The Clunk and the Funk – Explaining Strange Sounds & Smells Coming from Your Furnace

furnace strange sounds and smellsClick, click, click. Nobody is tapping their fingernails on the table. Nobody is typing on a typewriter. This clicking is coming from your furnace! If you hear this sound in your furnace, it means something is wrong. Probably, a constant clicking sound is your igniter trying unsuccessfully to light the burners. Without the burners lit, your furnace won’t heat the air in your house. Time to call the furnace repairman!

Here are some other strange noises and smells that should not be coming from your furnace (but sometimes they happen, and that means your furnace needs some professional attention).

Screeches or Scraping Sounds from Your Furnace

You might think a bird or small, scurrying animal has been trapped inside your furnace. What you hear is probably a broken part hitting the furnace casing. The blower wheel may be broken, or something went awry with the motor. Broken parts in a furnace need replacing immediately.

Furnace Making Booming Sounds

Explosions inside your furnace should not be ignored! An explosion probably means the burners inside the furnace are dirty, making it hard for them to light. Extra gas builds up and then explodes when it does get lit. Even if the blast is small and doesn’t seem to be breaking anything, eventually it could cause damage that would be more expensive than getting your burners cleaned.

Thwapping Sounds Mean Furnace Trouble

Thwapping means something is stuck, and the blower blades are hitting it with each turn. This is not the worst problem that could happen to a furnace, but it can cause your furnace’s motor to wear out.

Rotten Eggs Can Mean a Gas Leak!

When it comes to your furnace, that horrible smell usually means there’s a gas leak. The gas your furnace uses is deadly, but is invisible and has no natural odor. That’s why the gas company adds a sulfur smell to alert people to a gas leak. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, turn off the furnace and open the windows, then leave the house! Call your gas service company to repair the leak.

Smells Like Something Is Burning!

This smell coming from your furnace might need some time to decide if it’s a bad problem or not. If you just turned on your furnace for the first time in the season, then it probably will burn up the dust that has accumulated over the summer. If the smell does not go away, you could consider getting a new air filter. If that doesn’t clear up the smell, then call the repairman.

If you live in the Cincinnati area, give Herrmann Services a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online for all your furnace repair needs.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing

Here in Cincinnati, we know that our winters are COLD. Strike that – with average low temperatures in the 20s, cold is probably an understatement. With the freezing weather comes the increased risk of freezing pipes. But if you know what causes pipes to freeze and how you can prevent it, you can save yourself a lot of heartache, hassle, and money.

Understanding Frozen Pipes

We know that water freezes when the temperature dips below 32º F. In the winter, that’s a daily occurrence. The problem is that when water freezes, it expands. This puts a great deal of pressure on the pipe that’s holding it. If the water expands too much, the pipe will burst. If this happens, the pipe will have to be replaced. If the burst pipe is inside your house, when it thaws, it can cause a lot of damage.

What Pipes Are Most Vulnerable?

  • Outside pipes
  • Interior pipes in colder areas (the garage, basement, or underneath sinks)
  • Pipes in exterior walls

How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

how to keep your pipes from freezingThere are plenty of ways you can and should protect your plumbing. Luckily, most are inexpensive and simple. Prevention is key, so make sure your house is ready before the first big freeze. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t end up needing a visit from the plumber or worse.

  • Ensure you have adequate insulation in colder areas of the house. This may mean adding a little insulation to keep the area warmer.
  • Disconnect exterior hoses. If the water inside the hose freezes, the pressure can put a strain on your entire plumbing system and cause a lot of damage. While you’re disconnecting the hose, be sure to turn off the outside faucets too.
  • Keep the heat on. Even if you plan on going out of town, you need to keep the house warm. Saving a few dollars on your electric bill is not worth coming home to a flooded house.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets open. This will allow the warm air to circulate under the sink.
  • Consider foam insulation or heating tape for under the sink if keeping the doors open doesn’t keep the pipes warm enough.
  • If you have a sink or shower valve that has frozen in the past, let it drip a little overnight (very slight drip) as flowing water will not freeze.

Protect your pipes this winter and avoid disaster. If you’re in Cincinnati and need help with any plumbing in your home, call the pros at Herrmann Services at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

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4 BIG Differences You’ll Notice with a Whole-House Humidifier

Keep Your Cincinnati Home Cozy This Winter!

