Two Tips to Keep in Mind if Your Drain Gets Blocked

A blockage in one of your home's drains can be tricky to resolve. Here are two tips you should keep in mind when dealing with blocked drains.

Be gentle when trying to dislodge the blockage

The first thing most people do when they discover a blocked drain in their home is reach for the nearest plunger or drain snake. Provided the blockage is small in size and is located quite close to the drain's opening, these household items can be effective in addressing the problem.

However, it is extremely important to exercise caution when taking a DIY approach to this problem. If you don't, you could end up damaging the affected pipe to the point where you need to hire a plumber to replace or repair it.

It is best to begin by using the plunger, as this is the item which is least likely to damage your drain. In most cases, the suction created by this device will be enough to dislodge the obstruction.

However, if the blockage is quite large, the suction generated by the plunger may not be powerful enough to move it. In this situation, you could use a drain snake. Unlike the plunger, this item is designed to break apart the blockage, rather than push it downwards through the pipe.

Be as gentle as possible when using this tool to break up the blockage. If your gentle approach proves to be ineffective, you should not use more force, but should instead call a local plumber and get them to address the problem for you.

If you aggressively push the tool into the drain, there is a risk that the pointed end of it will abrade the pipe's walls and create a hole that will allow water to leak out. The cost of repairing this damaged pipe will be much higher than the cost of hiring a plumber to remove the blockage.

Take steps to prevent the problem from reoccurring again in the future

After the blockage has been extracted or dislodged, it is worth taking the time to identify the root cause of the problem so that you can then take steps to ensure that it does not happen again in the future.

For example, if the blockage occurred in the shower drain and was comprised mainly of hair and soap grime, it would be sensible to purchase a drain 'sieve' to minimise the number of hair strands and scraps of soap that get into the pipes.

Additionally, you may want to leave a plunger by the side of the shower and use it periodically to clear out any small bits of debris in the drain, before they begin to accumulate to the point where they create a blockage.