plunges and wait one minute. Repeat this process five times, and then pour a cup of hot water into the drain to see if it’s clear.
- Fizzy Cola Soft Drink: The Pepsi/Coke drain cleaning hack has been around for more than a century. It works in many cases but can also hurt your pipes. So, please don’t use it as the first line of attack. Pour one cup of cola into the clogged drain and let it sit for a full hour. Pour warm water in and see if the clog is gone.
- Wet-Dry Vac: This method is a bit tricky but works well if you can create a suction opening around the drain. You can remove a plunger end, place it over the drain, and apply the vac to the hole. However you do it, let the vac run for a few minutes before testing your success with a cup of hot water in the drain.
- Dishwashing Liquid: This stuff works better than you might suspect, especially on sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. Pour a cup of boiling water first, followed by eight ounces of dishwashing liquid. Plunge lightly to mix up the contents. Wait for a half-hour and test the drain.
- Plumbing Snake: You can buy snakes at local home stores, but they’re best avoided for DIY. We list them here as a caution, something not to use. Why? They can seriously damage your pipes, especially if you live in an older home.
- Washing Soda: Sodium carbonate is stronger than baking soda by a country mile. Run hot water into the drain, followed by a cup of washing soda. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, and then dump a few cups of boiling water down the drain.
- P-Trap Removal: Of DIY methods, this is usually the last resort, and for a good reason. It’s messy, and you need pliers and a bucket, which means crawling around on the floor. Use the pliers to loosen the lock rings on the small, curved pipe under your sink. Clean it out, and put it back on. Make sure to have a bucket underneath the line while working.
When You Need More Than a Plunger
If quickie DIY strategies don’t work as you wish, call (703) 570-6992 and let one of our team members know the problem. We dispatch help right away in emergencies, or you can book an appointment for a non-emergency call. Plumbing problems have a way of getting worse before they get better, so take action to avoid a significant mess.
Drains get clogged now and then, especially in areas where there is a lot of human activity, such as showers or sinks. A clog in the drainage system will lead to many drain issues. Common clogs in most drains are debris, sludge, soap, food, grease, or tree roots.
Getting a clog in a drainage system is a stubborn problem; most commercial and residential property owners hate dealing with occasionally. Many don’t just hate this issue because they don’t know how to go about unclogging drain systems, others don’t have the right equipment or resources to tackle blockage.
There are notable signs a homeowner needs drain cleaning. This will include slow draining than usual due to clogged drains. Overflowing toilet when one flushes is a common issue in many homes and also mean the drainage pipes need further attention.
When water starts backing up instead of going down the drain, there is a block that he or she has to deal with. This is an emergency drainage issue that needs immediate professional drain cleaning services.
Bad odor is also a common sign that a drainage system needs cleaning. This bad smell means something is stuck in the drainage pipes and has to be unclogged to avoid health-related complications.
Everything to Know About Drain Cleaning
There are many amazing and practical ways to tackle blockage in a drain system. The method he or she settles for means a lot when it comes to cleaning a drain. However, it’s advisable to go for a method that will effectively get rid of frustrating blockage.
Drain cleaning methods vary from the most basic to professional ones that involve the use of different tools. The good news is that it’s best to leave all drain cleaning projects to professionals. Commercial and residential property owners in Fairfax should not have reservations looking for plumbing professionals and have their drains cleaned.
Working with the best Fairfax plumbing and heating professional is a wise decision he or she should never regret. However, it’s wise to go for a well-trained, experienced, insured, and licensed drain cleaning expert. This is a professional well-acquainted with the latest and advanced drain cleaning methods and high-tech equipment.
Traditional methods such as the use of augers and snakes were common. When used properly and by the right person, these tools worked miracles in clearing up simple clogs. They made it easy to avoid inconvenient drain cleaning emergencies.
The good news for many Fairfax homeowners is that advanced and environmentally friendly drain cleaning solutions are the best option. One can opt for high-pressure drain cleaning to unblock clogs in their drainage systems. This is a drain cleaning method that involves the use of a flexible hose connected to an adjustable nozzle that emits water to break down debris, soap, grease, sludge, and hardened deposits.
