With just a few simple tips and the proper products, you can solve common household problems without calling in backup.
Clearing the Drain
Problem: "I don't want to keep dumping chemicals down my drain every time it gets clogged, but I'd rather not have to pay for a plumber."
Fix it: Chemical cleaners such as Drano can be bad for your drain. Some might only partially clear the block. Others go overboard and corrode your pipes, requiring further repairs. The good news? Most clogs get lodged in the P-trap—the curved pipe below your sink—which is typically easy to access yourself. Placing a bucket below to catch any overflow, unscrew the two threaded connections. Clear any debris inside, then screw back in place. If you're reluctant to rummage beneath your sink, get Drain-Fx ($20; drain-fx.com), which acts like a power washer for your pipes. Attach the hose to your faucet, put the other end down the drain, then turn on the water to blast a pressurized stream and dislodge the obstruction. The eco-friendly tool is reusable, making it budget-friendly, to boot.