Having a clogged drain or slow-draining drain can slow down the progress of your day. You don’t realize how much you use running water until there is some impediment to the use of it. Luckily, most clogged drains are relatively easy to fix. The following will explore four different methods for unclogging your drain.
Of course, if these methods don’t work or you’re experiencing water damage to your home, make sure to call a professional plumber. Usually, a clogged drain is a focused issue with one cause and one solution. Sometimes, however, a clogged drain can be related to bigger plumbing issues.
Before we get into methods for unclogging drains, it is crucial that if you notice a horrible, sewer-smell coming from the clogged drain or drains, you leave the house and make sure that your pets and family have somewhere to stay while the problem is dealt with. Sewer gas exposure is a serious health concern and should never be ignored under any circumstances. Likewise, experts at allserviceplumbers.com emphasize that if you suspect your problem has anything to do with a natural gas leak, you leave the home and call 911 from a safe distance. It’s important that you also do not turn on or off any electrical items that could cause a spark, and you don’t smoke anywhere near the building.
1. Use A Drain Cleaning Chemical
Particularly if you expect organic substances, like food or hair to be the cause of your drain problem, a drain cleaning chemical might be the perfect solution. Every brand has slightly different instructions, so be sure to read the package in its entirety before applying it.
With that said, drain cleaning chemicals are often easy to use and involve pouring something down your drain. Most of these solutions work by using abrasive chemicals that “eat away” at what is blocking your drain. Depending on the intensity of the clog, sometimes a carbonated drink poured down the drain will have the same effect. This is also an effective solution to apply if your drain is still working but much more slowly than usual.
To prevent the same issue from happening in the future, try using a drain stopper or drain net to help catch organic substances before they go down the drain. It is especially important to pay attention to foods that expand when wet going down the drain, like rice, as they might expand and block the pipes.
2. Use A Plunger
If you suspect the clog comes from a larger item, like a children’s toy that was flushed down the toilet, for example, then using a plunger might help you get the pipes flowing again. Contrary to popular belief, plungers are not only for toilets. You might want to use a different plunger than the one that has been used on the toilet before if you’re thinking of plunging a different drain.
These tools work fairly simple. All you need to do is make sure the mouth of the plunger covers the entire drain. Then you apply pressure and release pressure repeatedly. You’ll likely hear the sound of things moving around in the pipes. Plungers use compression and suction to help move things in the pipes that water itself wasn’t moving. Usually, you’ll be able to tell if this method is effective within 20 minutes of beginning.
3. Use A Snake
A snake is a plumbing tool that can be picked up at your local hardware store. Snaking a drain is something that sounds a little complicated, but it is easy. The tip of the snake is fed into the drain, and a crank is turned. When the clog has been broken apart or loosened enough to attach to the snake, you turn the crank in the opposite direction. This is a good solution for both organic and inorganic clogs that are occurring a little deeper into your pipes. It also is particularly useful for clogs that are in angled or strange places within your pipes.
4. Get A Full Professional Drain Cleaning
Sometimes the clog is deeper than we can easily access without specialized tools and training. In these cases, hiring an experienced plumber to come in and clean out all of your drains can make a massive difference. Hiring a professional to clean out your drains annually isn’t a bad idea whether or not you have a clog, as this will help keep your drains in tip-top shape and make sure that gradual build-up and long-term wear and tear aren’t damaging your plumbing systems.
Most drain clogs can be solved with minimal time and effort using one of the above techniques. Take your time and be sure to reach out to a professional if you feel unsafe or unsure of how to handle your plumbing problems.