By Anchor Plumbing Services
It happens to everyone eventually. You go to flush the toilet, and nothing happens. Or maybe you run the water in the faucet, and soon you have a miniature pool in your sink. You likely have a clogged drain.
You’ll recognize a clogged drain, as water does not flow easily and may even overflow outside of the sink, tub, or toilet.
Why Does a Clogged Drain Happen?
There are plenty of items that can clog a drain.
But here are some of the most common culprits that contribute to a clogged drain:
- Foods and fats, especially in the kitchen sink
- Paper products like Kleenex, toilet paper, wet wipes, or feminine products
- Soap particles
- Dirt and dust
- Foreign objects such as toys, jewelry, etc.
- Makeup including powders, creams, and liquids
- Tree/bush roots in outdoor drains
Many times, people try to discard products through plumbing pipes. If you need to discard a product, read the back of the label to see the proper way to throw it away. Generally, too much of anything will cause a clog, so if you must flush or wash it down, do so sparingly or simply find a trash can.
Best Drain Cleaner: 8 Choices & Tips
Whether or not you toss something down the drain purposefully, drains will get clogged eventually. While a clogged drain is an annoyance, it’s usually a quick, low-cost fix. In some cases, you can probably unclog your drain with items around your home. Here are some ways you can unclog your drain and get the water flowing again.
One of the first tools many people turn to for unclogging the toilet is a plunger. With just a little pumping action, you can unclog your drain in a matter of minutes, especially if the clog is minimal.
While the plunger is great for toilets, you can also use it for sinks and other drains. Small plungers are perfect for the task and are easily stored under cabinets. Tip: keep a toilet plunger separate from drain plungers for hygienic purposes.
2. Commericial Drain Cleaners
Commercial drain cleaners are available in most home improvement and grocery stores. Coupled with time and hot water, most drain cleaners work well on most clogs. But if you have a septic tank, try to avoid commercial drain cleaners. They can damage the delicate bacteria that keep your septic tank running well.
3. Homemade Drain Cleaner
Did you know that you can make your own drain cleaner with just a few products you’re likely to already have at home?
The best ingredients for a clogged drain are vinegar and baking soda.
Start by pouring hot water down the drain. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of baking soda to the drain, depending on how big your drain is. Then, using 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water, pour it down the drain.
You should start to see fizz or bubbles creep over the drain, and this is normal and necessary. Let the solution sit anywhere for 5-10 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
4. Wet-Dry Vac
A wet-dry vac is a great way to unclog your drain that could come in handy.
You’ll want to hold the hose over the drain as tightly as possible and turn on the wet-dry vac. Suck out all the liquid first then switch to dry.
5. Take Apart U-Pipe
Pipes are composed of many different parts, but one distinguishable part is the U-pipe.
The U-pipe has a U shape and is easily found under the sink in most drains. This is a prime place for clogs to happen. The U pipe can be removed by using a plumber’s wrench.
Keep a bucket nearby to catch the water that’s collected in the drain. Once the U pipe is removed, take out anything that might be causing the clog and rinse the pipe with hot water. Tip: Use a different sink to rinse your pipe before re-installing.
A plumber’s snake is a great way to break up clogs and get your water flowing freely. The snake helps you find the clog and break it up by cranking the handle. Plumber snakes are a bit cumbersome to use, depending on the size and location of the clog, but they can be very effective. Overall, if you’re experiencing heavy or frequent clogs, they might be worth adding to your home repair arsenal.
7. Boiling Water
Running hot water can help clean drains. But did you know that boiling water can help release a clog?
Simply heat water to a boil and pour it down the drain, in small amounts. WARNING: Some PVC pipes might not handle hot water especially well, so stay clear of pouring boiling water down the drain if you have PVC pipes.
You can also add a bit of dish detergent to the boiling water to help break up grease or other particles in the drain.
8. Call the Professionals
While all of these solutions are great for small drain problems, if you have a stubborn clog, you’ll want to call in a professional. It’s unwise to take chances to probe your pipe further, especially if you have a nasty clog.
If you’ve tried unclogging the drain yourself, or you have a substantial backup, pick up the phone and call your local plumber.
Unclog Your Drain
If you’re looking for the best drain cleaner these are some great options. Again, it will depend on the severity of your clog and whether or not you need to call a plumber.
If you’re looking for a local plumber, call our knowledgable and skilled plumber today for any of your plumbing needs! Contact us today to schedule your service and start seeing clearer drains.