How to Unclog Your Sink or Bathtub Drain

Not many people know how damaging drain-cleaning products can be over time. The chemicals in those products are designed to destroy and completely eliminate the blockage in your pipe, but, the more you use those chemicals, the more they can erode the metal of your pipes and cause serious water damage in your home.

Alternative Methods to Unclog Drains

You do not always have to resort to the drain cleaner you can pick up in the grocery store to clear a clogged pipe or drain. I have some alternative methods that should clear up the problem and make it so you can use your sink or bathtub regularly again.

The Wire Hanger Method

Oftentimes, particularly if there are a lot of people in your household who have long hair, the drains in the home can be clogged. Usually, the hair gets caught somewhere just below the surface of the drain and continues to accumulate over months of usage.

If you take a wire hanger and unwrap it so that it is mostly straight with a tip that acts as a hook, you can usually stick it down into the drain (once you have, of course, made the draining pipe accessible by removing anything designed to block it) and pull up several hairballs.

This can be a messy process, so I suggest that you get a garbage bag or a grocery bag to put the clogging substance into. That way it can be easily disposed of when you have cleared the drain.

The Baking Soda Method

If the wire hanger method did not work, or if you are not excited to see the nasty stuff that is in your clogged pipe, I suggest you move forward with the baking soda method.

You are going to need a half cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar, a rag or hand towel, and some hot water. First, pour the baking soda down the drain. Next, have the hand towel in one hand while you pour the vinegar in. Clog the drain with the hand towel and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes is up, remove the hand towel and pour the hot water down the drain. It should be unclogged, but, if it is not, you can repeat this process once more.

Resorting to the Plunger

As another alternative method, you can use the plunger, which is traditionally used for toilets. It works in a variety of situations, so you can definitely put it to work to clear your drain if the previous methods do not sound attractive to you.

If you are trying to unclog your sink, I suggest buying a smaller plunger that will fit better before you try this.

All right. Roll up your sleeves and make sure that there is some standing water in the bathtub or sink to help with suction. Now, quickly push the plunger down against the drain and pull up repeatedly until the drain is clear. If needed, add more water to the basin as it disappears down the drain.

If All Else Fails!

If you have tried everything and nothing works, I would suggest either taking apart the pipes below your sink yourself or calling a plumber to take care of it for you.

If you do decide to tackle unscrewing the pipes yourself, make sure you turn off the water and have some sort of bucket near you that you can use to catch the debris that comes out. You do not want that all over your bathroom.

Though Kassandra Konecny has only begun writing professionally about six months ago, she has been writing creatively for years. Recently, she has worked to become an expert at writing blogs for the plumbing industry, including blogs for salt lake plumber.

Locate Underground Pipes and Survey Markers on Your Property

As a property owner there will be times when, for a variety of reasons, you will need to locate underground metal objects.  For example, using a pipe locator metal detector you can easily pinpoint leaking underground pipes quickly. You might also find the need to locate underground pipes and cables during a new construction project.

Are you installing a new fence or shed on your property? You will most likely need to locate survey markers.  The best and easiest way to find below-ground objects such as these is with a metal detector.  Below is some information from industry expert Michael Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com which will help you identify the style of industrial metal detector that best meets your needs.

There are detection devices which are specially designed to locate buried pipes and liquid leaks in these pipes. Pool contractors and plumbing contractors alike will find liquid leak detectors a requirement for many jobs. Even in tough conditions, these devices can pinpoint leaks, which can save you a lot of time and expense.

To choose the best device, begin by identifying your specific industrial metal detector application:

  • Liquid Leak Detection
  • Pipe and Cable Locating
  • Boundary Marker Location
  • Valve, Box & Ferrous Location
  • Water Level Identification

Once you know which type of industrial detector you will need you can zero in on your best options. You can use Liquid Leak detectors for isolating leaks in underground pipes on your property. Pipe and Cable locators will help you find underground pipes, cables and tanks that are buried deeply below the earth. These objects might be below the frost line in many regions of the world. Boundary Marker locating metal detectors will assist in finding the stakes that mark the perimeter of an area. Iron and steel objects can be isolated with a valve, box & ferrous magnetometer. The final group of locating devices are water level indicators. These units will help you locate leaks in any type of buried pipe under the ground.

Whichever type of detector you get, you’ll want to get metal detecting headphones like the Audiophone II.  It is through sound that the pipe and leak locating devices will let you know that you have found your target.  The headphones block out exterior noise and let you easily hear the deeper softer signals. Take the time to research industrial metal detectors to select the best model for your job.

Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.

Extractor Fans: Keeping Moisture Out of Your Bathroom

The bathroom is the part of the house which is most susceptible to ventilation problems. And if you’re not careful and vigilant enough, your bathroom can easily become a breeding ground of molds and mildew. With all the moisture that your bathroom accumulates in a daily basis, the growth of molds and development of certain odors is only natural. For this reason, an extractor fan is integral in any bathroom.

A Must

An extractor fan is necessary in any bathroom because this space is always prone to a lot of condensation. The air carries with it extra water molecules which means that there is excessive moisture in bathrooms, making the growth of fungi and other forms of mold very favorable. Not only do certain microorganisms find it easier to thrive in such moist conditions but when humid indoor air does not leak out of the room, odors and pollutants are trapped inside the room. Outdoor air must be continuously introduced inside bathrooms to replace the moist indoor air and dilute any pollutants.

Choosing Extractor Fans

The prime consideration which you have to think about when choosing extractor fans is the size of your bathroom. The size of your fan should be commensurate to the overall size of your bathroom. If you have a small bathroom, then you need only a smaller-sized extractor fan. On the other hand, a bigger fan is needed for a larger bathroom. You know that a fan is appropriate for your bathroom when it is capable of providing 15-20 air changes per hour in a normal-sized bathroom. At the same time, look for a brand which is efficient at blocking the re-entry of cold indoor air as well as blocking warm air from escaping.

Types to Choose From

There are two standard types of extractor fans available in any hardware store. The first type is the axial fan which is mounted in either a window or an exterior wall through ducts. On the other hand, the centrifugal extractor fan can be mounted on ceilings because it can withstand air pressure resistance.

Because extractor fans can also be installed in kitchens, extractor fans come in different voltages but low voltage fans are recommended for bathrooms. The latest models are often automatic in nature meaning that they are activated by humidity levels. Some models are also self-regulated which means that they come with a timer and a controller which helps to regulate rates of air exchanges and flows for better efficiency.

Phil Farell is an avid blogger with varied interests like food, home improvement and many more. He also shares his ideas about Extractor Fans

Dangers of Natural Disasters

When natural disaster strikes, be it a hurricane, flood or fire, your thoughts turn first to loved ones and next to property.  Once family, friends and pets are secure, it’s time to assess the toll taken on your home.  Whether you’re coping with wind, water or fire damage, it’s important to retain an experienced disaster repair service to secure both your property and your state of mind.

HURRICANE

Hurricanes and tropical cyclones are capable of creating tremendous damage, bringing high winds and floods that damage and destroy property when the storm makes landfall.  Rated on a scale from one to five, a Category-1 hurricane can cause some damage to trees and shrubs, and mobile homes are also susceptible.  When a storm reaches Category-2 status, with sustained wind speeds up to 110 miles per hour, rooftops are damaged and full-grown trees are blown down.  Category-3 hurricanes can cause damage to small structures, and completely destroy a mobile home.  A Category-4 hurricane, with wind speeds up to 155 miles per hour and waves surging from 13 – 18 feet, can cause extensive flooding to structures near the shoreline.  And when a storm reaches Category-5 status, with wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour and waves topping 18 feet, extensive damage occurs to homes and substantial flooding damages the lower floors of buildings.

FLOOD

A storm’s gale force winds can rip through your home’s windows and doors, tear off roofs and garage doors, and even damage the foundation.  Water damage can be particularly destructive, destroying treasured possessions, wood floors, carpeting and walls, all while creating the perfect breeding ground for dangerous mold to grow.  Water extraction and structural drying should be employed immediately; left untreated, the presence of mold in your home can contribute to a range of health problems, including allergies.  Mold spores can irritate the eyes, the airways, and trigger asthma attacks in sensitive family members.

FIRE

When fire strikes, the devastation is so sudden that it can be difficult to assess the destruction and take appropriate steps toward restoring your home.  Once the smoke clears and you’re forced to confront charred walls, singed ceilings, and smoky furniture, it’s important to consult a professional restoration team.  Smoke can penetrate into all areas of a structure, impacting heating and electrical systems, plumbing and electronic equipment. To ensure your family’s safety and well-being, seek out a competent disaster repair service in the aftermath of a fire or storm.

Jake Alexander is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @JakeAlexander17.