Even if the drainage system has been invaded by tree roots, hydro-jetting can also aid flash these debris away into the main sewer system. Significantly, through high-pressure drain cleaning, it’s easy to clean pipelines and ready them for use. It is a great drain cleaning solution applicable to both commercial and residential drain and sewer lines.
Know the Benefits of High-Pressure Drain Cleaning
High-pressure drain cleaning gets the drains cleaned perfectly. But a homeowner should opt for the services of the best plumbing company. A look at the top five benefits of high-pressure drain cleaning will also guide a homeowner in his or her endeavors. They include:
1. Quicker Than Other Methods
High-pressure drain cleaning is an exceptional method that makes it easy to clear blockage quicker than any other method. One does not have to poke and push the clog out of the drain as this is a tedious and tiresome task. When he or she opts for high pressure drain cleaning service, the time for an average service will depend on the drain section the professional is working on.
He or she can take at least two hours to clean a number of manholes in a drainage system. Less time will be wasted if the expert decides to undertake a CCTV inspection to locate the blockage and then immediately embark on drain cleaning.
2. Efficient Method to Clean Drain Lines
Drainage lines easily get clogged with sediments, soap residue, fats, grease, mineral deposits, sanitary paper towel, and other waste products. This thick sludge is hard to remove using traditional drain cleaning methods.
Through high-pressure cleaning, the expert one hires will unclog the drain lines and clean them properly. It’s a perfect method if a homeowner is undertaking further repair and restoration of the drainage pipes. Engineers will use high-pressure technique to clean the pipes thoroughly before undertaking any kind of renovation project.
3. Environmentally and Economically Safe Method
High-pressure drain cleaning is the safest and most economical way to clean drain or sewer lines. There is no heavy or big equipment involved to immaculately clean the drain pipes. This method will also not damage drain pipes or the nearby property.
No drilling is involved or major inconveniences that might lead to extra drain cleaning service costs. All a professional need are some high-pressure blasts of water to perfectly clean the drain. In essence, hydro-jetting is a cost-effective technique that does not require multiple and costly chemical treatments to clear a clog.
4. Comprehensive and Thorough Results
A homeowner should not have any hesitations pushing out clog into the main drainage system. However, some waste like grease, tree roots, coffee grinds, and other kinds require different techniques to remove them. Luckily, high-pressure drain cleaning is one of the effective techniques to use and clear blockage.
It’s a technique used by a lot of plumbers to clear debris thanks to the nature of high-pressure water stream. As the high-pressure water spins in multi-directions through the pipes, it also swirls the waste inside the drain systems leaving the pipes flawlessly cleaned. The end results will be clean pipes that don’t require regular cleaning or cause slow draining.
5. Effectively Decreases Bad Odor
When the drainage system is not working as expected, a homeowner is easily susceptible to awful smells. These bad odors are from the clogs in the drain lines, and when a homeowner ignores it, dangerous bacteria can accumulate.
The build-up of bacteria can lead to illness, especially if the smell is coming from the kitchen or bathroom. The bad odor is not good for the occupants of a house and no one wants to live in a stinking house. High-pressure drain cleaning is the best way to get rid of bacteria and bad smells as well as leave the drain lines fresh and clean.
Seek High-Pressure Drain Cleaning Services
A clogged drainage system can spell calamity to any home or business premises. It’s best to make sure possible drain waste is cleaned by professionals and regularly to keep the systems in the best condition. Whenever, a homeowner has issues with clogged pipes or drains, it’s best to work with licensed plumbers who are well trained and can clean your drains and plumbing system thoroughly.
Apart from being detrimental for your health, grease is likewise bad for the drainpipes as well. You might have heard that it will be okay in case grease is poured down the drain so long as it is done with dish soap or hot water. According to some individuals, a blockage will not be caused in case liquid cooking oils are poured down the drain.
However, in reality, grease should never be poured down the drain. In the following paragraphs, we will take a look at the harmful effects caused by oil on the drain of your residence. We will likewise mention some alternative methods for getting rid of all these materials.
What can happen once grease is poured down the drain?
