Blocked drains are a plumbing issue that every homeowner hates to face. While taking preventative measures is the best way to deal with this problem, knowing how to unclog drains is just as important. After all, your residential drains can become clogged due to factors beyond your control.
There are several methods of unblocking drains. One of them is to reach for chemical drain cleaners. While these drain-clearing chemicals can dislodge minor clogs, they may not work for major clogs. Plus, they can damage your drains and are harmful to the environment.
As you keep away from harsh chemical drain cleaners, here are some quick fixes you should try before bringing in an experienced plumber to deal with your clogged drains.
Start With Boiling Water
If you have a slow-draining sink, wait until all of the water drains away and then slowly pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. The hot water should help dislodge any substances that may be stuck on the interior walls of the drains. If this doesn't work the first time, repeat again.
Reach for a Plunger
If two pots of boiling water don't fix your clogged drains, then it's time to grab a plunger. Different types of plungers are available for clearing different types of drain clogs. Choose a standard plunger for sink drains and a flange or accordion plunger for toilet clogs. Both types of plungers work the same way. You simply have to hold the plunger in a straight position and move it up and down in quick, repetitive strokes.
To effectively plunge drain clogs away, make sure you create an airtight seal around the drain opening.
Use a Plumber's Snake
Also called a drain auger, a plumber's snake is a basic plumbing tool that is designed to clear more serious clogs. The bulbous end of the drain auger comprises an uncoiled spring, which can dislodge difficult clogs as the tool is inserted and pushed into a blocked drain.
Drain augers are either manual or electric and can be used to clear clogged sinks, bathtubs, showers, washing machines and many more. To use a drain auger, you'll have to remove any coverings that may prevent you from accessing the drain opening.
If these blocked drain repair tips don't get the water draining smoothly again, your clogging problem may be beyond your capabilities. You should bring in a professional plumber at this point to help you with your blocked drain.