Exhausted young woman holding plunger while talking to plumber

The Dos And Don’ts of Handling Drain Clogs

With only a small hole and a slim track for water to enter and exit the home, it’s no wonder that so many drains get clogged. From everyday buildup and hard water or soap to dropping toothpaste caps and loose hair down the drain, pipes get clogged for many reasons. Instead of shelling out a large sum of money to have a professional plumber come in to handle those clogs, here are some quick and easy things you can do to get rid of those clogs yourself.

If you don’t know how to do it, don’t worry. We will show you exactly how to unclog a drain.

Is Your Drain Clogged?

Before we jump into unclogging your drain, let’s quickly look at how you can tell if you have a clogged drain.

  • Bubbling sounds. Bubbling sounds in your plumbing fixtures like the sink are an indicator that there’s a clog in your drain. You can also hear gurgling sounds coming from your toilet after flushing.
  • Water backing up. When water backs up to your sink, bathtub, shower, or commode, it’s a sign that you have a clog in your drain.
  • Bad odors. Clogged drains give off bad odors as the debris rots and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Damp spots. A clogged drain results in increased pressure, resulting in leaks and, ultimately, damp spots.

If you notice these and other signs of a clogged drain, it’s time to bust out your repertoire of drain unclogging tricks and get to work.

How to Unclog a Drain

Ready to learn how to unclog a drain? Here are six tips to help you do just that:

Tip #1: Make a Homemade Drain Snake

A homemade snake like the ones the plumbers use can get in there and break up your clog in no time. There are many different ways you can make a snake. Essentially, a plumber’s snake is just a long, flexible, thin piece of wire that’s sturdy enough to push through the drain. It usually has a hook on the end to pull the material out. You can fashion a snake out of any type of thick, pliable wire, a clothes hanger, or other similar materials.

Tip #2: Use Hot Water & Bleach

Believe it or not, one of the most effective fixes for a clogged drain is also one of the cheapest and easiest to implement. If your sink is clogged, for example, you can put your stopper in, fill the sink about halfway with hot water, pour about a cup of bleach in there, and then remove the drain to plunge the water in and out of your pipe. Or you could simply create a water and bleach mixture to pour into the pipe.

Tip #3: Resist the Urge to Bang on the Pipe

One of the most frustrating things about drain clogs is that you can’t see most of the pipe. You know that the clog is probably sitting in the bend of your P-trap, and you probably feel like banging it with a hammer. You should refrain from this, however. Banging might seem like a good idea on the surface, but you may end up making the problem a lot worse. You could bust your pipe or seals, or you could compound the clog.

Tip #4: Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners!

A lot of those over-the-counter drain cleaners you can find on the store shelves work well for your drain clogs, but that’s because most contain chemicals that are very harsh. Relying on these chemicals may make you dependent on them. They “work,” yes, but that’s because the chemicals are just eating a hole through the problem. The buildup will happen again, and repeatedly using these chemical drain products may just end up causing damage to your pipes.

At KC’s 23 ½  Hour Plumbing, we offer safe bio-friendly products for drain maintenance, roots, and grease.

Tip #5: Leverage the Power of Endure Drain Cleaner

One of the easiest ways to unclog your drain is to use Endure drain cleaner. Endure could be the biggest thing to happen to drains since—well, probably since plumbing was invented. It’s a natural drain maintainer that uses bacteria and enzymes to digest and degrade the waste clogging your drain.

Because Endure can withstand the high alkalinity of cleaning products and works in temperatures that intermittently reach up to 180°F, it’s more effective than most drain cleaners on the market. It’s so effective, it can even break down solid waste. As a result, your grease traps and drain lines will require less frequent pumping.

Tip #6: Sometimes It’s Best to Call a Professional

Most people who create homemade snakes and use similar methods to bust those drain clogs up are simply pushing the material through the pipe. Over time, this is going to make the grit and grime become compacted, leaving you with few options beyond calling a plumber. Try to pull the material out if at all possible.

Detail of the plumbing system under a modern kitchen sink, with a plumbers tool tray

Knowing How to Unclog a Drain – a Skill Everyone Needs

Unclogging your drain is important, as blocked drains can lead to more water damage in your home. That’s why everyone needs to know how to do it efficiently. If you use the tricks provided above, you should be able to handle issues without contacting a plumber. If you feel the issue is more severe or you would just rather have a professional take care of it, and also get a better demonstration on how to better maintain your plumbing, simply join our Kare-Free Club, and we will take care of it all for you, and more!

Need a fast drain cleaning service in Palm Springs? Contact KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing, today!

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