It’s no secret that the air in our homes gets pretty dry during the cold winter months. Static shocks seem to lurk around every corner, our skin gets dry and itchy, and we’re more prone to things like sore throats and bloody noses! Besides our own dry air woes, our homes suffer from the lack of humidity too. Wood furniture can crack, paint can peel, expensive hardwood floors can shrink and show gaps, and books and art can become dry and brittle. Dry air is just uncomfortable — both for we humans and the things we live with!

What Can You Do About Dry Winter Air in Your Home?

One way to control the humidity levels in your home is with a whole-house humidifier, which can be set to keep humidity levels in the desirable range of 30-50% during the driest months of the year (or in dry, desert climates, too). Here are 4 BIG differences you’ll observe once you’ve had one retrofitted to your existing HVAC equipment …

Electrician Cincinnati | Plumber Cincinnati

1. You’ll feel warmer with a whole house humidifier. 

Low humidity tends to make us feel cooler, and we compensate by turning up the thermostat, which in turn, takes its toll on our wallets through higher utility bills. By raising the humidity in your home, you can lower the thermostat and still feel as comfortable as you did before.

2. You’ll feel more comfortable throughout your whole home.

Not only will you eliminate those nasty and surprising static electricity shocks, but your skin will stop feeling itchy, your hair will be more “cooperative”, and you’ll alleviate allergy symptoms and asthma.

3. Your furniture and hardwoods won’t dry out.

You’ll notice that your furniture and hardwood floors look better, and you’ll eliminate the worry of damaging them and other things like crown molding in your home.

4. You’ll be healthier with improved air quality.

Dry air can create ideal conditions for airborne illnesses like colds and flu, which are so common when we all tend to spend more time indoors due to the cold temperatures and poor driving conditions outside. Additionally, chapped lips and bloody noses will be less common with more humidity in the air.

Of course, you can always opt for portable, table-top humidifiers, but you’ll have to remember to refill them frequently and keep them clean so they don’t spread germs around! But a whole-house humidifier simply requires you to set your thermostat and forget about overly dry air all winter long! The only maintenance is changing the pad at the beginning of the winter season each year.

If you’re thinking about installing a whole-house humidifier in your Cincinnati-area home, give the pros at Herrmann Services a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online today!

10 Tips to Save Money on Energy Bills This Winter

Brrr — it’s finally arrived! Old Man Winter is just beginning to take a firm grip on the Midwest, and now is the time to make sure you’re fully prepared by ensuring that your home is buttoned up as tightly as your winter coat, and your heating system is in winter-ready condition. The pros at Herrmann Services have put together this checklist to help you save money by lowering your energy bills. See if you’ve got them all covered this winter.

Check for Drafts

It’s not too difficult at this time of year to find gaps around windows and doors where cold air is infiltrating and heat is escaping. Weatherstripping and caulk are your new best friends and a couple of hours on the weekend should be enough to take care of drafts from those obvious offenders!

Check Your Attic Insulation

You already know the basics. Heat rises and it’ll rise up to your attic and out through vents if your attic isn’t properly insulated. If there’s currently no insulation, make it a priority to get some, and make sure that it’s covering everywhere that heat could be escaping — including the hatchway door. (A piece of foam board can take care of that often overlooked detail.)

How’s Your Furnace?

Have you had your furnace cleaned and inspected? If not, now’s the time! The professionals at Herrmann Services in Cincinnati can do a thorough inspection and cleaning, and perform any necessary repairs to make sure that your furnace is operating at its highest efficiency so you won’t waste a penny on fuel this winter. Don’t forget to change the filter every month!

Use the Sun

using the sun to save money on energy bills this winter

When the sun shines in, it brings a significant amount of heat with it. Take advantage of this free heat by opening the curtains or shades on south facing windows on sunny days to collect as much free heat as you can. Just remember to close them when the sun goes down to keep that heat inside.

Run Your Ceiling Fan Clockwise

If you flip the switch on your ceiling fan, it will run in the opposite direction. In the winter, we want the fan to spin clockwise (when looking up at it) to push the warm air that rises to the ceiling back down to the living area where we can enjoy it. Set it on the lowest speed.

Use a Humidifier

Humidifiers add moisture to the air. Moist air holds heat better so it feels warmer. This allows you to turn your thermostat down a few degrees without noticing a difference in comfort. Humidifiers also help to get rid of dry, itchy skin, chapped lips, bloody noses, and that annoying static shock.

Lower the Temperature on the Thermostat at Night

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. You can set it to come back up an hour or so before you rise so your home is comfortable in the morning.

