Three Plumbing Lifehacks Every Homeowner Should Know
Having clogged or drains in your home is a major bummer. Residential plumbing repairs can be pricey and not being able to use the toilets, sinks, showers, and washing machine until your plumbing consultant can come fix it can be a real buzzkill.
Some residential plumbing repairs really must be handled by a professional, both for your safety, and so your plumbing problem doesn’t become a plumbing catastrophe. Some issues though, you can fix yourself, if you know the right tricks:
- Clearing the nasty black buildup that causes backups
Your drain naturally accumulates grimy buildup as tiny amounts of oils and fats act as an adhesive that dirt and debris cling to, until there is no room for in the pipe for drainage. Most plumbers detest the use of harsh drain chemicals that may be effective at clearing out the buildup, but also corrode your pipes and make them more vulnerable to breakage and leaks. Instead, pour half a cup of peroxide down the drain. Wait half an hour for the peroxide to oxidize the gunk and loosen it up. Follow by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain, in small amounts at a time. The boiling water will melt the fats and push them through the drain. Finally, pour half a cup of bleach to kill any bacteria, mold, and mildew left behind, and rinse with cold water.
- Deodorizing stinky drains
You can’t blame your drains for producing a putrid smell every now and then, when you think of the disgusting items that you pour down it. When your drain starts to stink, start by running hot water for one minute to clear out anything that can be washed away. Next, pour a generous amount of baking soda down the open drain and leave it for an hour or so. Baking soda is an amphoteric material– which means it has both acidic and base properties, and so it can neutralize both strong acidic smells (rotten milk) and strong base smells (foul meat), and anything in between. After giving the baking soda enough time to work its magic, pour vinegar down the drain to dissolve the baking soda. As an added benefit, the oxidation of baking soda and vinegar will clear out mild clogs and leave your drain fresh.
- Cleaning the garbage out of a garbage disposal
When your garbage disposal is funky and just not working properly, one simple way to clear it out is through the power of citrus. You can use any citrus you like– orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit…you get the picture. First, run the garbage disposal with water to clear it out. Next, take the rind off your citrus fruit of choice. Using a quarter at a time, drop the rind into the running disposal and let it do it’s thing. The rough texture of the rind will help clear out any debris. As the rind is pulverized by the garbage disposal, it will release citrus essential oils which naturally cut through grease and give it a deep cleaning. Your garbage disposal will be left with the fresh smell of citrus instead of the decaying smell it used to have.
Do you have any DIY solutions for simple residential plumbing repairs? Please share them with us in the comment section below.