We’ve all experienced that feeling of dread when you use your sink and the water keeps rising and rising and rising instead of draining.
Or you flush the toilet, and nothing happens.
While serious issues should be addressed by professional plumbers, there are ways you can try and clear the blockage yourself.
Plus, you can easily avoid clogs and obstructions by regularly maintaining your drains and plumbing.
Signs and Causes of a Clogged Drain
Before you jump into draining cleaning techniques, it’s best to find out if you are actually dealing with a clogged drain and not another issue!
Here are some sure signs that your drain is clogged:
- Your toilet bubbles.
- Water backs up into your shower, bathtub, or sink.
- Water drains slowly in your sink, shower, or bathtub.
- You notice a weird or foul smell coming from your drain.
- There are puddles of water near your bathtub, shower, toilet, sink, or washing machine.
Drain clogs can be caused by a number of things, including:
The build-up of grease and food particles in your kitchen sink, hair in your bathroom drains, and flushing items down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.
How to Clear a Clogged Drain
If your sinks are draining slowly or you’re wading around in your shower, it’s time to clear away the clogs that are blocking your pipes.
Here are some ways you can clear a clogged drain before calling in a professional plumber:
Baking Soda and Vinegar
However, it may be effective for less severe clogs.
Begin by pouring hot water down your drain, followed by equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Cover the drain for 20-30 minutes.
Finish up by pouring more hot water down the drain.
The chemical reaction created by the baking soda and vinegar applies pressure to the clog and eats away at the obstruction. In some cases, this may be enough to break down the clog and clear the pipe.
You can also try a salt, borax, and vinegar solution by pouring ¼ cup of salt down your drain, followed by ¼ cup of borax. Add in ½ cup of vinegar and hot water and leave for one hour.
Clothes Hanger or Drain Snake
Insert into the pipe and move around to “hook” onto the clog to pull it out of the pipe.
You can easily buy a drain snake at your local department or hardware store designed to go further down your pipe.
In a pinch, you can try using your toilet plunger to release clogs from your drain pipes.
Give it a good clean before using it on your sink, and simply plunge the drain hole as you would your toilet.
Here are some tips for unclogging your drains using a plunger:
- When trying to unclog a double sink, be sure to seal off the second side to avoid a fountain of water and gunk.
- If your sink has a higher drain hole, cover this too.
- Ensure there is a tight seal around the plunger and fill up the sink with enough water to cover the plunger’s bell.
- Use sharp, quick plunges to clear the clog.
If you have a wet and dry vacuum, you can try to suck the clog out. Remember to set your vacuum to “wet” before trying this!
Create a tight seal around the drain with the vacuum hose and extend the vacuum arm. Turn on the vacuum to remove the obstruction.
Drain Steam Cleaning
For stubborn clogs, steam cleaning is the way to go! If you need assistance with this method give us a call.