Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face. Whether the cause is food particles, foreign objects, debris from corroding pipes, or another ailment, removing clogs can be a tricky science.
Before you pick up harsh chemical cleaners or pick up the phone for an emergency call, here are three safe, simple ways to unclog drains in your home.
Let’s start with perhaps the most basic method. Plungers aren’t only useful for unclogging toilets. Plunging drains of any type is an extremely effective method for removing clogs and buildup within your pipes. Cup-shaped plungers work best for removing clogs from drains, and can be found at most hardware stores.
To plunge the drain, cover the drain entirely with the plunger and fill the sink (or bathtub, etc.) with water until the plunger forms a tight seal. Using the same motions as you would while plunging a toilet (sharp up and down movements), pump the plunger five to six times and check the status of the drain. If the water clears, your job is done. If not, you can continue with the plunging. Once you have removed the clog and the drain is clear, run a bit of hot water to ensure all debris is rinsed clean.
2. Snake the drain
A drain snake (also known as an auger) is a helpful item to have in your homeowner’s toolbox. Drain snakes range in price, but most household clogs can be removed with less expensive options.
Insert the snake down the drain and into the pipe. Once inside the pipe, the drain snake will eventually meet resistance from the clog. Once this occurs, you will want to slowly turn the lever on the snake to grab hold of the clog. When you are confident the entire clog has been broken down, slowly remove the drain snake. You’ll want to keep a bucket nearby to reduce any mess. Pour hot water down the drain to eliminate any remaining residue.
3. Household drain-cleaner mixture
You can unclog drains in your home by using hot (not quite boiling) water. To attempt this method, boil water on the stove and remove it just as the water starts to bubble. Then, slowly pour the water down the drain. Small clogs will typically be removed by this method alone.
For larger clogs, you can attempt a mixture of baking powder, white vinegar, and hot water. First, pour roughly ½ cup of baking powder down the drain, followed by the same amount of white vinegar. Next, cover the drain with a rag to give the mixture time to react to the clog. Let this sit for about an hour, then pour a pot of hot (not quite boiling) water down the drain. You might need to repeat this process several times for large clogs.
Professional drain cleanings
For pesky drain problems that can’t be solved with the methods above, that’s when it’s time to call the pros at Emergency Plumbing & Solar. We have the experience and advanced equipment to successfully fix all types of clogs. To schedule a drain cleaning in Oahu or Maui, call (808) 691-9309.