A clogged drain can put a serious crimp in an otherwise pleasant, productive day. Before calling a plumber, try some of these methods to unclog the drain.
There are numerous chemicals that can unclog a drain. These can be found in any grocery store. Because these are highly toxic, abrasive chemicals, it is important not to mix them together or use them in any way contrary to the labeling. Read all of the instructions before getting started. It is prudent to wear goggles and rubber gloves when working with these products. It is possible for the liquid to spew into the eyes, which could create serious problems. Follow all of the instructions completely, and don’t improvise. These are not harmless chemicals, and can damage one’s health, as well the pipes. They can be effective when used properly. One might wish to try a less harsh approach first.
Natural Drain Uncloggers
Occasionally, it is possible to unclog a drain by pouring boiling water into the sink. Be careful not to splatter it. If the sink is not completely clogged, try pouring in a half cup of baking soda, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Remember that these react with each other in a bubbly way, so don’t lean close to the sink, and loosely cover the drain. Wait two or three hours, and try running some water.
Using a Plunger and/or a Snake
A plunger can loosen the clog and clear the drain. If it is a double sink, it will be necessary to cover one drain while plunging the other. It can be difficult to keep the other drain tightly covered while plunging, so it may be advisable to have someone else hold down the cover. A wet towel held over the drain cover can help. Then, let some water run into the side that is to be plunged. There needs to be enough water in there to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Then, using steady, rapid movements, move water in and out of the drain with the plunger. The water will hopefully dislodge the clog. After several “plunges,” remove the plunger from the sink quickly. Hopefully, the sink will drain, but it is possible that instead, water will spew up out of the sink. If the drain is not unclogged, try again. Make sure water is not coming up through the other drain in a double sink, as this releases the pressure and keeps the water from unclogging the drain. Also, never use a plunger if harsh chemicals have been added to the sink, as the chemicals can spew out of the sink when the plunger is removed.
An effective way to clear a sink is to use a snake. A snake may cost some money, but it is less expensive than a plumber, and can be used again and again. First remove the u-shaped pipe under the sink. This is the trap. Be sure to put a bucket underneath to catch water and debris. Then pull out the snake and work it into the drain as far as it will go. If it gets hung up in a pipe bend, jiggle it and pull it in and out slightly. Then pull it out and try the drain. If the drain is still clogged, try the plunger again after using the snake. Sometimes the snake loosens but fails to dislodge the debris, and the plunger can finish the job.
These are some of the more effective means of unclogging a drain. If none of these techniques work, it may be time to call the plumber.