How to Clear a Clogged Drain

You know that sinking feeling you get when the water starts to back up in the bathroom sink? If you’re dreading a costly repair, start by trying to clear the clogged drain yourself. Here’s how.

Clean the Strainer or Stopper

If your sink has a strainer to collect hair and debris, remove it from the drain and empty it in the trash. Secure it back and in place, and if the water now flows freely, your job is done.

Use a Plunger

Clogs near the drain can usually be cleared with a plunger:

  • Start by blocking the overflow holes, adjacent sink drains and other openings with a wet rag.
  • Pour two or three inches of water into the sink if standing water isn’t already present.
  • Rub a thick layer of petroleum jelly onto the rim of the plunger to help it create a tight seal around the drain opening.
  • Pump the plunger up and down repeatedly for a minute or two. Test whether the water is draining now.
  • Continue to plunge and flush the drain with hot water to remove residual particles from the pipe.

Clear the Clog with Drain-Cleaning Chemicals

Fast-acting chemicals such as sulfuric acid and lye burn through tough clogs to restore water flow. However, excessive use of drain-opening chemicals could cause excessive wear and tear on your pipes, so only try this technique when other do-it-yourself methods fail.

Read the warning label on the product you choose and follow the directions carefully. In general, the instructions will likely say to slowly pour a particular amount of cleaner down the drain and let it sit for several minutes. Flushing the drain with hot water clears the clog and removes excess chemicals.

Call a Professional for Help

If these do-it-yourself techniques don’t clear the clogged drain, or the clog returns frequently, you need a plumber’s help. Repeat clogs could mean something bigger is at play than just a clogged drain, such as tree root intrusion or a collapsed pipe. A knowledgeable plumber knows how to test for these and other serious problems to clear clogged drains and prevent them from reoccurring nearly as often.

For help clearing your clogged drain, please contact Day & Knight Plumbing & Heating today.

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