A clogged drain can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to lead to a fiasco involving a plumber or harsh chemicals.
Many clogs are easily removed with household items. Whether you’re dealing with a sink, tub or shower drain, try these tips before reaching for the chemicals. These methods are safer and just as effective.
The most commonly known tool that plumbers use to clear drains is a plunger. This simple but effective tool can do wonders for a sink or toilet that has stopped working.
It is important to use the plunger correctly to get the best results. Ensure that the rubber bell of the plunger is covered with water and it is positioned directly over the drain. Once you have a seal, begin plunging with quick thrusts that are directed down the drain and continue this action for 20 seconds.
Be sure to keep a bucket nearby to catch the water that is splashed out of the pipe. This will prevent a mess in your home. If the clog persists, it may be time to move on to a larger tool like a drain snake or call in a professional.
One of the most popular DIY unclogging tricks involves sticking a bent wire coat hanger down your drain to try to grab onto a clog. This can work well if the clog is close to the drain, but it’s not as effective on serious blockages that are farther down your pipe.
Another low-tech tool you can use is a plastic drain cleaning strip. These are 24-inch to 36-inch long strips with barbs that can hook onto clogs and pull them out the way they went in.
Finally, you can also try adding baking soda and vinegar to the clogged drain. This creates a chemical reaction that should jostle most of the gunk loose and clear out your drain. If none of these tips work, then you may have a serious clog that requires professional drain cleaning or rooter service.
Most home improvement stores carry a variety of different plumbing snake options, so it’s worth trying one if your drains seem stuck. Start by putting on rubber gloves and getting a bucket nearby. Feed the end of your snake down the drain, cranking the handle to twist it until you feel resistance. Keep cranking until you reach your clog and either break it up or push it through.
Be sure to loosen the screw holding the cable in place before you start snaking, and be careful not to snap the snake or auger into your pipe. If you don’t have luck with
your DIY snake, call a plumber. They are inexpensive and can solve serious clogs in your pipes without damaging them. Most drain clogs are simple for them to fix!
A wet/dry vacuum is a useful tool that can help clean up messes and spills that would normally be impossible to vacuum with a regular vacuum cleaner. It has the ability to suck up wet or dry materials and can also be used to vacuum carpeting and upholstery with an appropriate attachment.
Upright models, whether corded or cordless, typically have a water tank or on-board cleaning solution that’s dispensed and then sucked up as you operate the machine. They’re popular choices for janitorial services, fire departments, and manufacturing facilities to help keep work spaces hygienic and organized.
These versatile tools can also be helpful in the home for things like cleaning up pet accidents and removing condensation from windows. Just make sure to thoroughly clean the vacuum after every use, and dump any remaining dry debris before returning it to storage.
Whether it’s food material in your kitchen sink or excess toilet paper in the bathroom, a stopped drain can be frustrating and even dangerous. Clogged drains can lead to overflow and water damage that requires costly repairs.
You can try some DIY techniques to unclog a drain before calling a plumber. A plunger may help remedy light clogs, but you should always let a plumber inspect and repair any damage to your pipes.
A quality chemical drain cleaner like Drano or Liquid Plumbr can be poured down a clogged drain to dissolve soap scum, fats and grease. But remember, these cleaners often release unpleasant and harmful fumes, so use them with caution — and only as directed. You can also prevent clogs by limiting what you put down your drains, and by regularly cleaning your pipes with hot water. With severe clogged drains, it is important to note that a plumber in Canberra should be contacted to prevent further problems with your drains.