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Every homeowner at some point will experience issues with their plumbing. This is why it pays to have some basic tools and gear at home to deal with any problems that crop up in your plumbing. There are a variety of devices and chemicals that you should always be well-supplied with at home to make sure that you can deal with any issues that come up immediately.

The following are some basic items that every home should have:

Plungers in Every Bathroom
There should be a plunger in every bathroom so blockages can be dealt with right away. At minimum, every toilet should have its own plunger to prevent the spread of bacteria around the house. Moreover, if you are planning on using a plunger on a sink or a bathtub, then make sure that you do not use one that has been in the toilet unless you sterilize it first.

The use of a plunger is not very difficult; the point of it is to create suction by pumping air through the pipe. This will loosen any clogs in the piping. By using a trickle of water to assist you can very quickly get rid of most blockages.

Snaking Devices/Augers
An auger (a device that can snake down a pipe and go through the turns in it) can also be a very useful tool to have near any sinks or pipes that get blocked a lot. You can push the plastic snaking device down the sink and use it to physically loosen any clogs. These are best used in conjunction with chemical drain cleaners.

Drain Chemicals for Loosening Blockages
A number of drain cleaners can be purchased from stores. These are highly effective at dissolving even the most stubborn of blockages. The best way to deal with these is usually to pour the entire bottle of drain cleaner into the sink. After a certain amount of time (usually 15-20 minutes) run some cold water down the sink. It’s important not to run the water too fast so none of the chemicals splashes up as they can be highly corrosive. Additionally, avoid using hot water to flush these chemicals down the sink as the heat could cause a bubbling type chemical reaction that might result in splashing and burns.

Protective Gear & Child Safety
It goes without saying that whenever you are using corrosive or oxidizing chemicals that you use protective gloves and even goggles to prevent serious injuries. If you do get chemicals onto your clothing or skin you should flush the exposed areas in another sink with cold water for 15-20 minutes and then seek immediate medical attention. Second and third degree burns can result from chemical injuries and need to be avoided as much as possible.

It’s also imperative that children do not have access to any of these chemicals and that you keep them locked away in a place they cannot get to when you are not using them.

Valerie M. is a freelance writer for Las Vegas Plumbing Company King’s Rooter.