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Buying a House from a Tax Auction? Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Plumbing!

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying a House from a Tax Auction? Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Plumbing!

Buying a house that has been vacant from a property-tax auction can be a great way to get a home at a low price. If you are buying the house at a tax auction, you won’t be able to inspect the interior of the house beforehand. If the previous owner did not take measures to properly winterize the home, there could be a lot of plumbing problems you would have to deal with.  Winterizing a home is more than simply shutting off the water. To properly winterize, the water should be drained from the plumbing, and antifreeze should be put down the drains. Here’s what can happen to the plumbing in a vacant home, especially one that has not been winterized.  Thieves may have stolen copper piping Copper tubing and piping can be sold at recycling centers for cash, and this makes vacant homes appealing to thieves who are looking to score some fast, easy cash. If the water wasn’t drained from the house before it was left vacant, the interior of the home may be flooded. If the home was drained, obviously you’ll need to replace the missing tubing and piping before you will be able to use the plumbing in the home.  The house may smell like sewer If the plumbing wasn’t properly winterized, the water in the drain traps may have evaporated long ago. Without water in the drain traps, sewer gas can easily escape into the home to the point that it can be suffocating. Sewer gas contains dangerous gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia, which can cause serious health problems, including immediate loss of consciousness and asphyxiation when the gases are present at very high levels. When you first enter the home, open the door slowly. If you smell sewer gas, do not enter the home unless you wear a breathing apparatus.  The plumbing may have cracked seals Whether the water was shut off or evaporated, there’s a risk of dried and cracked seals in the plumbing system. The valves, gaskets, and hoses have rubber seals that will dry and crack if there is no water or moisture to keep them soft. If you attempt to turn the water on or get the water flowing, the water pressure will cause the dry and cracked seals to fail and send a torrent of water flooding out of the seals and into the home. Therefore, hire a plumber to inspect the condition of each seal before you get water flowing through the plumbing again.  The pipes may be damaged  In addition to rubber being susceptible to getting damaged from being too dry, pipes can also rot and crack when they are dry. And if the house wasn’t properly winterized, there is a risk you will find broken pipes due to the freezing and thawing cycles the house went through while it was vacant. Because of these problems, the pipes in the house may be damaged. If the water was turned on, the pressure could cause ruptures in the plumbing system throughout the house.  Scaly mineral deposits may have built up inside the pipes After you’ve taken the time and effort to make sure the seals and pipes are in good condition from visual inspections, you may still have a problem. The water may be low-flowing...

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How to Know If Your Home’s Water Pressure Is Too High and What Should Be Done to Fix the Problem

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Know If Your Home’s Water Pressure Is Too High and What Should Be Done to Fix the Problem

When people talk about water pressure, the conversation often centers around low water pressure and the problems it can cause. However, high water pressure can also cause its own set of problems, including those that result in expensive damage. That is why you should know what to do if your home’s water pressure is above normal. Below are some of the ways you can tell if your water pressure is too high, the negative effects this can have on your plumbing, and what can be done to alleviate the problem. Signs of high water pressure Residential water pressure can vary greatly depending on the type of water service available as well as other factors, such as the elevation of the home. However, water pressure measuring around 50 pounds per square inch (PSI) is considered normal and suitable for most homes. Once water pressure exceeds 60 PSI, it is higher than most residential plumbing systems are designed to handle. As a consequence, bad things can happen to the pipes and fixtures inside a home. You should be aware of the signs of high water pressure, some of which are listed below. Banging, knocking noises – If you notice loud sounds emanating from your plumbing whenever you turn off water faucets or flush toilets, the sounds may be due to excessive water pressure. This phenomenon, known as water hammer, can be destructive to your plumbing if allowed to continue. Consistent leaks in fixtures and appliances – High water pressure can cause seals and washers to fail and push past fittings. A telltale sign that high water pressure may be the culprit is whenever these leaks recur after repair. In addition to pipes and fixtures, your hot-water heater may leak. Burst hoses and lines – One of the most dramatic signs of high water pressure is bursting water hoses and lines. This can occur with inlet lines to washing machines, ice makers, water softeners, and water filters. Pinhole leaks – A pinhole leak may not be apparent for a while, since it may only drip or spray an extremely fine stream of water. However, if you discover an area of moist drywall or water seeping from beneath baseboards, the problem may be due to a pinhole leak. Premature failure of appliances – High water pressure can damage appliances that receive water, such as ice makers and dishwashers. Pumps and internal seals can be broken whenever water pushes against them at a pressure beyond what they are designed to withstand. If you have a problem with either of these appliances failing prematurely, then you may wish to have your water pressure checked. What you can do about high water pressure If you suspect that you have high water pressure, then the next step is to perform a definitive pressure check. This is easy to check with the use of a screw-on water-pressure gauge. Simply screw the water-pressure gauge onto a spigot or hose nipple and read the measurement with the valve turned on. Just be sure all other water valves inside the home are turned off in order to obtain an accurate reading. After confirming that your water pressure is too high, you will need to consider the installation of a water pressure–reducing valve. These valves are fitted between your municipal water meter...

