How to Unclog Your Clogged Drain

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Clogged drains can be some of the most unsettling plumbing issues a homeowner is likely to face. Not only are they frustrating, inhibiting your ability to use your home’s plumbing, but they also have the potential to cause damage to your pipes and your home. With a mildly clogged drain, you can usually DIY the solution and avoid calling in a plumber, as long as you know what you’re doing.

Here are some easy tips on how to unclog your clogged drain that you can use today:

The Plunger

Pulling out the plunger is usually the best first step to take when trying to unclog your clogged drain. It typically works well, and it’s non-invasive and inexpensive. The plunger is usually used for your toilet drain, but it can also work for tubs and even sinks if you have the right kind of plunger. The key is to create a seal between the plunger and drain, and then plunge up and down enthusiastically until the clog is loosened.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

There are a couple of different ways to use vinegar and baking soda to unclog your drain. You can mix one-third cups of both baking soda and white vinegar in a cup and then pour it directly into the drain as it is fizzing. You can also start by pouring boiling water down the drain, followed by the baking soda, then the vinegar. With either method, try covering the drain with a plug to make sure the chemical reaction stays below the surface where you need it.

Boiling Water

For minor drain clogs where the water is just slow moving down, boiling water on its own can be effective. It’s simple; pour a kettle of boiling water down your drain in a few different stages. After each pour, wait a few seconds and then pour some more. This is certainly the easiest way to loosen a sluggish drain, but it probably won’t be effective for caked on sludge or debris that has developed over a more extended period of time.

A Wire Hanger

You won’t be able to go very deep into the drain with a straightened-out wire hanger, but things like hair, sludge or various paper products should come back out. Just straighten a wire hanger and create a small hook on the end, then feed it into the drain and try to hook onto the obstruction, and then pull it out. If you seem to get a lot of debris out, try flushing the drain with hot water afterward to clear things out even more.

Clean Out the Trap

The U-shaped pipe or “trap” under your sinks is a common spot where clogs like to form. Even though it takes a bit of work, you can use a plumber’s wrench to remove the trap and clean out whatever is inside. It is a good idea to place a bucket under the trap when you loosen the slip nuts because whatever is in there will come out. After you clean all the gunk out of the trap, be sure to put it back together securely.

When to Call a Plumber

If you try any of these DIY tips and they don’t seem to help, or if you aren’t comfortable trying to fix the clog, then it may be time to call in a professional plumber. Even though most clogged drains are just a nuisance, some can cause serious damage to your plumbing system and even health issues. Contact us at Marco Plumbing today for a reputable plumbing team you can trust!

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