What would you do if, one day, you walked into your bathroom and realize your sink was almost overflowing? Well, you could freak out, or rad a helpful blog like this one to help you solve the problem.
Your Basic Clog-Clearing Toolkit
Depending on the age of your home and the type of pipes in your plumbing system, any of these items may be useful to keep around the house:
Rubber gloves. The stuff that is causing the clog is probably not safe to touch…
Bucket. Buckets are good for many things, including bailing out tubs and keeping clogged drains from dripping all over when you take them apart.
Hand plunger. These tiny plungers are great for sinks and tubs. Make sure you have caps for any double sinks in your house to help you create a strong vacuum to unclog the issue.
Pipe wrench. When your sink trap is the source of the clog, this is all you need.
Manual auger. When the going gets tough, or your drain is clogged a little bit deeper than a plunger can handle, sending an auger into the pipe can help you get things moving again. The longer the auger’s line, the further you can reach. Some are even made to hook to a power drill, giving you a little extra torque and leverage.
What’s not on this list, you may notice, is a chemical drain cleaner. There are several reasons for this. First, chemical drain cleaners can also cause pipes to corrode from the inside. When that happens, bits of rust can break off over time and cause a really hard clog that’s impossible to remove on your own. Secondly, if you do need to call in a pro, or you get fiesty and want to give the drain another go, the standing water will be caustic.
Time to Get To the Drains!
Here’s the order you should approach cleaning a drain:
Step 1: Remove any drain covers or plugs.
Step 2: Use a flashlight to look inside the upper part of the drain. If you see hair or other debris plugging the way, put on gloves and pull it out. For stuff that’s really stuck, try a pair of needle nose pliers to get a better grip.
Step 3: If you don’t see anything immediately clogging the drain, open the trap and clear it out with a burst of water from another faucet that doesn’t drain using that particular trap.
Step 4: Nothing in the trap? Take the manual auger and feed it into the drain with the trap still detached, going into the wall. You’ll be flying blind here, so go slow and easy. Keep feeding the line until you meet the obstruction or run out of line. When you do find the clog, you will be able to punch a hole in it by rotating the feed line rapidly. Once the feed line moves smoothly, withdraw it from the drain line.
Step 5: Put everything back together and test the drain line by running the water again.
If you still have standing water, you have a few options. You can plunge until you’re exhausted. You can also try repeating the steps above in case there is a clog deeper in the drain that you just missed.
This technique will work for most types of household drains, though those encased in cement or that drain up from a basement are a lot more complicated and will probably require a pro to unclog.
Drain Problems Gotcha Down?
Whether your drain issue is complicated, it’s inside a floor or you just really don’t want to deal with it on your own, there’s always someone to help in your HomeKeepr community. Log in and see who your Realtor recommends to fix your clog. You know they’re gonna be great because your agent works with them regularly and is familiar with their high quality workmanship.