Clearing Clogged Drains on you Own

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Blog Highlights:

  • Chemical drain cleaners can do a lot of harm to the pipes under your bathroom or kitchen sinks
  • Boiling water can be used to dissolve organic debris, just make sure that you pour it directly down the drain
  • Never use boiling water directly on PVC pipes and on Porcelain sinks or toilets
  • When using baking soda and vinegar, you need to stop up the drain immediately
  • A plunger needs to be used especially when there is a serious clog and when water is no longer able to flow down the drain
  • The cup-shaped plunger is the one that is meant for sinks
  • You should use food catchers or strainers on your sinks so you can remove debris before they can cause problems
  • You can pour vinegar or baking soda down the drain as they can act as natural cleansers
  • If you have no knowledge when it comes to pipes and drains, it might be best if you hire a plumber so you can avoid damaging the drain further

Know more about how you can prevent clogs, and unclog drains.

The sinks in the bathroom and the kitchen is used on a daily basis. They serve a very important role in our daily life. And when they get clogged, you will surely notice it right away. In most cases, bathroom sinks get clogged because of hair, while kitchen sinks on the other hand get clogged because of food debris.

Although there are drain chemicals that are readily available, homeowners should know that these products can actually damage pipes easily. As a matter of fact, these products can even push clogs further, making it harder to deal with later on.

Here are 4 simple tricks that can help you remove clogs:

1. Boiling Water

If your suspect that the clog is made up of organic material, you can try to unclog it with boiling water. Water can sometimes do the trick, but if it is not enough, you should use boiling water to see if the clog will be dissolved by it. You should however, avoid using boiling water if you are using PVC pipes at home. This is because the heat will easily loosen its joints. You should also avoid pouring boiling water directly on porcelains as these can crack easily when subjected to heat. Use a kettle or a pot to boil the water, and try to pour it directly down the drain. Repeat the steps if necessary.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can also use baking soda and vinegar to release clogs. You can do this by pouring half a box of baking soda directly down the drain. Pour half a cup of vinegar afterwards. After pouring the vinegar, you should immediately stop up the drain by closing it with the metal stopper or by using a rag. Let the baking soda and vinegar react for at least 30 minutes before pouring water down the drain.

3. Using plungers

If the sink is completely clogged and no water is able to flow through it, you will have to use a plunger. Just keep in mind that the cup-shaped plunger, not the flanged one, is used for sinks. Full-length plungers and handheld plungers are equally effective.

Before using it, you should remove metal strainers or metal stoppers first. Fill half of the sink with water and make a firm seal by putting the plunger directly on top of the drain. You should use sharp, fast plunges so you can dislodge the clog properly. Check on the drain after a few minutes so you can see if it is now working.

4. Using a drain snake

The hardware supply stores typically sell handheld drain snakes for as low as $10. To make the snake, they use long, spring steel wire that can go down the drain with ease. Whenever the snake hits a clog, the device can be twisted to dislodge or catch debris. The steel wire is also designed to easily bend around to fit into most pipes.

Should all these fail, you might have to remove the drain pipe and locate the clog yourself so you can remove it manually. Clogs are often found in the P-trap or the U-shaped piece below the sink. The P-trap typically has a nut on either end that you can twist off. Channel locks or adjustable wrenches may be required for those who have metal pipes. Before removing the P-trap, put a bucket underneath it first.

While these techniques have been proven to remove sink clogs, make sure that you contact a plumber if you have a clog that is too stubborn. If none of the methods work, contact a plumber right away as there might be a more complicated problem going on. Without proper knowledge, you might end up doing more harm than good to your drain.

Knowing how to maintain the drain

To make sure that the drain is clear, you do not need to have plumbing experience. Here’s what you need to do for drain maintenance:

  1. Use food catchers or strainers so you can keep debris out of the drain before they can form clogs.
  2. Pour hot water into the drain after each use. Hot water can help dissolve buildups on the sides of the pipes, and it will help the water going down the drain flow properly.
  3. You can pour baking soda down the drain from time to time. Baking soda can help remove odors and it is also a natural cleanser.
  4. You can also pour vinegar into the drain to help clean and dissolve gunk within the pipes.

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