Can I do anything to fix it myself?
Once the drain is clogged there are only a few things that can be done to try and
clear the block. 1.) A chemical can be poured down the drain (not recommended),
2.) A snake or auger can be used to clean the entire pipe, 3.) Water pressure can
be used to try and blow out the clog, or 4.) If there is a section of the pipe like the
p-trap that is accessible you can take it apart in hopes that the block is in that
section of the pipe (the p-trap is the U shaped pipe that you see under a kitchen or
bath room sink).
I don't recommend that you try to use a chemical. Usually at best it was a waste
of $7 - $10. But worse than that those chemicals can cause damage to the
plumber's equipment and you may be charged for the damage to the cable or an
acid cable charge that is a portion of the cost of a new cable. Ok so that's still not a
huge problem right? What about if the chemical causes damage to the garbage
disposal or some other portion of the piping? Now not only is the drain still plugged
but now you have leaks and may have to open a wall or flooring to access the leak
to cut out a section and repair it. When those are in the floor or in the wall behind a
cabinet that can get ugly!
The next thing I don't recommend using is Water pressure. That also can cause
damage to the pipes very similar to chemicals. When the drain pipes are new they
are designed to be tested with about 5 psi water pressure, (but they're not new are
they?) also the water to the hose in most homes is 60-120 psi water pressure, and
that is where you get the water to try to blow out the clog. So you're going to put 60
psi or more into a 20 year old pipe and hope a connection that wouldn't hold that
pressure new, is somehow miraculously going to hold it now. Do you see the
danger? If this doesn't break or blow apart the pipe (witch it possible may not) there
is still a good chance you will blow dirty black sewer water all over you and the area
your working in. Don't let anyone tell you they can do this safely, they don't know
what fittings are hidden in the wall or floor and they don't know the condition of them
even if they did the plumbing themselves. Besides you're the one who's stuck with
the mess when they mess up.
Taking apart an accessible pipe is fine if you are mechanical, and in a bath tub or
shower there is a fair chance to clear the block that way. If you don't find the block in
the pipes under the tub or shower you can still put in a snake or auger from the pipe
while it's apart. Of course this is dirty work and just like most things in life there is a
learning curve, and the beginning of the curve is shall we say unpleasant. If at this
point you decide to just have a professional do it call now and we'll come take care
How can I reduce the likelihood of getting a bath tub or shower clog?
Shower and bath tub blockages are generally caused by one of two things and
probably most often a combination of the two. Hair is one and grease soap buildup
is the other. To learn how to reduce the likelihood of these stoppages lets take a
minute to look at each of them. Hair is pretty easy to understand, it doesn't dissolve
easily and can get stuck on any rough edges or burs in the piping and then it will act
like a screen trapping debris and will eventually buildup to a total blockage. Now the
grease soap build up is just as bad but most people would say "I don't put grease in
my shower drain". Truth is we all do but just in ways we maybe never thought of.
Most of the products we use like soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body oil's and the
such like will turn into grease residue when they go down the drain. Also our hair
and skin have oil in them that we are washing off. These greases continue to build
up layer after layer until there is a complete blockage. The easiest way to see this is
to take a bath and let the water out when you're done washing and shampooing and
all. Don't rinse any thing down just let the water out, usually what you see is a dirty
ring where the water level was and the rest of the tub is coated with hairs and a
greasy dirty residue. That's what happens to the pipe each time we shower or bathe
and over time it builds up to the point of a complete stoppage.
OK So how do I prevent this? You will probably never totally prevent this but you
can reduce the occurrences of these troubles down to hardly ever. The first thing I
recommend is a hair strainer. The best ones I have seen are white plastic ones that
have several small holes in them about the diameter of a push button on a ball
point pen. They will make the water drain slower and you will have to pick the hair off
them but they keep most of the hair out of the pipe. The next thing you can do is a
bit more work to figure out. Not all soaps (or other products) leave the same amount
of residue. So by testing different brands in the bath tub when you are done you will
be able to see witch ones leave the least residue. Also you can try to use less of
anything you might be using too much of. Another thing that can be done but is
almost never an option is using colder water. Most greases will harden and solidify
when cold and then they float and wash down the drain as a solid and can't coat the
pipe. Look at the bacon grease, when its hot it pours right out of the pan into the cup
but after it cools is turns solid and hard and white, same thing. Just don't count me
in for that one, I like my shower nice and toasty hot. So I hope you found this
information helpful and if you need help with any plumbing or drain cleaning need
call us now!
Thrifty Plumbing and Heating Inc.
P.O. Box 247
Lake Arrowhead, Ca. 92352
Bath Tub and Shower Drain Cleaning
Thrifty Plumbing and Heating
P.O. Box 247
Lake Arrowhead, Ca. 92352
Call Now !
Money Saving Tips