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Avoid These Mistakes When Your Home Has Blocked Drains

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No one likes to deal with blocked or clogged drains, but they happen in just about every home at one time or another. You don't always necessarily need to call a plumber every time a drain is blocked or clogged, but you do want to avoid some costly mistakes when handling it on your own. Many homeowners wind up calling a plumber after they try to unblock drains on their own, simply because they didn't know how to address the problem properly and, in turn, made the situation worse. Consider the following things when you have a clogged or blocked drain.

1. Never use a coat hanger or other tools

It's tempting to use a coat hanger, long screwdriver, or other such tool to try to stab at a clog and get it to move again. However, this can cause a problem if the coat hanger or other item should get caught in the clogged material, which is not uncommon. Remember that if a clog doesn't move when it has a rush of water running over it or when you use a plunger, it's not likely to move when you use a thin coat hanger or just try to push it along with a screwdriver.

2. Never try a high-pressure hose on a clog

You may assume that more water pressure will push a clog along, but this isn't always the case, and a high-pressure hose can put too much pressure on your plumbing pipes. This can cause them to burst and, in turn, you have a bigger mess than a simple clog. Never use a garden hose, high-pressure washer, or any other such tool on a clogged drain inside the home.

3. Don't overuse chemical cleaners

An occasional clog may respond to a chemical cleaner you get from the store, but overusing these products causes corrosion to the pipes and connectors. Certain clogs may not respond to them; if you have excessive amounts of hair in the drains or food particles in your kitchen sink, these chemicals will not usually break down these materials and move them along. If you notice that you get consistent clogs, you may also be neglecting the real reason for the clogs such as damaged pipes, leaks that allow water to drip out so that it doesn't push solid waste through, and the like. Rather than overusing these chemicals, call a plumber to address the real plumbing problem in your home.

For more tips on preventing and dealing with blocked drains, contact a local plumber.