General Guidelines on How to Unclog Your Drains

Shante Abdo

There are a variety of plumbing issues that require immediate repair. One main plumbing problem that needs immediate repair is a clogged drain. A drain left clogged can eventually develop further problems which can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. As well, a clogged drain can be frustrating and messy. Fortunately there are easy ways for a homeowner to clear a clogged drain which requires very little tools and expense.

Below is a list of general guidelines on how to unclog your drains:

Boiling Water: Often a clog will consist of a mesh of hair strands, soap, and toothpaste causing slow drainage. The gob may not be too difficult to clear so you can first pour boiling water into the drain to remove it. You just need to boil water in a kettle and then pour it down the drain slowly. Keep adding the hot water until it flows through normally. If the clog is not very big and quite soft, the hot water should break it up and push it through. Before you pour the boiling water, you should take out the drain stopper and pull out any hair and other matter.

Homemade Drain Cleaner: You can make your own non-hazardous natural drain cleaner which can be helpful in clearing a clogged drain. Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain and then add a 1/2 cup of vinegar. The two ingredients mixed together will cause a foamy and bubbly reaction. Keep the mixture in the drain for a few hours or overnight to give it time to break up the clog. Then, run hot water down the drain. If the clog is caused by grease, pour a 1/2 cup of salt and a 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by a kettle of boiling water and let it sit over night. Remember to cover the drain with a rag while the ingredients sit in the drain.

Chemical Cleaner: Many people will use chemical cleaners to break up tough clogs. These can be effective but it is important to be aware that chemical drain cleaners can be corrosive to the pipes. Fortunately, you can buy natural drain cleaners at a plumbing supply store or hardware store.

Sink Plunger: A sink plunger is effective at removing difficult clogs. Leave about 3 inches of water in the sink and then place the head of the plunger over the drain hole while allowing water to create a seal around the plunger lip. With forceful thrusts, push up and down on the plunger. When you have cleared the clog, the water will flow down the drain quickly.

Drain Snake: A sink drain snake is available at a plumbing supply store or hardware store. Feed the snake into the drain with the head of the snake entering first. Continue feeding the snake until you reach the clog. Use the head of the snake to grasp, pull at the clog, and then pull it out.

Although it takes a bit of work, unclogging a drain is fairly easy. To keep your drain odourless and free of clogs, pour a natural drain cleaner down the drain once a week followed by running hot water down the drain. By using one or more of the above drain cleaning guidelines, you should not have a problem clearing your clogged drain.

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