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Phew, What’s That Smell? Guide To Removing Foul Odors In Your Drains

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Phew, What’s That Smell? Guide To Removing Foul Odors In Your Drains

Maintaining your home’s appeal, value, and function can be challenging. From the basic upkeep of the interior to ensuring your home’s exterior and landscaping is in good condition, it is easy to see how you may feel overwhelmed at times. While you may place importance on these tasks, you should also focus on your home’s drains. Clogs are common, so you most likely already know how to use a plunger to remove this annoying issue. Unfortunately, you may not know how to address foul odors that linger in your sink drain. Using these tips, you can remove unappealing odors from the drain of your kitchen sink. Food/Grease Odor Washing and rinsing dishes in your kitchen sink will cause food to build up inside the drains. Even if you have a garbage disposal, a stubborn residue can accumulate in and around the drain of your kitchen sink. This residue could eventually thicken, possibly clogging up your sink. Of course, the buildup of food inside your drain will also cause unappealing odors, which may linger throughout your kitchen and in your home. To remove the odor and eat through the heavy buildup of food and grease inside your drain, complete the following steps: Pour 1 gallon of water into a pot and place it on your stove. Allow the water to heat until it begins boiling rapidly. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda directly into your sink’s drain. Once the water is boiling, remove from the stove and carefully pour half of the water into the drain. Place the pot of remaining water back on the stove. Allow it to continue boiling. Allow the water and baking soda to combine together and sit in the drain for a few minutes. You will notice a bubbling, fizzing sensation as the baking soda begins dissolving the food residue in the drain. After a few minutes, pour the remaining boiling water into the drain. This will eat through any remaining food particles while rinsing away the baking soda. Food and grease can also build up on the blades of your garbage disposal. If you use it frequently, you should spend some time cleaning the disposal to remove foul odors. Place a handful of ice cubes into your drain and turn on the garbage disposal. The disposal’s blades will eat through the ice while removing any stubborn food residue. The ice cubes will also sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal. Rotten Egg Odor If you are noticing an odor that resembles rotten eggs, it is probably stemming from the presence of hydrogen sulfide. Also known as sulfur, this colorless, invisible gas can be found in your water, causing it to smell and taste like rotten eggs. If the odor seems to be coming from your sink, consider checking the water to see if it is the main source of the hydrogen sulfide. To complete this test, fill a glass of water from the faucet and bring it outdoors. Smell the water outdoors to determine if it has the rotten egg smell. Fill another glass of water from a different sink faucet and bring outdoors to smell. If all of the faucets seem to have the same rotten egg smell, the hydrogen sulfide is in your water. In most instances, a magnesium rod in your...

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Reasons Why Your Toilet Smells And How To Eliminate The Stench

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons Why Your Toilet Smells And How To Eliminate The Stench