Only Heat Rooms You Use

Close the vents in rooms you rarely use. This directs the flow of air to the rooms you use most. Why heat rooms you’re not living in?

Switch to LED Lights

LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than older, incandescent lighting. If you haven’t switched, now is a great time because the price has come down considerably since they were first introduced. Switch your holiday lights too!

Use Exhaust Fans Sparingly

Exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen remove the hot air that rises to the ceiling. Only use exhaust fans when necessary and turn them off as soon as you are done with them.

Herrmann Services has been serving the Cincinnati area for more than four decades, so you can count on us to do a thorough job! We can even replace your equipment if your furnace has seen better days, and we offer convenient financing so you don’t have to sweat coming up with a pile of cash all at once.

Why not give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your heating system is ready to face another long, cold Cincinnati winter!

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The One Lesson Holiday Guests Will Teach You about Your Water Heater

Your home runs pretty much seamlessly every day. The furnace keeps you warm. Your washer and dryer keep producing clean clothes. Your toilets flush properly and your TV transmits the shows you love to watch. That’s how it should be! But what happens when you overload the system? This is the time of year when many families discover that having too many people in their home causes some not-so-ordinary problems.

The Water Heater SurprisePlumber Cincinnati

Traditional water heaters have a set capacity. They can hold and heat 30, 40, or even 50 gallons of water depending on which size you own. They do a great job servicing the occupants of your home. However, they can only provide a limited amount of water in a set amount of time. Then, they must refill and reheat the water which can take an hour or more. When there are additional people showering and bathing consecutively, the hot water runs out! Now, you’ve got guests who either can’t take a shower or worse, are caught in the shower when the hot water runs out. Yikes! Not good.

Related Read: Tankless vs Traditional Water Heaters

The Tankless Solution

The above scenario is exactly why we get lots of requests for tankless water heaters after the holidays. The beauty of a tankless water heater is that you get endless hot water. Because the water is superheated on demand, instead of pulled from a tank of preheated water, you can use as much as you want with no restrictions. As long as you have cold water…you have hot water.

Never Run Out of Hot Water

If you’ve ever waited to do a load of laundry in hot water because you were planning to fill a whirlpool tub for a nice long bath, you could use a tankless water heater. With a tankless water heater, you’ll never worry about having enough hot water again. The tankless water heater costs more upfront, but it also saves you money on energy bills because unlike a traditional water heater, which has to keep gallons of water hot 24/7, it only uses energy when hot water is in demand (when the faucet is on).

If you’d like to find out more about tankless water heaters, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online. The Herrmann plumbing pros will be happy to answer all of your questions.

15-Point Homeowner’s Winter Checklist

Is your hose unhooked from the outside of your house? Is your ceiling fan blowing upward? Are your gutters cleaned? If you want to make sure your home is ready for winter and avoid annoying, dangerous and costly problems due to cold weather, check this list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important.

Winter Maintenance Inside the House

Protect Your Pipes

Insulate any pipes on outside walls and in uninsulated spaces, such as  crawlspaces and attics. Insulate them with foam insulation at a minimum. Ideally, you should wrap them with electrical heating tape first, then insulate them. Pipe insulation is cheap and easily available at home improvement stores. Fixing frozen pipes and the leaks they cause is not cheap.

Fix Leaky Windows and Doors

Caulk around windows and doors and use weatherstripping. Install foam outlet insulators to prevent cold air from entering your home through electrical outlets.

Check Attic Insulation

check your insulation

Because heat rises, the biggest heat loss typically occurs through the attic. If your home feels cold and drafty or heating bills are high, check to make sure that you have enough insulation.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction

To help circulate warm air away from the ceiling and down to the living spaces flip the switch on your ceiling fan to reverse the direction the fan blades spin. When looking up at your fan, the blades should spin in a clockwise direction. In the summer, you want the fan to blow air straight down, so the blades need to turn in a counterclockwise direction. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be.

Check your Fireplace

Small animals build nests and creosote builds up in your fireplace over time. Have an annual inspection before building your first fire of the season. Also check to make sure the damper is closed when not in use so precious hot air is not lost up the chimney.

Change Your Thermostat

If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, add it to your to-do list. Programmable thermostats let you customize your schedule to save money on heating and cooling bills. It will pay for itself in energy savings in the first year of use.

