Blocked drains are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Clogged drains are disruptive, messy, and make matters worse, they’ll inconvenience your personal and home cleaning activities. Many homeowners resort to using expensive methods that frankly, are only a temporary fix. While it’s a great idea to have your clogged drains fixed by a professional plumber, it can be a bit costly if these clogs happen frequently. Whether it’s a clog in your kitchen drain, bathroom, or toilet, knowing a few ways to unclog drains will help you save the constant repair costs and in addition to this, make your home plumbing efficient. Let’s face it, the idea of losing the use of your toilet, bathroom, or kitchen sink is not pleasing. While you contemplate on that, below are six simple yet effective ways to unclog your drains:
- Using boiling water
- Forcing the clog through with a plunger
- The wire hanger
- Using baking soda
- Using vinegar
- Vacuuming the clog out
The above are simple yet the most effective ways to unclog a drain. You may need to call a plumber when all else fails but before you do, always try your best to make it work. In addition to the tips above, below are some of the most common drain clogging problems and how to fix them.
1. Unclogging the garbage disposal
Before you blame it on the kitchen drain pipes, check to see if the kitchen disposal is working fine. A clogged garbage disposal will stop the drain. Always run the disposal and ensure that it clears the clog. If your garbage disposal is not the problem, then it’s probably a sink drain issue. The guys at https://allserviceplumbers.com/drain-cleaning/ say that some drain clog problems can be overly stressful and may require professional hands to fix. Professional drain cleaning experts can help unclog the drain from the rim through the entire effluent plumbing line so nothing is stopping your wastewater from flowing smoothly.
2. Unclogging the Sink Drain
Having a few tricks up your sleeves may come in handy especially when dealing with recurrent plumbing issues. There are so many causes of clogged kitchen sink drains including soap buildup, trapped food scraps, and buildup of grease and oils. A lot goes into the sink and it’s important to ensure that all that goes into the sink eventually comes out. You want to keep your kitchen as hygienic as you possibly can because this is where you prepare and cook your food. The following are some ways you can unclog your kitchen sink drain:
- Check the P-Trap – This is the u-shaped pipe hanging under your sink. These are easy to clean because it’s as simple as unscrewing the cup-shaped housing, emptying the debris, cleaning it, and screwing it back. However, you’ll need to be extra cautious because it’s messy and in addition to this, any wrong move could mean more plumbing problems.
- Using vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water – This is an age-old method that works every time unless there are other underlying plumbing issues. You’ll need 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, and hot water. Remove the drain plug and using a funnel, pour the hot mixture of the mentioned ingredients into the drain. The foamy stuff, when forced in with a plunger, will help bubble up the drain and given time, it may provide the long-awaited solution.
- Invest in a kitchen sink drain cleaner – Given the susceptibility and sensitive nature of the kitchen, you’ll want to use safe and environmentally-friendly drain cleaners for the kitchen drain pipes. These are not corrosive and contain certain bacteria that eat organic waste and organisms causing a block in your drain pipes.
3. Unclogging the Bathroom Drains
There are several drains in your bathroom including the shower drain, bathroom sink drain, and bathtub drain. All these drains should empty into a single drain pipe outside the house. However, before they empty into the main drain pipe, you must check the sub-drain mechanisms first. To unclog bathtub and shower drains, consider the following ideas:
- Pour boiling water into the drain
- Use a plunger
- Use a hook to fish out hair and other debris that could be blocking the drain
- Use a plumbers snake
- Use baking soda and vinegar
Now, when it comes to the bathroom sink, not all the above ways will apply. Like the kitchen sink, the bathroom too has a P-Trap. It may be that the P-Trap is blocked. Carefully unscrew it and flush the drain with a lot of water. Before screwing the P-Trap back, ensure that it’s clean and free from any debris or hair. Other methods such as pouring hot water, using a plunger, baking soda, and vinegar will do.
4. Unclogging a Toilet That Won’t Drain
Truth be told, nothing is as embarrassing and messy like a clogged toilet. But don’t sweat it, below are easy ways to unclog your toilet, they include:
- Using a plunger – Carefully plunge the toilet with an up and down straight movement. The plunger works by forcing water into the toilet trap and into the drain pipe. Successful plunging should see the water level in the toilet bowl diminish.
- Use hot water – Before you flush the toilet with hot water, you may need to manually empty some water. Then, you’ll need to pour a gallon of hot water straight into the toilet bowl. However, you need to ensure that you’re not pouring it directly on the toilet bowl walls as it can easily crack the bowl. After this, wait for 20-30 minutes before flushing the toilet.
5. Unclogging the Garage Floor Drain
Garage floor drains get abused a lot. With so much junk flowing into the drain, it’s no wonder why they easily get clogged. You can expect to find anything from dog hair, wood shavings, to runoff oil and grease. Fortunately, it’s not as messy as unclogging the toilet. How to unclog the garage drain:
- With gloves, manually remove as much gunk from the drain as you can.
- Use a plunger to force the water in. Keep flushing with a bucket of water until it clears.
- Use baking soda
- Use a plumber’s snake
6. Unclogging the Surface Water Drain Pipe
Clogged outdoor surface drain pipes can be frustrating. They are not only messy but can produce an unpleasant smell in your compound. Before you get busy, assess the problem to know if it’s doable. Ideally, all you need is a pair of gloves and a drainage rod. Manually, attempt to remove all the debris in your drain. If you can connect a pressure hose and clear away the excess debris. You can also use the drainage rod if it’s packed up well. Flush it with buckets of water to know it’s the drain is unclogged.
All drain pipes even with the best plumbing can develop clogs. However, with the right tools and techniques such as the ones highlighted above, it will be easy to clean any clogged drain. Most importantly, it’s important that if you notice any signs of clogged drains, try and fix it before it gets worse. For clogs that won’t budge, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber!