At some point, everyone will have to deal with a clogged drain. When this happens, most people turn to the internet to find a viable solution to fix the problem. You may even try to find a local plumber to come help you with the problem.
While this will give you a quick fix, it may also cost you quite a bit of money. The good news is, unclogging a clogged drain is a fast and virtually painless process that you can likely handle on your own.
If you want to save some money on plumbing issues, then you’re in luck. Here you can find some effective solutions to clear any clogged drain, regardless of how severe it is.
Basic Unclogging Methods
In most situations, a clogged drain is caused by debris or a foreign object getting stuck in the pipe or residue that has built-up making the pipe impassable. Occasionally, you may have to clear a clog through standing water.
Several basic unclogging methods can be used on all types of drains in your house. More specific options are found below.
The basic unclogging methods include:
A drain snake is a simple tool that can dislodge a clog. Some compare it to hydro-jetting, but between these two options, snaking is more affordable and a DIY fix.
A snake is a small piece of plastic you can insert in the drain. It has small “teeth” on each side to help pull out hair or other debris that could cause the clog.
Plungers are another fast solution when fixing a clogged pipe. This takes patience and some practice to get right. There are some mini plungers designed to help eliminate a clog in some drains.
In most cases, the smaller versions will work better than the larger, toilet sized model.
Sometimes a store-bought drain cleaner can eliminate a clog. You can purchase these at almost any store; however, use with caution. There are potential side effects related to chemical-based cleaners.
Another option is to make your own solution. This includes a baking soda and vinegar mixture. To use this, pour some vinegar down the clogged drain and then follow it with baking soda. The reaction causes fizzing that can loosen up the clog and ensure water flows freely.
Unclogging a Kitchen Drain
Sometimes, if your kitchen drain is clogged, it will require specialized cleaning methods. This is because the most common culprit that results in kitchen sink clogs is grease. The grease caught in a pipe can accumulate food particles and other debris, creating a significant blockage.
You may try to handle a double basin or a sink where the clog is past the trap. Also, if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you need to proceed with caution to ensure you don’t cause any damage to the mechanism.
Some methods you can use to clear your kitchen sink before calling a plumber include:
Clean the P-Trap
All kitchen sinks have a P-trap. It’s typically located where the sink’s drainpipe curves. Often, this is where the clog is located.
To fix the issue, unfasten the P-trap from the drainpipe, clean it out, and then put it back. If there is a clog beyond this point, you can use a snake to reach it.
Before trying this method, remove as much boiling water as you can. After, pour a whole kettle or pot of boiling water into the drain.
It may be necessary to repeat this process several times. However, it is an effective and inexpensive method.
Unclogging Your Shower Drain
For shower drains, the most common culprit is hair buildup and soap residue. Bathroom drains may have internal stoppers that have to be removed before you figure out how to remove the clog. Check this before starting.
Since soap scum is so common, you may want to try using a drain-clearing product for that specific purpose. If you are trying to clear your clogged shower drain but can’t remove the standing water first, calling for help from a professional may be best.
Tips to Prevent a Clogged Drain
For clogged drains, the best thing you can do is to prevent it. Even if you are a pro at fixing clogs, you would likely rather prevent the issue, to begin with.
Some tips to help you prevent this problem include:
In the Kitchen
Be careful when getting rid of oil and grease in your sink. Look for alternate methods if possible. If you have to run a small amount of grease in the drain, run hot water at the same time.
You also need to keep the garbage disposal clean. Run water when using it. If you don’t have a garbage disposal in your sink, use a strainer to catch debris and pieces of food and put these in the trash.
In the Bathroom
To prevent clogs in the bathroom, use a strainer or drain cover to catch as much hair as you can. Also, clean the visible parts of the drain openings regularly if debris is seen.
For Severe Cases Call a Plumber
If you are facing a severe clog, the best course of action is to call a plumber. While DIY methods work for clogged drains most times, they aren’t always effective.
If you are looking for more information about home remedies for clogged drains and other issues, be sure to check with us often. We regularly publish helpful information for our readers.