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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

Drain Cleaning Tools Every Homeowner Should Have


There’s not much in homeownership that’s quite as frustrating as having a clogged drain late in the evening after the hardware stores close, especially if you have a kitchen sink full of dirty water and a pile of dishes that still need to be done. What can you do about the clog with only the things you already own? Well, if you’re prepared, there’s plenty you can do. Purchase these two simple things to have on hand for cleaning out your next drain clog, and you’ll be ready to tackle the problem yourself. 

A Sink Plunger

You don’t want to use your toilet plunger when a sink, tub, or shower drain gets clogged. For one thing, the size is not ideal, and then of course there are the germs. But you can get a small, new, clean sink plunger for somewhere around ten dollars, and it’s a great investment. With water standing around the drain that’s clogged, hold the plunger vertically and give several very firm thrusts. That might be all you need to dislodge a blockage.

A Drain Snake

There are two varieties of drain snake that can be purchased for home use. One is a simple plastic strip with little legs along its length, which can be inserted into drains to catch or break up clogs. This type is sometimes called a hair snake because it’s particularly good at snagging clumps of hair in shower drains so they can be pulled out. It can be purchased for just a few dollars. The other type is a hand-cranked auger, which is metal, very sturdy, and can be inserted farther than the plastic variety and twisted around to dislodge serious blockages. The price is higher, but only twenty dollars or so.

What Not to Buy

If you’re stocking up on drain-cleaning supplies, you might be tempted to get a bottle of liquid drain cleaner. Resist the temptation! The chemicals in those bottles are so caustic that they will burn your skin if a drop gets on you, and even just the fumes can cause respiratory problems and eye irritation. You might think it could be worth the risk if it resolves your drain clog, but here’s the issue: these caustic chemicals can corrode the inside of your pipes, roughening the surface so it’s easy for mess to cling to, making future clogs happen even sooner. And depending on the cause of the clog, chemical cleaners might not manage to get the job done. As you can see by the bottles they come in, they certainly can’t dissolve plastic, and you might be surprised how many clogs are caused by buildup around a small plastic item that got washed down the drain, such as a drinking straw. 

When Home Remedies Don’t Work

If you’ve used a plunger and a snake but your drain is still clogged or draining slowly, it’s time for professional drain cleaning services in Maplewood, NJ. With a motorized auger or even a hydro-jetting machine that sprays pressurized water through your drains, a qualified plumber can resolve even the toughest of clogs. And if, instead of one stubborn clog, you have a more serious concern, you should call that plumber right away. Symptoms of major drain issues include multiple clogged drains at once, clogs occurring frequently, foul odors rising from drains, or patches of lawn that are soggy, smelly, or have especially lush green grass… because leaking sewage is fertilizing it. 

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for reliable drain cleaning and other plumbing needs. Reach out to us today.

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