With the holidays approaching, more cooking and more relatives visiting means an increase in the chances of a blocked drain in the home. There’s nothing more annoying than having a plugged sink drain and it takes time away from other things that are important. There are ways to clear a blocked drain without having to call a professional, but if none of these work, then it’s time to make the call.
Hot Water and Dish Detergent
This should be the first step in trying to clear a clogged drain. Pour about a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent (not the stuff used in a dishwasher) into a cup of seriously hot water. Pour down the drain and let it sit for about five minutes. The hot water and dish soap method is excellent for removing things like fat, oil, and grease (known as a FOG clog).
Baking Soda and Vinegar
These are two items likely to be found in any household. The first step is to pour a pot of boiling water down the sink. Next, dump in around half a cup of baking soda and leave it be for several minutes. Then, add about one cup of vinegar followed by one cup of extremely hot water. Plug the sink drain. This allows for a chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. After about ten minutes, pour another pot of boiling water down the drain.
This method may also be used on a monthly basis to keep the drain free of debris that might ultimately cause a clog.
Use a Clog Remover Tool
There are many of these available, made by Handy Drain among others. They’re thin plastic strips with barbs on each side. They’re easy to use since they slip through the sink drain without having to remove it. The clog remover tool is long enough to reach most drain P-traps, which is where hair and other material is likely to collect. Because the plastic is flexible, it handles curves in the pipe easily. With this, hair clogs can be pulled out of the drain.
Get a Home Snake
Drain snakes can be purchased at most hardware stores. There are two types: a long, flat, slender piece of metal with a small spring on the end, and a thicker, coiled wire with a large spring. The first is easier to use because it’s designed to slip inside the drain without removing it. But, the flat wire doesn’t turn inside pipes as easily. The coiled wire snake will require removal of your P-trap. This type of snake is also useful on toilet drains. Once the spring end is inserted in the P-trap, the snake is spun by hand, causing it to unwrap and move down the pipe. As it spins, the spring collects hair and other material so it can be removed once the snake is pulled from the pipe.
Call in a Professional
If all else fails, it’s time to call for professional help. Plumbers have larger, powered snakes … Read More