Clogged drains are one of the biggest plumbing problems. This issue is often caused by hair, soap, and debris that naturally builds up in the drain over time. If the blockage isn’t removed, it may lead to overflowing or even a busted pipe. Most of the time, however, a clogged drain is easy to unclog by using one of these simple methods.
When hair and grime are clogging the drain, a plunger is often all that’s needed to get things flowing again. A plunger works by dislodging the clog. Cover the overflow with a towel to create suction. Carefully plunge the sink until it starts to drain again. This method is effective on both a slow draining sink and a complete blockage.
- Wire Hanger
Create a hook by unbending a wire hanger. Push the hanger deep into the drain. Using fishing motions, you should begin to collect hair and debris on the hook. Continue until the clog has been completely removed. A product called a Zip-it tool can also be used in this same manner.
- Clean the U-trap
Underneath the sink, you’ll find a u-shaped pipe. This is often referred to as the u-trap. The curve of this pipe is designed to catch large debris and hair before it goes deeper into the plumbing system. Using a plumber’s wrench, loosen the nuts and remove the trap. Empty the contents into a bowl and clean out the pipe with a hanger and toothbrush. Most clogs can be removed by cleaning out this pipe.
- Boiling Water
If you don’t have any tools or chemicals to put down your drain, you can try boiling water. Boil water in a kettle, and slowly pour it down the drain. Wait a few seconds between each pour to allow enough time for the water to break up the clog. This method works the best on slowly draining sinks.
- Homemade Drain Cleaner
Make an all-natural homemade drain cleaner out of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. When these two ingredients combine, they begin to violently fizz. This reaction will help to loosen a tough clog. Let the cleaner sit in the drain for an hour or longer and flush the drain with boiling water. This process can be repeated if necessary.
- Clean the Overflow
Every sink has an overflow opening that is designed to prevent flooding. However, if this additional opening becomes clogged, it may cause the entire sink to stop draining. Pour hot water down the overflow to loosen any grime. Baking soda and vinegar may also be used if the hot water doesn’t fully clean out the overflow.
- Drain Snake
Plumbers always have a drain snake at hand. This snake is created out of a long, flexible metal rope that fits easily down most drains. The snake is cranked down the drain, where it picks up hair and other debris. Drain snakes are a favorite with plumbers because they can reach further down the pipe than other tools.
It’s time to unclog your drain as soon as you notice it’s not draining as quickly as it once did. Small clogs are easier to clean than a fully blocked pipe. Try these methods first before you decide to search for a local tradesman.