While there are times when your toilet smells, it shouldn’t be an all-the-time thing. If you walk into the bathroom and can smell a scent around your toilet bowl, you may find yourself wondering what it is you are smelling and why you are smelling it. Here are three reasons why your toilet smells and how you can go about eliminating the stench. The Toilet Tank is Not Clean If you smell a urine-like odor in your bathroom, you may clean the bathroom, paying particular attention to the seal around the floor of the toilet and the toilet bowl. However, if the smell persists, it may be because you aren’t cleaning your toilet tank. Many of us clean the bowl but don’t think about the tank, but the tank should be cleaned as well. To clean the tank, open up the tank and pour a half gallon of white vinegar in the tank. Put on cleaning gloves and use a scrubbing brush to scrub the tank down. Flush the toilet to circulate the water and pour another half cup of vinegar in and scrub again. Repeat this a few times to get a clean tank and hopefully get rid of the odor in your bathroom. You Have a Clog Another reason why your toilet may smell is because there is a clog in the toilet. Many people think that if there is a clog, their toilet would overflow. And while a clog can cause your toilet to overflow, not all clogs will do this. You may have a small clog that allows water to flow. And the longer this small clog sits, the more it smells. Follow these steps to attempt to remove a clog and the stinky scent from your toilet: Heat a gallon of water on the stove using a low to medium heat setting. Squirt about a half cup of dish soap into the center hole in your toilet bowl and allow it to sit for around ten minutes. Remove the water from the stove just before it begins to boil. Do not allow the water to boil. Boiling water is too hot and can crack a porcelain toilet bowl. Slowly pour the water into the toilet bowl. Plunge your toilet. The combination of dish soap and hot water will remove stuck-on items and dislodge grease, while the plunger will push any items such as hair and debris through the pipes. The P-Trap Doesn’t Have Enough Water The last reason why your toilet may smell is because the p-trap doesn’t have enough water in it. When the p-trap is not filled completely with water, it can become filled with sewer gases. These gases smell, which gives off the scent you may be noticing. If the toilet isn’t used often, flush the toilet a few times to ensure there is water in the p-trap. If the toilet is used often, the p-trap may need to be checked for leaks. The p-trap is located underneath your toilet, so if you aren’t familiar with removing a toilet, you may want to leave this to a plumber. The plumber will remove your toilet and check the p-trap for leaks. If there are leaks present, cracks will need to be sealed or the p-trap will need to be replaced. If you walk into a bathroom...

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Frequently Asked Questions About Trenchless Pipe Repair

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions About Trenchless Pipe Repair

If you suspected a crack in your plumbing, you likely called in a plumber to correct the problem. While you may be expecting them to replace the pipe, you may be shocked when you here them recommend a trenchless pipe repair or replacement procedure. This is a term you may not be familiar with. Trenchless plumbing repairs are relatively new and are available thanks to advancements in technology over the past couple of decades. Getting answers to the questions you have about this topic will help you to better understand what it is and how it can be beneficial. Here are a few frequently asked questions about trenchless pipe repair. What is Trenchless Pipe Repair? Traditionally, when a pipe needed to be repaired, a large trench needed to be dug over the pipe to access the affected area. This allowed a plumber the ability to cut out the portion of the pipe that was cracked, leaking or burst. They could then install a new portion of pipe in the trench. However, thanks to technological advancements, a trench doesn’t necessarily need to be dug in order to access the pipe. A plumbing camera can be fed through your plumbing lines, allowing a plumber to see exactly where and what the problem is. They can then feed a new pipe through the area where your damaged pipe is. This new pipe is guided by a steel bursting head that breaks apart the old pipe and any clogs, roots or debris that can cause the pipe to not fit correctly. The head is powered by a hydraulic system. As the debris is cleared, the head makes its way through the tunnel where the old pipe was installed, pulling a new pipe behind it.  What Are the Benefits of Trenchless Pipe Repair? When a plumber mentions trenchless pipe repair, you may wonder what the benefits are to this type of repair. There are many benefits to this, which is why it is becoming so popular. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that a large trench does not need to be dug. Digging a trench can be time consuming, labor intensive, and destructive. If the trench needs to be dug in your yard, your grass and plants can be affected. If the pipe is under your sub-floor or driveway, concrete needs to be removed. Trenchless repairs leave these surfaces intact. Another benefit to trenchless pipe repair is that it is generally cheaper than trench repairs. This is because these types of repairs can be done quicker. You can save hours, or even days, not having to have a trench dug and then filled back in. The last benefit to trenchless pipe repair is that it is a faster process. Depending on the type of repair being done, you may be without clean water while the line is being repaired or may be unable to use one of the bathrooms in your home. Regardless, odds are, you are in a hurry to get the problem fixed and use your plumbing as you are accustomed to. Trenchless repairs are faster, allowing the repair to be made in a timely manner so you can use your plumbing system again. What Types of Problems Can be Fixed With Trenchless Pipe Repair? Trenchless pipe repair and replacement can be done when a...