Activate Your Humidifier

If you have a humidifier attached to your furnace, make sure it is turned on for winter. Check the drain line to make sure it is clear and the filter to make sure it is clean. Check to make sure that the humidistat is calling for humidity when the furnace is running. Open the water supply to the humidifier and turn the power on to the furnace. When the furnace begins running, the humidistat should call for humidity, the solenoid valve should open, and water should come out of the water inlet tube and drain into the humidifier drain. If it doesn’t, you may need service.

Change Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This is a good time of year to change the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector to ensure they work properly when needed.

Test Your Sump Pump

Look for signs of moisture. Open the lid and pour a five-gallon bucket of water into the sump pit. I should activate. If nothing happens and the pump doesn’t turn on, you may need service.

If your sump pump runs often, you may want to consider purchasing a  battery backup sump pump to avoid disaster.

Outside Home Maintenance

Outdoor Faucets

Turn off the water supply to exterior faucets, drain the water from the hose and disconnect it from the outdoor faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the outdoor faucet for extra protection.

Clean the Gutters

Leaves and debris that accumulates in your gutter can cause clogs and ice dams which can damage your roof and shingles, cause leaks in your ceiling and can also be dangerous for people passing under your eaves.

Drain Your Sprinkler System

Make sure you do this before the first hard freeze. Be sure all of the water is out so underground pipes won’t freeze and break.

Bring in Outdoor Furniture/Planters

Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice can damage outdoor furniture, clay pots, grills, etc. If you have room, store them in the garage, basement, or garden shed. Otherwise, cover them to reduce damage from the elements. If you have a gas grill with a propane tank, close the tank valve and disconnect the tank first. It must be stored outside.

Stock up on Snow & Ice Gear

Ice melt, shovels, gloves, etc. all sell out with the first big snow. Make sure you have yours BEFORE the first snowstorm or you may be left high and dry with slippery sidewalks and deep snow. If you have a snow blower, inspect it before the first snowfall to ensure it’s working properly.

Don’t Forget Your Vehicle

If you change your tires to winter tread, change them now. Carry sand or kitty litter for traction in case you get stuck on ice or snow-packed roads. Create an emergency kit in your car in case you get stuck or stranded in cold weather. Include gloves, boots, blanket or sleeping bag, shovel, ice scraper, flashlight and extra batteries, sand or kitty litter for traction, a tow chain or rope, jumper cables, cell phone adapter to plug into car, snacks like granola bars or energy bars and bottled water.

Be safe and comfortable this winter with a little help from your friends at Herrmann Services. Should you need any heating, plumbing or electrical help, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

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Garbage Disposal Repair Tips – It Doesn’t Have to Be a Grind

You flip the switch and something isn’t right. Either it doesn’t turn on at all, or it hums, but doesn’t grind. Now what? The team at Herrmann Services has put together these troubleshooting tips to try before you call us for repairs. Try these common fixes first:

Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

Reminder: Never put your hand down into the garbage disposal (grinding chamber). Your garbage disposal is smarter than you think. It is designed to turn off when there is trouble, for instance, when the disposal gets clogged, if it overheats, or if there is something wrong with the motor, it will shut down automatically. The good news is it can easily be reset.

Make sure the disposal is turned off. Look for a red button underneath the disposal. If it has popped out about a quarter of an inch, simply press it back in and try running the disposal. Sometimes this is all it takes. If the garbage disposal reset button still will not stay in, or if you have to repeatedly reset the overload protector, the disposal may require service or replacement.

Bottom of garbage disposal and reset button

Motor Hums But Won’t Grind

If the motor hums, but there is no grinding sound, that means the flywheel is stuck. Either the reset button will trip or the fuse or circuit breaker in your electrical service panel will trip and turn off the disposal. The flywheel is stuck because something is lodged between it or the impeller(s) and the shredder ring. Learn about the anatomy of a garbage disposal below:

inside view of garbage disposal

Dislodging the Jam

Take the offset wrench that came with the disposal and insert it into the flywheel turning hole in the bottom of the unit. If you don’t see a wrench, it’s just a simple allen wrench and you can pick one up from the hardware store. Turn the wrench clockwise to dislodge the stuck impeller or flywheel. When it dislodges, you’ll feel the flywheel turn freely.

Once freed, turn the power back on at the panel and press the reset button before trying the disposal. But don’t turn on the disposal yet. Run water and quickly flip the switch on and off to spin the flywheel, dislodge any obstruction, and rinse it down the drain.

