Clogged Drain? Tips for the Homeowner Until the Plumber Arrives

Whether you’ve just purchased your first home or have been living in the same house for years, checking your plumbing equipment should be part of your annual fall maintenance plan with your HVAC contractor. But following these few basic tips will allow you to take a more active roll in the plumbing maintenance and repairs in your home.

Plunging a Clog

A little elbow grease and a plunger are much better alternatives to using caustic liquid drain openers on a clogged drain. Center the plunger over the drain, making sure to create a tight seal. Apply firm, even pressure on the plunger until the drain is clear.

Dissolving a Clog

If you’re not the muscular type, pour about one half cup of baking soda down the drain, immediately followed by as much white vinegar. Cover or seal the drain with the plug or cloth and let it work on the clog for a few minutes before pouring 4 or 5 cups of boiling water down the drain.

Running Toilet

Running toilets are not only annoying, they waste an enormous amount of water.

  • Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. Check if the float (a ball on the end of a metal arm) rises with the water as the tank refills. If the float doesn’t trigger the shut-off lever, slightly bend the metal arm downward. Also, clean any mineral buildup or obstructions from the lever.
  • If the float works, turn off the water valve behind the toilet and flush. Check the rubber flap at the bottom of the tank for wear or mineral deposits, wipe it clean and apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to create a better seal.
  • If neither fix works, buy a new fill unit from your local home supply store.
  • If your home has a dual-flush, turbo-charged or other new toilet model, don’t try to tackle the problem yourself. Call your local HVAC contractor for diagnosis and repairs.

For more expert advice or to set up a plumbing maintenance plan, please contact Beyer Boys. We’ve served the greater San Antonio and southern Texas areas since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Paul Michael Hughes/Shutterstock”

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