Plumbing Tips – How to Unclog a Drain
A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems out there. With all the action drains see its no wonder. Most clogs can actually be prevented, but sometimes things are out of our control. Even if all precautions are followed you could still wind up with a clogged drain, hopefully not while your entertaining! A minor clog should be easy to fix, however if you find yourself suffering from a really stubborn drain clog or repeat offenders, instead of trying to unclog a drain yourself you may want to call a professional plumber.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Sometimes your drains just need a little cleaning. In fact routine cleaning of your garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar can help keep things moving and help deodorize your drain. This
method will work for to unclog a drain that is partially clogged.
- Start by slowly pouring boiling hot water down the drain, reserve a portion of the hot water for later.
- Follow with 1/3 cup baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Mix a cup of vinegar with reserved hot water and pour into drain. This will cause a fizzy reaction with the baking soda. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Slowly pour another pot of boiling hot water down the drain to flush out.
If anything your kitchen drain will smell fresh and your garbage disposal will be clean.
Zip-It or Millipede
These are both simple tools you can buy to unclog a drain. They work particularly well on hair clogs. And can be picked up at your local hardware store pretty inexpensively. The Zip-It is a single use plastic stick with upwards facing barbs. It kind of resembles a pipe cleaner or zip tie. Simply put it down the drain and pull up. The barbs will catch onto the hair clog and pull it right out. The Millipede works to unclog a drain in a similar way and also works particularly well on hair clogs. Its a hand-held snaking device that looks like a centipede. Put it down the drain, twist is a few times and the little legs will grab whatever is causing the clog.
The Faithful Old Plunger
A simple use of the faithful old plunger can also help unclog a drain. When using a plunger to unclog a drain you will want to make sure that you are using the correct plunger for the job, as there are several different types of plungers made for different types of drains. Some plungers are made to fit over sink drains and tubs, while other are made for unclogging toilets. It you are not using the right kind of plunger you may not be creating a good seal, and therefore not creating enough suction. Its probably a good idea to have one designated plunger for sink clogs, and one designated plunger to toilet clogs.
A Few More Things
When trying to unclog a drain make sure you aren’t doing more harm than good. Pouring chemical drain cleaners down the drain can actually damage your pipes and will only temporarily alleviate the problem, not to mention they can be dangerous to handle. In addition you can also use a good old coat hanger to unclog a drain, just realize that whatever you put down the drain can also damage your drain, so veer on the side of caution.
For a minor drain clog these methods should work well. However if you find yourself dealing with a more stubborn clog, then don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber, you may have a more serious problem then your thought. Setting up routine drain cleaning is also a good idea to prevent more serious drain clogs. Have your drain cleaned by Lesco Plumbing and Heating today!