There are many reasons to choose a natural drain cleaner. For starters, they’re much healthier for you and your family. Most over-the-counter drain cleaners have sulfuric acids or sodium hydroxide in them, and while these ingredients work fast, they’ll erode your drains if you use them too many times.
It’s good to know some ways to clean your drains naturally with products you may already have at home. Of course, if you’ve got a stubborn clog, you may need a professional drain cleaner – as in a professional plumber.
Below are six natural drain cleaners. Give one (or more) a try next time you’ve got a clogged drain.
Use a wire hanger. You can’t get much more DIY than this. You’ll need a good pair of pliers to unwind the wire, but you’ll want to keep the hook intact. Then, simply use the unwound hanger to pull out what’s blocking the drain. This technique works well in the bathroom for hair clogs.
Baking soda and vinegar. Pour about a ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Essentially, you’ll want a half to half ratio for the two ingredients. Then, after about an hour, pour boiling water down the drain to clear it out.
Baking soda and salt. This is similar to the baking soda and vinegar technique. Again, you’ll need a half to half ratio, so about ½ cup each. Mix the salt and the baking soda together, pour down the drain, and then wait overnight to pour boiling water down the drain.
Borax, vinegar and salt. For this method, you’ll need ¼ cup of Borax, ¼ cup of salt, and about ½ cup of vinegar. Mix these ingredients together, pour the mixture down the drain and follow it by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. You’ll need to wait for the mixture to start working, then after a few hours (or you can wait overnight as well) run hot tap water to flush out the drain.
Water and dish soap. It sounds way too simple, but we promise you it can work. This technique is especially good for grease clogs. Start with about a half-gallon of water and add couple tablespoons if dish soap. Then, slowly pour it down the drain. Repeat if necessary.
Plunger. We’re not being cavalier here. The plunger technique is a tried-and-true method to remove clogs from drains and it’s particularly effective on kitchen drains where food can get lodge deep in the drainpipe.
In order for the plunger method to work, you’ll first need to make sure you’ve got a rubber suction cup plunger that fits your drain. Then, fill the sink up with warm water and start to plunge. You’ll need to apply pressure as you press and avoid letting any air get between the suction cup and the sink.
So, you’ve tried all these methods and none seem to work? It may be time to call a professional plumber.
And remember: the best way to avoid a clogged drain is to keep them free of things like eggshells, hair, and coffee grounds. Take care of your drains, and they’ll reward you by staying drain-free for years to come.
A few years ago, tankless water heaters became a popular choice for homeowners looking to save on their energy bills and create more space. Standard water heaters heat on a continuous basis, whereas tankless water heaters only heat when needed, and the result is about a 20% more efficient water heating system.
But are tankless water heaters all they’re made out to be? The answer really depends on what your needs and personal preferences are. For some, a traditional water heater is still the best option – especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money up front. For others, a tankless water heater is a great solution if space is limited and you’re looking to save money in the long term.
Here are the benefits of a tankless water heater.
Instant hot water. You’ll never have to wait for the water to heat up with a tankless water heater. That’s perhaps one of the best reasons to invest in this kind of heater. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water, either.
They’re durable. Most tankless water heaters will last about twenty years or even more. That’s about ten years longer than the warranty on the typical traditional water heater.
Lower month to month costs. Homeowners who invest in a tankless water heater can expect to save a significant amount of money annually, as they’re designed to be extremely energy efficient.
They save space. Because most tankless water heaters are mounted on a well in the basement, they’re a great choice for homeowners with limited space.
Special financing and tax breaks. Since they are so efficient, tankless water heaters can qualify you for tax credits. In fact, the federal government will award a 10% tax credit on the cost of buying and installing your tankless water heater.
Longer warranties. Many tankless water heaters come with a 20 year warranty, which can save homeowners money if a repair is needed.
The cons of tankless water heaters
Higher startup costs. Tankless water heaters are significantly higher in price to purchase; most cost double the amount of a traditional water heater. You’ve also got to factor in the cost of installation, which requires a professional experienced in tankless water heater installation.
More equipment required. Often times, additional equipment like a water softener is needed. That can take up more space, and make the cost of the tankless water heater even more expensive.
You may need to reroute gas lines. Installing a tankless water heater may mean needing to reroute your home’s gas lines and you may also need to install venting as well.
As you can see, there are many reasons to use a tankless water heater, and some big reasons not to invest in one as well. Still in the fence about which to choose? Call a professional plumber. We can help you make the right decision for your home and family.