10 Things You Should Never Put Down Garbage Disposal

  • Grease – it will coat your pipes
  • Bones – they’ll just keep spinning around and around with the blades
  • Celery – the fibrous strings get tangled around the disposal’s blades
  • Coffee grounds – the oil in coffee grounds becomes a sticky sludge
  • Egg shells – ground egg shells become sand-like particles that stick to grease
  • Corn husks – the fibers get caught in the blades
  • Artichokes – again, too fibrous
  • Fruit pits – pits are very hard and can jam the disposal blades
  • Potato peels – starchy vegetables and even pasta can cause a sticky mess
  • Your hand – nuff said

If these tips don’t work, call the plumbers in Cincinnati at Herrmann Services and we’ll be there in a jiffy to fix that garbage disposal or replace it if necessary.

Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

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Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace – 6 Definitive Questions

should I repair or replace my furnace?

We all know that furnaces don’t last forever. But how do you know when it’s finally time to invest in a new furnace? Luckily, we have some industry insight that will help you make an informed decision. The team at Herrmann Services in Cincinnati has put together these six simple questions that you can ask to determine if it makes more sense to limp along or replace your furnace this year:

Do You Need to Repair or Replace Your Furnace? The Strategic Six Questions to Ask:

  • Is your home more than 12 years old?

Most furnaces only operate efficiently for 12-15 years before they need to be replaced. If your home is more than 12 years old and you have not replaced your furnace yet, your system is nearing the end of its lifespan.

  • Are your heating bills getting higher every year?

Your furnace and AC are the biggest consumers of energy in your home – they account for almost half of your energy costs. As your system ages and becomes less efficient, it also can hike up your energy bills.

  • Have you paid for repairs more than once in the last 5 years?

If you’ve had more than one major repair to your furnace system in the past 5 years, that could be a sign of trouble. Annual maintenance doesn’t count, but if you’ve been faithful about annual maintenance, it should extend the life of your furnace a couple of years, so you can take that into account.

  • Does your furnace seem to run nonstop?

Older systems become less efficient over time, which means they must work harder and longer to maintain the temperature that the thermostat demands. This results in higher utility bills.

  • Does your home have hot and cold spots?

Older systems weren’t necessarily designed to keep every room comfortable. Two-story homes are especially difficult to keep warm and cool. The upstairs stays warm in the summer and the downstairs is always chilly in the winter. Newer systems have technology available to even out the temperature in your home.

  • Is your furnace warranty expired?

Most furnace warranties only cover your system for 5-10 years. Once the warranty expires, repairs can become extremely expensive. At that point, it might make more sense to be putting that money toward a new, high efficiency furnace that will save you money on energy bills rather than spending it on repairs.

If you answered yes to more than three questions, your furnace is probably nickel and diming you to death. Take a look at your heating bills, think about your comfort and consider if it’s worth what it’s costing you. If you decide you may need a new furnace, give us a call and we’ll give you a quote on a new, energy-efficient furnace.

Learn more about your furnace replacement options by calling us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

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Don’t Let a Clogged Bathroom Sink Put a Drain on Your Holiday Fun

how to unclog bathroom sink drain

The leaves are turning crimson and gold, there is a decidedly autumnal crispness to the air, and school is well underway. That can only mean one thing…the holiday season is coming! And while there is much to love about the holidays, hosting guests can be stressful. Whether for drinks, dinner, or an extended stay, odds are your guests are going to need to visit the bathroom. So, while you are putting out fresh linens and pretty soaps, take a good look at your sink. Is it draining normally or is water backing up and sitting in it?

Sink or Swim? Find Out Now

Bathroom sinks see a lot of action – hand washing, tooth brushing, hair brushing, and shaving can all cause buildup and clogs that can lead to a slow or clogged drain. Add in a few guests and increase the number of bathroom visits for a couple of days, and that slow drain might lead to a catastrophic evening.

Not good! Test your sinks, showers and tubs to make sure all the water is flowing fine. Don’t wait until it’s too late,

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Drain

So, what should you do? You can try the following do-it-yourself remedies before you call your plumber:

  • Check the sink pop-up – the shape of the pop-up can lead to clog-causing debris and buildup;
  • Check the overflow. The overflow is the little hole toward the top of your sink. It serves two purposes: to drain a sink if it is too full and to provide air that allows the sink to drain faster. If it is plugged, your sink drains slowly. Make sure it is clear.
  • Use a plunger; be sure to plug the overflow with a rag or cover with some duct tape, or your plunging will not be effective.
  • Use a zip strip. The  most common clog cause in bathroom drains is hair. Luckily, these clogs usually occur right below the drain. There’s a simple solution. It’s called a zip strip and it costs just a couple of dollars at the hardware store. It’s a flat, plastic flexible stick with tiny points along both sides. Simply push it as far into the drain as you can, wiggle it a bit and pull back. It’s best to have a small bucket handy to put the hairy mess in. It is kind of gross, but usually very effective and a quick, easy fix.