Being fluid, it is quite simple to pour grease down the drain. Nevertheless, it is going to solidify when the temperature of the grease becomes low, and this will form a clog which you’ll find quite tough to remove. Although you might be unaware of the issue, a time will arrive when the accumulation of grease in the pipes can result in a blockage as well as other plumbing issues.
The problem will become worse in case the grease does not stick to the pipes and instead, flows right into the sewers. This is where oil from all the restaurants and households in your area is going to combine. These formations of grease will break down over time to form glycerol and fatty acids.
The fatty acids are going to form fatbergs (which are actually compounds resembling soaps) after binding with calcium within the sewers. When there is an increase in the sewer level, the fatbergs are going to cling to the ceilings of the sewer where they will be increasing in size, thus blocking the whole sewer pipe in the long run.
A fatberg will be able to grow to a size which will be limited by the sewer’s size only. In the year 2019, a fatberg having a dimension of 210 feet ended up blocking a drain in Sidmouth, Britain. As a matter of fact, in excess of 8 weeks was taken by the sewer team for dissecting this huge mass of fat.
How to dispose of grease correctly
It is possible for oil, grease, and fat to form a clog within pipes even though the oil is fluid at the normal room temperature. However, in case it is not possible for you to pour the stuff down the drain, how will you be able to dispose of used olive oil, lard, or bacon grease?
After making use of coconut, olive, sunflower, or avocado oil for cooking, wait until the oil has cooled down. Following this, soak up this oil using paper towels prior to washing the pan. The paper towels must be thrown in the trash can. However, disposal with paper towels can prove to be quite costly and wasteful in case you have used plenty of oil.
Instead, the oil has to be poured into a glass container with a lid for reuse in the future. In case you do not have any intention of using the oil once again, it has to be poured into a disposable container having a screw top (for instance, a soda bottle). Throw the container away once it becomes full.
Wait till the grease within the pan solidifies after cooling down. Following this, get rid of the grease from the pan with the help of a spatula and it should be thrown in the trash. Make use of a paper towel for soaking up any leftover fat or oil within the pan.
In case a substantial amount of grease has to be disposed of, make it a point to pour the grease into a container while it is hot and liquid as well. Once the container becomes full, it can be either emptied into the trash or the container can be thrown away. On most occasions, restaurants usually have a selected container for oil.
What will happen in case grease is already poured down the drain?
The majority of the individuals are not aware of the issues that can be caused by grease within a drain system. In case you have poured oil unknowingly down the drain, it might be feasible to get the oil out of the drainpipes into the sewer system.
Boiling water has to be poured down the drain for liquefying the grease within the pipes. While you are pouring boiling water down the drain, the hot water tap has run for flushing the liquefied fat. It is a fact that the emulsification of water and oil is allowed by the surfactant molecules, and for this reason, dish soap has to be poured down the drain as well as along with the boiling water.
Although dish soap and hot water might assist in getting rid of the grease from the pipes, it is nevertheless going to accumulate within the sewer system. Moreover, it might not be able to eliminate the problem entirely.
It is a fact that it is possible for raw sewage to spurt from all the manholes within the locality in case a water authority is not able to deal with a fatberg successfully. For preventing this situation, it is imperative for the restaurant owners and the homeowners to work together for preventing the accumulation of grease within the sewer system. Even though your own drain might not be blocked by grease, it is your responsibility to help in preventing sewer issues in your locality.
What has to be done for avoiding clogged drains?
In case you have ended up making some grease by frying bacon, you should allow it to become solidified within the pan or it should be poured into a jar for solidifying there. The grease can be then wiped up using a paper towel. One delicious way for reusing bacon grease will be to fry an egg by making use of bacon grease.
Take the help of professional drain cleaners
Professional assistance might be required in case you are pouring grease down the drain for quite some time. This grease is going to hold on to the debris which is blocking the pipes and needs professional cleaning. For this, you need to come in touch with the best Arlington plumbing services for unclogging the drains and cleaning the pipes. Our plumbers are quite experienced and technically equipped given that they have rendered their services for a significant amount of time successfully. Therefore, do not give any second thoughts and call them today.
A number of different things from a major obstruction in your sewer line, to a small blockage in the pipe can cause clogged shower drains. Our team that does plumbing services Chantilly advise that you investigate the cause of the blockage sooner rather than later to prevent avoidable damage. Once you determine the source of the problem, you can even fix it yourself or contact one of our team to fix it for you.
