Clogs and blockages, how to deal with them on your own terms
We joke about it, laugh about it when it happens to other people, grin while someone else talks about it happening to them, but deep down inside us we hate when our toilets get clogged or some other plumbing catastrophe happens to us.
While it’s true that the common clogs and blockages are nightmares that you will have to deal with sooner or later, even if you live in one of the more high tech Silicon Valley homes, when you look carefully at the problem you realize it’s actually not that big of a deal, not even for a DIY Silicon Valley plumber.
What causes clogging and blockages in the pipes?
There are a lot of domestic reasons behind clogging and blockages in the United States.
- Flushing too much or too many things down the toilet
- Hair buildup in the pipes and drains
- Poor maintenance and cleaning
- Pieces of food
There are also technical reasons behind some clogs and blockages.
- Pipes and tubes being bent too much
- Crushed pipes, hoses and tubes
Regardless of the reasons behind them, blockages and clogging have to be dealt with swiftly, otherwise the entire plumbing system can and will be affected long term.
What do you need in order to deal with these issues?
For starters, you will need the right tools.
Keep in mind that you will be dealing with waste, refuse, bits of food, and general insanitary conditions, so you will want to take some extra precautions, in fact all plumbers in Silicon Valley have safety gear at their disposal at all times for safety reasons.
First and foremost, protective gear.
- Rubber gloves (thick rubber, not thin surgical rubber gloves)
- Goggles (optional but good to have)
Second, the right tools for the right kind of blockage, and here is where it gets a little tricky.
- The Plunger
It is preferred when dealing with small / minor clogs that generally have a shallow positioning (close to the drain in question).
Make sure that the head of the plunger covers the entire drain and that it is able to form an airtight seal around it.
Also, when dealing with sinks, tubs and other things that have a ventilation opening, make sure to cover it with your hand or a piece of rubber in order to form an airtight seal.
- Chemical solutions
Drain cleaners, clog removers, these are just a few of the more chemical solutions to this problem.
They are recommended for light / medium clogs, usually for things that can be dissolved, however the success rate is varied and the lack of control can be a bit of an issue.
- The Snake
A drain snake is used for harder, denser, heavier clogs that drain cleaners, plungers and special solutions simply cannot handle.
These clogs are usually deep, are the result of long term buildup and can be tricky and time consuming to get rid of.
Simply unroll the snake off of its spool, insert its end in the drain in question and push it in all the way to the clog.
Once it reaches the clog, start rotating it, allowing the snake to either burrow in through the clog or simply tear through it and slice it into smaller pieces that will flow down the drain.
- Taking the pipes apart and removing the blockage manually.
This solution works for stubborn clogs that simply won’t give up. This solution is only recommended for experienced DIY plumbers and it is preferred to be used on exposed pipes rather than pipes that run through walls.
Third and lastly, you will need some good old fashioned elbow grease.
Simply put your gear on, grab your tools and get to work. It will take some time, depending on the blockage, you will have to try different positions, maneuvers and amounts of force and pressure, however everyone has his or her own way of doing thinks, it’s just a matter of finding your own groove.
If it all goes well, and you put forward a lot of patience and determination, you will manage to unclog your pipes and remove all the blockages.
However if things don’t really work out your way, or if there are other issues and problems that you stumble into, you might want to consider calling a specialized Silicon Valley plumber and spare yourself the effort of dealing with too many things at the same time.