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Bathtub Drain Keeps Clogging Up And Guests Coming Soon? Try These 2 Easy Steps

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bathtub Drain Keeps Clogging Up And Guests Coming Soon? Try These 2 Easy Steps

If you expect overnight guests soon, and your bathtub drain keeps clogging up, you can unclog it fast with baking soda, dish detergent and vinegar. Bathtub drains don’t just clog up with hair. The drains can also develop sticky blockages from the chemicals found in your hair conditioners and bath oils. If you don’t remove the problems right away, they can eventually damage your plumbing system. Unclog your bathtub and keep it unclogged with these two easy steps below. Pour Baking Soda and Vinegar Down the Drain Baking soda contains a chemical called sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate reacts with other chemicals that contain acids, such as white vinegar, by making a gas. When the gas comes into contact with organic matter, such as soap scum, it bubbles or foams up. The bubbling and foaming action slowly dissolves the matter. You don’t need to premix the baking soda and vinegar for the chemicals to work. All you do is: Use a screwdriver to remove the cover from the drain. Set it aside, because you’ll work with it later on. Insert the end of a wire clothes hanger down the drain to create an opening in the clog. Wriggle the clothes hanger around slowly to widen the opening. You want the baking soda and vinegar to penetrate as deeply into the clog and drain as possible. Drop 3 teaspoonfuls of baking soda into the drain, then wait 5 minutes for the baking soda to mix with the water inside the drain. The wet baking soda will coat or absorb into the clog to help break it up. Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drain. You should see a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda right away. Don’t stick your hands or fingers near the drain as the chemicals dissolve the clog to avoiding irritating your skin. Give the baking soda and vinegar 45 minutes to work. If the chemicals produce a strong odor, open up the window in the bathroom and place a circulating fan in the room. In most cases, you’ll only notice a strong vinegar scent emitting from the drain. Turn on the hot water tap in the bathtub to flush out the drain and to push the broken clog down the plumbing pipe. Wait at least 10 minutes before turning off the tap or until the water goes down the drain properly.  Clean the Drain Opener and Bathtub Before you replace the drain cover, you want to clean and sanitize it thoroughly. The drain cover is the first defense against soap scum, hair and other things. Over time, the drain cover builds up with debris and block the flow of water down the drain. Soaking the cover in hot water mixed with dish detergent for 20 minutes loosens up the debris, which keeps the opening of the drain free and clear.  After the 20 minutes are up, scrub the drain cover with a firm-bristled toothbrush, then rinse it off with cool water. Secure the cover back in place with your screwdriver, then wash the bathtub out with a 1/2 teaspoon of dish detergent. Dish detergent contains degreasers and other additives that break down oil and grease. If you use a lot of bath oils and moisturizers when you bathe, they can coat the surfaces of your bathtub over time. ...

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Does Your Furnace Need Repair Service?

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Your Furnace Need Repair Service?

Just like with your car, regular maintenance and simple observations will tell you when it is time to have a tech out to your home– before it dies completely. Your Bills Seem Awfully High This Winter Your furnace will naturally become less efficient as it ages, but this process takes years. Normally, your bills might go up by a few dollars each year. If your bills spike, or they are substantially higher this winter, it may be a sign that your heater is having a hard time keeping up. In the case of an extra cold winter (especially if you are using a heat pump system), this is somewhat normal, but a failing system will draw lots of power even when the temperature is mild. If you are still unsure of whether or not the heater is the source of the problem, there are a couple of ways you can confirm that the heater is the cause of your high bills. If the bill you are concerned about is the electric, there are devices that you can purchase that can clock how much current is running through the wire. Simple ones plug into the wall, but for your furnace you will probably need one that clamps around the wire. They are useful to have around, especially if you are looking to spot places where you can pare down your electrical usage, so it is a worthwhile investment. No Matter How Much You Clean, Dust Keeps Settling Part of your furnace’s job is to clean your air. Since modern homes are tightly sealed, the only way for the dirt that gets tracked inside to get back out is through either your vacuum cleaner or your furnace filter. You should replace your filter every 3-6 months at least, but many people forget to do even that much. If you have a large household or pets, then you might need to replace it as often as once a month. There are two things that happen when the filter gets too full. The first is that the fan has to work harder to pull air through your furnace system. This causes extra wear on the fan, and if left long enough, this can actually cause it to break down. The second is that larger amounts of dust will start to work their way up into your HVAC system. Some of that will pass through, which you will notice as your home gets coated in dust, and the rest will stick inside the furnace. More of the system will start to wear down as the gunk builds up, which is why the filter is there in the first place. This is primarily a preventative maintenance issue, as leaving the gunk in the system will set it on course for a break down even if you replace the filter. Your Furnace Is Making Strange Noises It should be no surprise to you that if your furnace is making odd noises, then you should have it looked at. This can come in a couple of different forms. There are a few moving parts, such as the fans, that can cause a consistent and noticeable pattern of noise when they start to break down. However, you should also listen to the pattern of noises that your furnace...

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New To Septic System Care? Tips To Avoid Damaging Your Home’s Plumbing System

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New To Septic System Care? Tips To Avoid Damaging Your Home’s Plumbing System

When you move into your first place with a septic system, you might be unfamiliar with the unique care requirements of this type of plumbing system. It’s important to remember that anything you put down the drain in your house can affect the septic system. In fact, you may be making some drain-damaging mistakes that you don’t realize. Here are a few mistakes that many homeowners make when it comes to septic system management and some tips to avoid them. Excessive Use of Drain Cleaner Drain cleaners are an ideal way to clear out small buildup issues and restore your water flow to its normal state. Unfortunately, they can also damage your pipes if you use too much of them. Harsh drain cleaners can actually corrode the inside of your plumbing, which will worsen the clog with metal flakes and other debris. The chemical makeup of the drain cleaner can also disrupt the enzyme balance in the septic tank. Since the tank requires certain bacteria and enzymes to properly break down waste, too much drain cleaner may prove disruptive. The best way to avoid this is to limit the use of chemical cleaners. Instead, consider natural drain cleaners like baking soda with vinegar. Rinsing Grease and Other Solids When almost everything in the kitchen goes down your sink drains, it’s a recipe for plumbing disasters. Grease, in particular, is a serious issue for plumbing system integrity. Grease products will start to solidify in your drains, clinging to the inside surfaces of the pipes and inhibiting proper flow. Along with grease, another hazard for your plumbing drains is the food you’re putting down the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal doesn’t disintegrate food – it just breaks it down smaller. This means that things like rice, vegetable peels and flour can build up in the pipes and lead to significant clogs. While most residual food particles that do flush through a traditional plumbing system will be handled appropriately at the water treatment facility, a septic system doesn’t have that same luxury. Grease and some particles won’t break down as easily in the tank, which can interfere with the tank’s natural waste processing. Using Anti-Bacterial Soap and Bleach Cleaners Chances are, you probably don’t think much of using anti-bacterial soaps and chlorine bleach when you’re cleaning or doing your laundry. Although these are traditional staples of household cleaning, they’re actually disruptive to your septic system. The bleach and anti-bacterial components of the soap can kill the bacteria necessary to maintain the balance in your septic tank. This can lead to tank overflows and other backups. Flushing Non-Flushable Household Items If you’ve been treating the toilet as a backup disposal for stuff you don’t otherwise want to put down the drain, it’s possible that you’re contributing to plumbing problems by doing so. The things you flush down the toilet end up in the same primary drain pipes as the things going down your sink drains. If you’re flushing anything that isn’t biodegradable and made to be flushed, those things can not only back up in the drain pipes, but they can also accumulate inside your septic tank. This will lead to more frequent tank pumping if you want to avoid an overflow in your yard. Many homeowners overlook the fact that they can...

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2 Ways To Prevent Leaks During A Toilet Installation