Identifying a blocked shower drain
Following a shower if you notice the standing water drains slowly and it takes several minutes for it to clear, this is a sign that your shower drain is clogged.
Any unpleasant odors coming from the drain is another indication of a blockage as the buildup of debris has stuck to the inner wall of the pipe. Ignoring a blocked shower drain could result in water seeping through your shower joints and can be a cause of bathroom flooding.
If your shower has any issues in its caulking or grout, the standing water could work its way into your walls resulting in a more serious structural damage.
Common causes of shower drain blockages
Hair, dirt and soap scum can easily build up in your showers drain and cause blockages. Longer hair can be troublesome as when this combines with soap it sticks to your drains wall more easily. If left unattended, this obstruction will continue to build up eventually and can completely block the passage of water. If you are continually experiencing blockages in your shower drain and after many attempts to repair them fail, this may show a more serious issue with your main sewer line.
Our plumbing experts in Chantilly recommend these methods to clear a blocked shower drain.
There are many different methods you can use to clear your shower drain of accumulated soap scum and hair. It’s important to note that using these methods without knowing the extent of the blockage could cause more serious damage being caused.
While effective for clearing smaller are less serious blockages, you first need to be able to identify the extent of the problem. Open the top of your shower drain and remove any debris that you see. Taking a torch, shine it down the drain to see if you can identify any blockage. If you can see a blockage, then the following methods can be useful for clearing it. If no blockage is evident, then it’s advisable to contact our plumbing team in Chantilly as you may be in need of a more professional aid.
Try to unblock your shower drain naturally
Most of us have memories of small science experiments in school involving white vinegar and baking soda, and we can remember how volatile these were. Using the natural chemical reaction caused by mixing these two can help you naturally clear your blocked shower drain.
- Boil a kettle and pour in the contents down your clogged drain
- Mix a 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour this down the drain.
- Let the mixture sit in the drain for 15 minutes and then flush it one more time with another kettle of boiling water
- If you want to make a more powerful mixture, you could try adding a cup of salt to a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar and pouring this down the drain. Once again letting it sit for 15 minutes and flushing it with another kettle of boiling water
Clearing a blocked shower drain using a hanger
Sometimes blockages can be removed instead of flushed out.
- Open a hanger to its full length create a small hook on one end and push it into the drain opening until you snag the clog.
- Remove the clogged by pulling the hanger upwards and continue to repeat this process until it removes no more materials.
- Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain if the water is still backing up you could try unblocking it using the natural method listed above, or by using one or both of the next two methods
Unclogging a shower drain using a plunger
Plungers may be an old school plumbing tool, but they’re still highly effective at removing blockages from shower drains.
- Take some petroleum jelly and rub it on the rim of the plunger because this will create a better seal.
- Place the plunger directly over the drain opening.
- Fill the shower until the plunger’s lip rim is covered.
- Push the plunger up and down in a rapid but control manner for a few minutes this could create enough suction to push any clog through the drain.
- Once you’re finished pour boiling water down the drain.
Unclogging a shower drain using a plumbing snake
At this point if none of the methods listed above have helped unblock or unclog your shower drain you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber. If you want to try one more method, you could consider getting a plumbing snake. This device is effectively a portable auger that is inserted into showers drains and can be used to either snag or break up blockages that may be further down the drain pipe.
- Insert the plumber’s snake into the drainpipe and continue to push it downwards until it encounters the clog.
- Cranking its handle counterclockwise will help you grab the clog, continuing to crank it will remove the clog from the drain.
- If you believe there are more blockages further down, you can repeat this process until it clears the shower drain.
If none of these DIY methods listed above prove successful, we advise that you contact our Chantilly plumbing experts and we will be happy to assist. The easiest way to avoid difficult blockages is to perform regular maintenance.
If you’re suffering from persistent blockages this could indicate a major problem with your sewer line. Our team can use different technology including power jetting to clear any of these blockages. Remember, our team has decades of experience in drain cleaning and maintenance, as well as mainline sewer repairs and they’re all fully licensed and insured professionals.
