We have all been there, face-to-face with a drain that just won’t… well drain. Whether it is a sink, shower or bathtub, a drain that drains slowly or not at all is a total inconvenience. Of course we know there are steps we can take to prevent this from happening but unfortunately life usually gets in the way. Every homeowner will eventually have to deal with the dreaded clogged drain.
Luckily there are some quick and simple ways to get the water flowing smoothly again depending on the severity of the clog. Many of the do-it-yourself unclogging methods will only work on minor clogs. Major clogs will usually require you to call in the big guns, meaning a licensed plumber.
Below we will walk you through some tried and true methods for dealing with those minor clogs. We will also give you some tips on what you shouldn’t do and methods that will have long term effects on your plumbing.
The Wire Hanger
This method has been used by Mr. and Mrs. do-it-yourself for decades and for good reason too. This method is easy and usually quite effective as long as you have a wire hanger in your closet you’re good to go. Grab a wire hanger and straighten it out into one long straight wire, but be sure to leave the hook at the end. Then remove the drain cover from the drain that is suffering from the clog.
Next you will shove the hook end of the wire hanger down the drain until you encounter the clog. You will then want to push down on the clog and then pull up, but don’t pull the hanger all the way out. Do this about 5-10 times and then pull the hanger completely out of the drain.
If you now find yourself grossed out this is a good thing. This means you see the nasty clog hooked on the end of the wire hanger and it is no longer plaguing your drain.
The tried and true plunger is not just good for unclogging your toilet. Did you know that they make plungers intended to be used on sink and bathtub drains? These drain plungers actually do a pretty good job of forcing out minor clogs.
These mini plungers are also known as bellows plungers and create enough force behind the clog to force it down the drain. After a few pumps of the bellows plunger enough pressure is built up behind the clog to force it out. This is a great cost effective and no mess option for clearing minor drain clogs.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
That’s right mixing baking soda and vinegar isn’t just useful for making science fair volcano projects. Mixing these common household materials has been proven to be a safe and effective way of clearing minor drain clogs. Here is how it is done:
- Boil a pot of water and slowly pour it down the drain, while leaving at least one cup of boiling water for later.
- Immediately pour a ⅓ cup of baking soda into the drain and leave it for 5 minutes.
- In the pot of boiling water that you saved from step one mix in a cup of vinegar and pour the mixture into the drain. Sit back for 20 minutes and watch the drain fizz.
- Now flush the mixture down the drain using an additional pot of boiling water.
These handy handy little tools are great for removing hair clogs in bathroom sinks and bathtubs. Just uncoil it and stick the grasping end down the drain. Once it is down the drain crank it a few times and pull it out. You should see a disgusting clog on the other end meaning it is no longer living in your drain.
Don’t Do It: Liquid Drain Cleaners
Most people’s first instinct when they encounter a clogged drain is to reach for a bottle of draino. What most people don’t know is that this is one of the worst ways to unclog your drains.
There are several reasons for this, one being that liquid drain cleaners are designed to eat through the clog. This means often times the drain cleaner will just eat a hole through the clog instead of completely removing it. This leave the drain susceptible to being easily clogged again in the future.
Another reason you do not want to use liquid drain cleaner is because of the harsh chemicals they contain. These chemicals will end up damaging your plumbing since they are so corrosive. When liquid drain cleaner burns through a clog they also burn through pipes or fittings in a plumbing system.
It is also worth noting that the chemicals found in liquid drain cleaners are not ideal for the environment either.
The Best and Most Effective Option: A Licensed Plumber
A lot of the solutions listed above are only effective for minor or partial drain clogs. What happens if you have a major clog that can’t be fixed with a do-it-yourself method?
This is where an experienced and licensed plumber comes in. Nothing beats the knowledge and resources an expert plumber can bring to a clogged drain situation. Our plumbers have the experience and proper tools to safely and effectively remove any clog plaguing your drains. If you want your drain unclogged properly then call the experts at Lone Star Plumbing.