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your toilet is loose, wobbly, cracked, or leaky, then it might be time to purchase yourself a new one.  When you buy a toilet, you have the option of installing it yourself or hiring an experienced plumber to secure it for you.  Installing the toilet yourself can save you some money, but you need to make sure you do everything correctly.  Correct installation means making sure leaks are not present.  Preventing leaks during installation is easy, but if you are unsure about what to do, read through the information below. Secure the Closet Flange Properly When you purchase a new toilet, you will need to set this toilet over a device called a closet flange.  This flange sits over the soil or waste pipe allowing toilet wastes to flow out of your home.  The flange snaps in place over the pipe and a collar then attaches to the floor.  Unfortunately, your toilet can leak wastes through the floor of your bathroom if the flange and waste pipe do not stay connected.  Adhesives can help with this and prevent a disastrous mess in your basement or crawlspace. To make sure the flange and waste pipe are secured properly, purchase some PVC primer and a container of PVC cement. Place a small amount of PVC primer around the outside of the waste pipe and the inside of the flange.  This material helps to soften the PVC plastic so the solvent or cement can create a chemical reaction that fuses the PVC materials together.  Apply PVC cement a minute or two after spreading the primer.  Twist the flange over the waste pipe afterwards and make sure the collar sits flush against the floor. Once the closet flange is secured, make sure to purchase a wax ring to sit just inside the collar that attaches to your floor.  To work properly, the inside edge of the ring should line up with the inside edge of the PVC flange. Tighten the Rubber Tank Washer Toilets commonly leak water in the area between the tank and the bowl where the two parts meet.  A large rubber washer sits around the tank outlet to keep water from leaking when water is forced into the bowl when you flush.  However, it is easy to secure the tank in a crooked manner, and leaks will then form.  This happens because there are two bolts inside the toilet tank needing to be tightened.  When you tighten the bolts, the rubber washer compresses slightly and creates a seal.  If one bolt is tightened more than the other though, then water can start to force its way out around the washer where the loose bolt sits.  Also, a loose bolt will mean the toilet tank will tilt at an awkward angle to one side.  This can cause water to shift to the left or right, and the toilet bowl may not fill properly. To make sure both toilet tank bolts are secured correctly, ask a friend to assist you.  Set the rubber washer over the tank outlet and sit the two connection bolts inside the toilet tank.  Ask your friend to sit the tank over the bowl where it connects, and prompt them to keep the tank straight and still.  Use your finger to twist the two nuts in place where the bolts protrude from underneath the...

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5 Ways To Unclog A Clogged Drain

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Clogged drains are a hassle, but they’re very common, and all homeowners should know how to handle them. Here are five easy ways to fix minor clogs around the house by yourself. With a plunger Plungers are a great way to fix clogged toilets, but you can also use them to fix clogs in sinks or bathtubs. It’s easy to unclog a drain with a plunger. First, you need to make sure that there is a few inches of standing water in the sink or bathtub. Next, cover the overflow with a rag. Press the plunger against the drain, and then pull backwards. You may have to repeat this process a few times before the clog is dislodged.  With vinegar and baking soda Everyone who’s ever been to a kid’s science fair knows that vinegar and baking soda have an explosive reaction when they’re combined, but not everyone knows that this combination is also an easy way to clear a clogged drain. To do this, start by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down your drain. Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain, and quickly cover the drain with a rag. The explosive reaction will be directed downwards, into the clog, and may help to shift it out of the way. With boiling water  Boiling water can remove some types of minor clogs. For example, if your bathtub is clogged with soap reside and hair, boiling water can melt the soap enough to dislodge the clog. To do this, boil a kettle (or a pot) full of water, and then slowly pour it down your drain. You may need to do this more than once to completely melt the clog.  With a drain snake Clogs can’t always be cleared with vinegar and baking soda or boiling water. Some clogs are stubborn, and need to be physically pushed out of the way. An easy way to do this is with a drain snake. You can buy drain snakes from the hardware store, or you can make your own out of a metal coat hanger.  To clear a clog with a drain snake, first push the snake down the drain, auger end first. Twist the handle as you push the snake further into the pipe. Once you hit the clog, you will feel the snake stop moving through the drain. Twist the snake to make sure that the auger catches on the clog, and then slowly pull it back out. The clog should come up through the drain. You may need to repeat this process more than once to remove the whole clog. With dish detergent Dish detergent is a lubricant, as anyone who has ever used it to remove a too-tight ring knows. Dish detergent also works by breaking up grease, so if your clog is caused by kitchen oils or other types of grease, it can be very effective. To do this, pour a bit of dish detergent down the drain, and then flush it out with hot water. Some types of clogs will be broken up or even fully dislodged by this method. You may need to do it a couple times to loosen the clog, and if it doesn’t dislodge fully, finish dislodging the clog with a drain snake. Next time you have a clogged...

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