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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.




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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

How To Clear A Blocked Drain In Four Simple Steps

by Madison Dean

Blocked drains can constitute a significant nuisance for business premises owners and householders alike. They tend to lead to a range of problems such as foul odors, slow drainage, and even potential structural damage to your property. It's important to address blockages promptly to avoid them escalating into a costly plumbing disaster. Unless you have a plumber you can call upon to clear the blockage for you, here is what you should do.

Step One – Clear Local Blockages By Hand

First, you should attempt a physical removal of the blockage that will often be found in the wastewater traps beneath sinks, toilets, and hand basins. Blocked wastewater pipes are often caused by a buildup of everyday items, such as hair, soap, or food waste. For sink or tub drains, a wire coat hanger can be straightened and bent at one end to hook and pull up the offending material. Protect your hands with gloves, as this can be a messy job. Most plumbers would also agree that eye protection is advisable to prevent foul water from splashing into them. It is worth noting that this method is less likely to be effective for severe or deep blockages.

Step Two – Dislodge With a Plunger

If the physical removal of a local blockage proves unsuccessful, then make use of a plunger instead. This tried-and-true tool uses air pressure to dislodge blockages further down the drainage system. Cover the drain hole entirely with your plunger, then press down and pull up sharply to shift the blockage. Repeat these actions several times. Check periodically if the water begins to drain, indicating that the blockage has moved. Also, it is worth noting that toilet plungers won't work on sinks and vice-versa.

Step Three – Apply Chemicals

In some cases, the use of chemical drain cleaners may be appropriate. Seek professional advice from local plumbers before taking this action, however, since this should be a last resort due to the corrosive nature of chemical cleaners. These products work by breaking down the material causing the blockage. Follow the instructions on the product's label, including wearing protective gear. Please note that these chemicals can be harmful to the environment and your pipes if used excessively.

Step Four – Seek Professional Assistance

While minor blockages can often be handled by a competent person, more significant or stubborn blockages may require the assistance of plumbers to resolve. Plumbers have specialized equipment, such as video tools that can detect the exact location of blockages. They'll help to ensure the problem is fully handled and one that won't recur soon afterward.

Contact a local plumber to learn more.