For most people, dealing with drain and sewage issues is not their idea of a “fun” home-improvement project. But like anything else in the home – a squeaky door hinge, leaky roof, A.C. on the fritz, etc. – these issues are an occasional and unpleasant fact of life. In these instances the natural inclination of many is to simply hire a professional when any plumbing-related issue comes up. And there is one good reason not to do this: money. It’s no secret that plumbers are expensive and certain times the jobs people hire them to do can be accomplished by the homeowner if he or she is simply willing to roll up the sleeves and get to work.
So with that in mind, here are some DIY tips for solving a host of drain and sewer problems that might just save a costly call to the local plumber.
Eliminating Foul Drain Smells
It happens in many homes and apartments from time to time: a foul odor creeps in from the drain. The biggest difficulty many people have when dealing with this issue is that they don’t know how the smell is getting into the home. The good news is that this is usually a quick and simple fix. All floor drains, laundry tubs and washbasins have a water trap beneath them. If the washer or shower isn’t used for a period of time, the water in the trap will evaporate. This creates space in which underground sewage odors can enter the home.
The remedy? Simply pour a few ounces of Odoreze® Natural Drain Smell Deodorizer followed by a pitcher of water into the water trap. This will get rid of the nasty drain odor you have and create a buffer between the underground odors and the home to prevent future problems. Those who want to fortify this solution can add a couple tablespoons of cooking oil into the trap as well. This will coat the top of the water and slow down the evaporation process.
Dealing with Blockages
One of the most common household plumbing problems has to do with clogged drains and drainpipes. For indoor blockage issues, experts recommend using a eco-friendly dual action household cleaner & deodorizer such as Odoreze® as well as cleaning out the trap. When leaves block outside drainpipes, it’s best to use a drainage rod or hook to remove the blockage.
Silencing Creaky Pipes
Usually people will take noisy pipes as a sign of a serious emergency. The truth is that – much of the time – this issue is the result of nothing more than hot water running through copper pipes, causing it to expand. This is a fairly harmless phenomenon, and the quick remedy involves simply wrapping the noisy pipe in question with strips of felt.
Remove Stubborn Blockages with a Wet-Dry vac
If a toilet or sink becomes clogged with a large object, such as a child’s toy or a toothbrush, people should forgo the plunger if it isn’t working and use a wet-dry shop vacuum instead.
While people with drain and sewage issues should certainly keep these guidelines in mind when trying to diagnose the issue at hand, it should by no means be an alternative to necessary professional surface. Indeed, if any DIY plumbing or sewage project appears in the least bit dangerous, homeowners should call a plumber immediately.
Nathan Bosworth is a professional blogger that provides consumers with home improvement advice. He writes for Dura Pier Foundation Repair, a top foundation company in Houston TX.