Darlene Alferes' Blog
17 Costa Street, Dartmouth, MA 02747
14 Saratoga Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
When the toilet's stopped up, you grab the plunger. If it's the sink, you might run some unclogging solution down with hot water. But some clogged piped won't clear. They get stopped up with gunk and debris that, over time, may work its way deep in the pipes. How do you power through that? Here are some practical ways to clear very clogged pipes.
1. Clear a Gunky, Smelly Drain
You remember the classic science project volcanoes, don't you? You can clear a smelly drain using the same fizzy principle, and it's just as fun to watch. For this method, you need:
Now here's how do do it.
Step one: Sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the drain. Don't worry if it doesn't all go in. The vinegar will help.
Step two: Pour in one cup of vinegar. The drain will fizz. The fizz will disinfect and remove odors while loosening stuck on oil and gunk for a smoother flow.
2. Clean the P-trap
If you drop a piece of jewelry down a kitchen or bathroom sink, this U-shaped part of your drain may catch it before it's gone forever. It can also harbor nasty clogs. Thankfully the trap is easy to remove. You need a wrench and a large bowl.
Step one: Locate the P-trap under your sink. Remove items from the cabinet so you have room to work. Now, place the bowl beneath the trap.
Step two: Unscrew the P-trap. It will have two connectors that simply screw off using a wrench.
Step three: Carefully remove the P-trap and wash the inside using an outside hose or another sink. Don't forget to avoid the sink you removed it from. The water will go straight into the cabinet beneath. Yuck!
Step four: Reposition to P-trap and screw it back on. Test the drain slowly to ensure the P-trap is secure.
3. Remove the Bath Overflow & Snake It
For this one, you need a screwdriver and drain snake. *Pro tip* Never snake from the drain. The pipes are curved. It's similar to the P-trap, so the snake will get stuck.
Step one: Locate the screws on your tubs overflow prevention panel. In some baths, they will be in plain sight. Other manufacturers hide them under the overflow panel, so you may have to hunt for them.
Step two: Unscrew and remove the panel. Now, work your drain snake slowly through the hole. Don't force it or the snake will bow and fold over itself instead of moving into the drain.
Step three: Once you reach a blockage, push through it so that the snake can grab it. Then start slowly pulling the snake back.
If you try these methods, and still can't clear the clog, it may be deep in your piping system where you won't be able to reach without special tools. At that time, you should call a professional. For more home maintenance tips, follow our blog.
Although preparing your house for a real estate showing can be hectic, there are ways to make it easier and less stressful. One source of stress for many people is that nagging feeling that they're forgetting to do something important.
Admittedly, overlooking some things could result in lost sales or even lost valuables, but a little advance planning and organization can help prevent those problems from happening.
The solution is to create a checklist of important reminders and tasks you have to complete before leaving the house. Your real estate agent will provide helpful guidance and tips on effectively preparing your house for showings.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
When your house is up for sale and it's being actively marketed, appointments with prospective buyers are sometimes made on the spur of the moment. While real estate agents will be scheduling the appointments and conducting the tours, it's up to you to ensure that your home is always in tip-top condition. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist your family's help in picking up clothes, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and cleaning up after themselves. If you have small children, they will undoubtedly need assistance in putting away their toys and making their bedrooms look civilized! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when getting ready for house showings:
- Cleanliness (or a lack thereof) will be one of the many things that house hunters notice. While your house may meet their requirements for number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall layout, they could quickly lose interest if your floors, countertops, and sinks are visibly dirty.
- Pets can be a potential issue if your home is scheduled for a showing. Not only can dogs be a distraction if they bark a lot or have other undesirable behaviors, but some people are allergic to dogs and cats. The ideal solution is for a friend, family member, or neighbor to take care of your dog while the house is being shown. Unfortunately that's not always possible. Sometimes confining your dog to a fenced-in back yard (briefly) or a comfortable crate that they're accustomed to may be a viable, short-term solution. Several factors would come into play, including the weather, the temperament of your dog, and whether it's going to bother the neighbors by being outside.
- Doing your best to eliminate clutter throughout the house is another strategy for making the best possible impression on potential buyers.
Protecting Your Valuables and Privacy
Another priority that some homeowners forget is to hide valuables, such as jewelry, mobile devices, checkbooks, and cash. It's also a good idea to make sure your computers are password-protected, and that you turn them off before leaving the house. If you have any concerns about security during home showings, you might want to hide computers, personal items, and yesterday's mail in a secure place. Although most people touring your house will only be interested in its features, décor, and condition, it's always good to exercise a little caution when opening your house up to the public.