How to Unclog a Drain?
So, while you were washing those pile of dirty dishes, the dirty water starts backing up in your kitchen sink. Well, we all know what that means – a clogged drain, which is incredibly annoying.
However, don’t ever dare to avoid such a messy situation because after all, you don’t want to inadvertently flood your kitchen floor, or lose the use of your sink, tub, or toilet. Undoubtedly, a clogged drain is a plumbing repair that requires immediate attention to avoid inconvenience and subsequent major plumbing issues down the road.
Yes, you can try to break in the drain by using a bent wire but sometimes, a clogged kitchen sink requires more than the old school plunger or a dose of Drano. But, before you call a plumber; you can try out some ingenious tricks with your drains to help them run freely.
Here are a few simple yet effective ways to keep your drains from clogging:
Use Boiling Water
Boiled water can do wonders down the drain. I’ve used the word boiled because hot water won’t do it. Instead, boiled water can dissolve any organic matter in your sink drain and avoid clogging in the long run. So, put the kettle on and boil up as much water as it will hold. There are many stores out there that sell chemicals for clearing the drain but let me tell you all such products are a bit harsh and can cause damage to your drains.
Anyhow, be careful to pour boiling water directly into the drain and make sure to never pour boiling water onto the porcelain sink, as it can crack. Simply use a pot or kettle to boil water on the stove and pour it carefully down the drain ideally in two or three stages. Better allow the hot water to work for several seconds in between each pour. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to unclog a drain.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Facing woes of a stinking drain? Well, here is a remedy – combo of baking soda and vinegar. This mixture can foam up and remove debris while on the go. Besides this, it can kill bacteria and thus remove odors. If you’ve tried boiled water and still the sink drain is clogged – try this combo.
Just pour a half box of baking soda down the drain followed by half a cup of vinegar without adding any water. Cover the drain with a stopper and wait for 30 minutes before pouring boiling water. You can also do this in your seasonal drain maintenance two or three times a year.
Using Cola or Soda Method
If you’re facing small clogs in the drain a 2-liter bottle of cola can do wonders. Just buy a 2-liter bottle of cola and allow it to acclimate to room temperature. After that, pour it down the drain and let it fizz and work. Bottles of cola and soda are loaded with phosphoric acid and its corrosive power can break down grime buildup from the drains. This is an effective and refreshing home remedy for even limescale and another tough buildup that regular cleaners struggle with.
Use Bacteria Cleaners
Unlike traditional drain cleaning chemicals, bacterial cleaners are non-corrosive and won’t harm your pipes. Bacterial drain cleaners are available at most home centers and hardware stores in granules or liquid form. Just read the instructions on the package and use it down the drain at the night time. You can use them against all sorts of organic matters: grease, food, and even hair.
Using Plungers and Snakes
For some stubborn clogs you might need to pull out the big guns: the plunger! You might be already using the plunger for a clogged toilet but you can also use a specialized plunger for sink or shower drains. The plunger that works for the sink drain is cup-shaped rather than a bell-shaped plunger that works best for your toilet. So, make sure you’ve got the right plunger for the right kind of clogged drain.
Another big tool for a clogged drain is a plumbing snake or millipede. It will let you clear stubborn drains as long as the source is close enough. These snakes/millipedes work great for clogs due to loose hair or other small items that can get caught inside. You just have to put the snake down the drain and twist it safely to remove the clog.
Steps to keep your Drains from Clogging
Believe it or not, drain clogs are quite common even if all the plumbing codes are followed and good quality piping materials are used. The only thing you can do to prevent them is by adopting simple drain maintenance tips.
Before you face the problem of a clogged sink or a burst pipe in your bathroom; these drains hint you with warning signs like the sink will take a little bit longer to drain or you can smell strange and unpleasant odors.
If that’s what you’re facing; you have to immediately adopt remedial measures to avoid serious water damage to the structure of your home. Letting the problem persist will only make things even more complicated in the future.
Avoid Dumping Waste down the Drains
This is the most effective and absolute best way to prevent slow or clogged drains. Stuff like cooking grease, hairs, food garbage, soap scum, and coffee grounds are all worst enemies for your drain. You can either prevent them from reaching your drain or you can use a strainer or catcher to keep these items from entering drain pipes and avoid a clog.
Flush Drains Frequently
Running hot water regularly down the drains is beneficial against potential clogs. It doesn’t take much time and effort and it’s the best way to keep drains clog-free in your home. Just set a regular maintenance routine for maximum benefits. You can either run hot water after each use or do it once a week based on your frequency of usage.
The hot water is perfect for melting and dislodging any grease or debris lurking in your drain. Just fill the pot with one-half of hot water and flush down the drain. Wait for 5-7 minutes and pour the rest.
The Bottom Line
A clogged drain is a rage-inducing plumbing issue that anyone can encounter. However, you don’t have to waste your hard-earned savings on useless products and you can avoid the need to call a plumber by adopting these effective ways regularly, regardless of the type of drain. So, the next time the sinks take a little longer to drain or you begin to notice water pooling around your feet in the shower, just roll up your shirt sleeves to fight those stubborn blockages.
If you’ve tried all these tips but the drain is still clogged it’s time to call a pro. But never worry a timely call to a plumber can save you from havoc. So, give us a call or send an email and we’ll be happy to take care of all your plumbing issues.
Date Posted: July 10, 2020