After you remove the clog with any of these methods, be sure to run plenty of hot water down the drain to flush out any additional buildup or residue.

If these attempts do not work, give Herrmann Services a call at (513) 407-5177 or contact us online for a professional plumber in cincinnati to get that sink draining again before your guests arrive. Dealing with your in-laws is stressful enough – don’t let a slow sink drain add to that stress!

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How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain – 4 Simple Fixes

how to unclog kitchen sink

Any slow draining sink is a nuisance. But different sinks tend to have different clogs. For instance, shower drains tend to collect hair. Kitchen drains, on the other hand, tend to have more problems with grease and food particles. The team at Herrmann Services put together these tips specifically for how to unclog kitchen sinks and garbage disposals.

1. Don’t Get Boiling Mad, Just Get Boiling

When grease, or greasy liquids, get poured down your kitchen sink, they go down the drain in a liquid state, but as they move through your pipes, the fat cools. As the fat becomes solid, it coats the inside of the pipes.

This coating will get thicker and thicker as more grease builds up until you get a slow draining sink or a completely clogged sink.

To unclog a slow draining kitchen sink, before you go out and buy drain cleaner, try this first. Boil a pan full of water on the stove. A tea kettle will do nicely as well. Pour a half cup of baking soda down your drain followed by a half cup of white vinegar. Let it fizz and bubble for five to ten minutes or so.

Then, carefully pour the pot or kettle full of boiling water down the drain. Turn the faucet on and see if it’s draining faster. Because the clog usually contains a lot of grease, the boiling water melts the grease, thus removing the clog.

2. Take the Plunge

If hot water doesn’t improve the problem, the culprit may be something other than grease buildup. It’s time to pull out the plunger. If there is standing water in the sink, remove it until there is only an inch or two so you can see what’s going on.

Place the cup of the plunger over the drain opening and pump up and down rapidly several times. Quickly pull the plunger off the drain opening. If this did not dislodge the clog, it may be trapped in the P-trap. Don’t forget to plunge both sides of the sink.

3. Remove the P-Trap

Large food particles like vegetable peels that become trapped in the curved pipe beneath the sink (known as the P-trap) are another common cause of kitchen drain clogs. Removing the P-trap sounds difficult, but is really not that involved.

You will need a channel-type pliers. Have a bucket handy, because water will spill from the drain when you remove this piece. Dump out any debris you find and rinse the pipe thoroughly before replacing it.

clogged kitchen sink drain and how to fix it

4. Use a Drain Snake to Unclog Your Sink

If the P-trap doesn’t appear to be the problem, the clog may be located further down the pipe. If that’s the case, you can use a drain snake to try to remove it. Most homeowners don’t have these on hand, and they are not cheap to rent or buy. At this point, it may be best to call a qualified plumber.

5. Keep Pipes Clean with Enzymes

Natural enzymes eat organic matter and were originally used to reduce the amount of organic waste buildup in septic tanks. Enzymes are now available for all types of plumbing needs, and if properly maintained, enzymes will help keep the pipes free and clear of buildup when used on a regular basis.

Enzymes are not as effective at removing an existing clog immediately, but regular use will keep your pipes clear of any organic buildup which helps you avoid clogs in the first place. Plus, natural enzymes are very easy on your pipes, unlike chemical drain cleaners.

9 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Kitchen Sink or Garbage Disposal

  • Grease – it will coat your pipes
  • Bones – they’ll just keep spinning around and around with the blades
  • Celery – the fibrous strings get tangled around the disposal’s blades
  • Coffee grounds – the oil in coffee grounds becomes a sticky sludge
  • Egg shells – ground egg shells become sand-like particles that stick to grease
  • Corn husks – the fibers get caught in the blades
  • Artichokes – again, too fibrous
  • Fruit pits – pits are very hard and can jam the disposal blades
  • Potato peels – starchy vegetables and even pasta can cause a sticky mess

If your kitchen sink defies all of your efforts to clear the clog, give Herrmann Services a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online and we’ll send a skilled plumber to your home.

drain cleaning guide for diy