Perhaps you have recently detected a really unpleasant, foul odor that seems to be emanating from the drain in your bathroom. It smells like a terrible sewer that is downright rotten. It should not be the normal occurrence for odors that are disgustingly rank and unbearable to be wafting up from the sink in your bathroom.
With this being the case, it is, thus, imperative to engage in knowing what is causing the odor. But that is not enough. You must also address the problem in order to resolve it, so that the problem does not worsen. The structure of the sink in your bathroom as well as the structure of your plumbing system could possess factors that are contributing to the awful smell in your bathroom.
When the Pipes Have a Buildup of Biofilm
Everyday, your sink in your bathroom is like a major garbage disposal. This is based on the truth that your sink having dead skin cells, toothpaste, soapy water and even shaving cream. That is a real abundance of waste that is sliding down the pipes of the sink.
Underneath your sink, the pipes are wet and warm, which is a great combination for the creation of the ideal habitat for the formation of stinking bacteria. This often turns into a nasty gunk that is black in color, which is referred to as biofilm. This biofilm can really begin to build up. You can do an easy test to determine if there is any biofilm. All you have to do is pull out the stopper of your sink. If you notice that the stopper has any gunk that is slimy and dark, that is biofilm. If so, there is a strong likelihood then that your pipes also have a lot of biofilm.
The good news is that this is not a difficult problem to address. The bad smell can be eradicated when cleaning products that are designated for sinks are poured down the drain. Also, you can use a simple application of vinegar solution. But it is imperative to be reminded that it is never safe to mix bleach with the vinegar solution, as this can result in the production of fumes that are dangerously toxic.
Once you use your preferred cleaner or vinegar solution, you can follow up with a pot of hot water.
In such cases that you have a severe buildup of biofilm, then it may be needful for the pipes under your sink to be disassembled in order to be manually cleaned. This can be done by using an old toothbrush and paper towels. On the other hand, do note that if there is a mistake that is made when reassembling the pipes, this can result in a disastrous leak that can cause a costly water damage. If you are uncertain, it is always in your best interest to contact an expert plumber Northern VA in order to do the job for you in a correct manner and that your pipes will not leak or result in any water damage.
When the Sink in Your Bathroom Has a Stinky Sewer Odor
If you are experiencing an issue where the sink or drain in your bathroom is projecting a stinky sewer odor, the truth of the matter is that the real problem could be an issue with the sewage. Be aware that in the end, all water that drains from your sink, toilet, tub, and shower all collect in the same area. Which means that the runoff from the sink in your bathroom will also be passing through to the pipe that goes to the sewage at some point.
Take note that there are two key elements in relation to your plumbing that aids in preventing the sewer gases from bombarding your drains, these are the P-Traps and vents. When either one of these have an issue, this can result in the sewer gases bombarding your home.
1. The P-Trap must remain wet inside.
The P-Trap is the part of the pipe in the form of a U that is under the sink in your bathroom. It is important for the P-Trap to hold some water in it because the water serves as a barricade to ensure that no gas from the pipes can enter the drain of the sink.
When the P-Trap experiences episodes of being dry, then it is not acting as a barricade to prevent the leakage of gases via the drain. When the gases leak this way, this is a scenario that is not pleasant, and it is also hazardous to your health. This is a frequent problem concerning guest bathrooms or in cases when sinks do not get a lot of usage. Over time, the P-Trap may become dry.
The simple solution is to run water for a bit, which will ensure that the P-Trap will not become dry.
2. Your vents must be in good working condition.
Though the P-Trap may be functioning properly, it is possible for stinky sewage gas to find its way back up the drain again. With this understanding, plumbing systems also apply the use of vents. This will ensure that any gases that become trapped are able to go back down the pipes and be released outside via the vents, so that no odors are left in the home.
In such cases that a vent is experiencing blockage, the gases will come back up the drain of the sink. Then it is wise to call an expert plumber to fix the problem for the vents to function well again.
If you have noticed bad smells coming up the drain of the sink in your bathroom and have poured some cleaning solution down the pipes, it is advised that you give us a call. We can help you find out the cause of any bad smell and resolve the issue for you.