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How to Deal with a Drain Clog?

There’s nothing that makes a day worse than a clogged drain. A clogged drain may rapidly transform from a small annoyance to a big problem, whether it’s the kitchen sink backing up with dirty dishwater or the shower drain making your morning routine into a standing ankle-deep event. However, you can quickly restore the free flow of the drain with the appropriate method and a few useful pieces of equipment, so don’t allow a bothersome clog to ruin your day. 

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First Things First: Assess the Clog

The first step in effectively unclogging a drain is to accurately identify the issue. Examine the drain closely. Is there anything that can be seen partially obstructing the opening? Or does it appear as though the water is draining incredibly slowly, suggesting a larger blockage farther down the pipe? Determining the precise location of the obstruction will aid in choosing the most effective clearance technique.

If there is an obvious obstruction, things are not too complicated. Put on some rubber gloves and attempt to remove the obstruction manually using pliers, tongs, or even a straightened-out wire coat hanger. Once you’ve cleared the visible blockage, run some hot water down the drain to flush out any lingering bits. 

For a deeper clog that’s not visible, you’ll need to bring in the big guns. Gather up these essential tools: 

  • Plunger – A standard cup-style plunger works best to create suction and dislodge clogs
  • Drain snake/auger – This flexible, coiled tool can be fed down the drain to break through tough blockages
  • Bucket or pail – To catch any water or debris that comes up during the unclogging process
  • Rubber gloves
  • Flashlight 

Unclogging the Drain: Step-by-Step

Now you’re ready to tackle the clog head-on. 

  1. First, empty the sink or bathtub of any remaining water. When you start plunging, this will improve suction and make working easier.
  2. Carefully remove any obvious impediment with pliers or tongs, if present. Take care not to force the obstruction deeper.
  3. Try the plunger after that. After adding a few inches of water to the sink or tub, place it firmly over the drain opening. Plunge sharply up and down in brief yet powerful spurts. Often, the pressure and suction can loosen weaker obstructions. As necessary, repeat.
  4. Get out the drain snake if plunging isn’t an option. Crank the handle of the snake to expand the coil farther into the pipe as you carefully feed the end down the drain. Twist and retract the snake to remove the obstruction as soon as you feel it strike the clog.
  5. You can attempt using a chemical drain cleaner for a very difficult blockage. Use caution while using these items, though, as the harsh chemicals can eventually damage pipes. Apply as directed, allow to sit for the advised amount of time, and then flush with hot water.
  6. As a last resort, you might have to disassemble the U-shaped pipe beneath the sink or bathtub, known as the P-trap. After setting a bucket beneath, take out the trap and undo the slip nuts. This will enable you to manually remove any built-up debris or obstructions. 

Preventing Future Clogs

The good news is that there are some actions you can take to avoid obstructions in the first place, even if clearing a clogged drain is never enjoyable. Installing simple drain covers or hair traps is a good place to start because they will capture food scraps and stray hairs before they have a chance to travel down the pipe.

Making it a practice to regularly flush your drains is also a smart move. After pouring a solution of vinegar and baking soda down each shower, tub, and sink drain and allowing it to sit for a while, boil a kettle of water. This simple DIY cleaner helps break down built-up gunk and residue before it has a chance to fully clog.

Naturally, you should also consider carefully what you’re discarding in the first place. Steer clear of putting anything down the drain that is known to cause clogs, such as cooking fat, coffee grounds, and fibrous vegetables like celery. To help flush the pipes, always run a lot of water while cleaning up after cooking or washing dishes.

You can keep those drains operating properly and save yourself the headache of clearing blockages with a little proactive maintenance and the appropriate troubleshooting skills. Therefore, don’t panic the next time you hear that distinctive gurgling sound or see water collecting around the drain; instead, take your handy plunger and get to work!

Recommended reading: Best Jet Sewer And Drain Cleaners

Finding it difficult to clear your drains?

If you find yourself with a clogged drain and unable to make work, you might need to schedule an appointment with Vossler Pumbing Co. to inspect and carryout technical and professional repair and maintenance on your drains. As plumbing professionals with over 35 years of experience, we have the best and most experienced plumbers to handle any of your plumbing needs. Contact us today at 346-712-0050 for a consultation, or request your estimate right here.

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