How to Unclog Your Drains

A blocked drain is a very common plumbing problem that occurs in all households. Any time you notice that your drainage system is not functioning as fast as it used to be, that is a sign that your drain is clogged. Happily, there are some simple procedures you can follow to correct this problem. There is no need to invite a plumber each time something goes wrong with the drains in your home. You will save a few bucks if you learn how to unclog a drain by yourself.

The use of a plunger is the simplest solution, especially for simple blockages. For nearly all clogged drains, this will take care of the problem immediately by freeing up the blockage. However showers will involve a different solution. There is a strainer or stopper on most shower drains to prevent junk from getting into the drain. If this is what caused the problem, cleaning out the entire gunk will put an end to your problem.

Whatever the case may be, you have to remove all the soap remnants and hair. Therefore regardless of how sickening this might be, you cannot avoid it except if you want your shower to be filled with water.

One other method you can use to deal with choked drains is by the use of chemicals which will liquefy the clogging material. This method is highly effective for getting rid of any indication of clogging, particularly if using the plunger does not clear your drain. However, you should be aware that this tactic can be a little messy. To avoid causing damage to the finishing of your sink, use some inches of masking tape to cover up the parts that the dissolving agent might come into contact with.

Another thing you can do is to take out the drain’s covering and checking to see if something is physically preventing the water from running down the pipe. After checking and you find nothing, you can safely assume that the blockage lies deeper. To create way for improved water flow, use chemicals to liquefy the clogging material.

You can also get into your pipe by using a drain snake. Its functioning is like that of a toilet auger, also it is specially designed to get into spaces within narrow drain pipes. If using chemicals fail to remove the clog, use this tool to get your clogged drains open. All you have to do is thrust the drain snake through the length of the pipe. Keep turning it around till you loosen up the clog. The clog will be removed from within the pipe when the drain snake is pulled out.

If these simple measures fail to take care of the problem, then this plumbing problem might be beyond your abilities. If that is the case, you should consider engaging the services of an emergency plumber who is professionally trained to open your clogged drain. The plumber will clean up the gunk and slime within your drains, thereby sparing you the trouble.

If you have a blocked toilet, or a disgusting smell is emanating from your drain, you almost certainly require professional help. Otherwise you can take care of blockage plumbing problems by following the tips presented in this article.

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Solar Panels, Are They Worth The Investment? – Guest Post From Europe

What are the benefits of investing in solar panels for your home? The sight of solar panels on the roofs of people’s houses has become increasingly common around the UK over the past few years, and has been driven by government backed initiatives, and by efforts to cut down on energy bills during the recession. With the long term potential to provide cleaner and cheaper energy for the home, it’s worth reviewing the benefits of investing in solar panels.

1 – Savings

A solar panel system comprises of photovoltaic cells on the roof, which convert light into electricity. This is stored in generators as backup power, and can also be connected to a mounting system for the use of powering lights, kitchen appliances and heating. Most people tend to use solar energy as an emergency backup.

It costs about £10,000 to install a new system, with the understanding that the investment will eventually save on bills. Current estimates suggest that solar panels can generate about £140 to £200 a year in savings, which is expected to rise over time. Solar systems are typically designed around a 3kWp model, which generates around 2,500 kW of electricity a year.

2 – Ease of Installation

Solar panels are easy to install, and can be set up within a day or so. Roofs need to have enough space to fit the panels. You can also get solar tiles and squares in place of panels. However, these are generally not as effective in terms of cost or energy generated. There are no moving parts in the panel system, and maintenance is small, with a one hour annual check typically that is needed outside of a fault. VAT on installations is also low at 5%, and some companies will offer lower installation fees in exchange for a share of the electricity generated.

3 – Feed-In Tariffs

One of the best features about owning solar panels is that the Government have a feed-in tariff system in place that allows you to sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid, as well as the amount of electricity you create for use outside of a normal electrical supply. You can receive approximately £670 a year under this scheme, which is currently set to last for the next 25 years.

4 – Property Value

Installing solar panels can result in an increase in the value of your home. As well as providing new homeowners with the chance to benefit from solar power and feed-in tariffs, your property can receive a higher Energy Performance Certification (EPC) rating. This can be used to promote lower maintenance costs to prospective buyers. Some councils may also offer better taxation for areas that show a commitment to cost effective green measures. As a result, you might be able to raise the value of your property by 4% or more.

5 – Long Term Future

Solar power is set to be the most widely used and invested in source of alternative energy in the UK. Funding and investment in panel schemes are directed towards lowering prices and boosting incentives for solar panel owners. A 224 acre solar farm with 135,000 panels was recently opened in Cornwall, joining others in the New Forest and around the UK. Investing in solar power now could consequently mean getting ahead of an increasingly popular energy saving trend.


Rob James recommends you remember to renew your home appliance insurance, to avoid extra expense in the event of a break down.  Rob can be found blogging about many things, including DIY, eco-friendly homes, and white goods maintenance.