It’s easy to forget how useful indoor plumbing is until a clogged sink or toilet disrupts your daily routine. If your pipes have stopped flowing freely, follow these five tips to clear the clog before calling a plumber.
First, Assess Your Plumbing Fixtures
A single clogged toilet or drain is a common result of accumulated hair, food particles, soap residue, and other debris. However, it’s important to check other drains in your home to rule out anything more serious.
If you discover multiple slow drains, this indicates a clog in the main sewer line, meaning you should call a professional pipe unclogging service to diagnose and fix the problem. On the other hand, if the problem is confined to a single stubborn clogged drain, proceed with the troubleshooting tips below.
DIY Drain Unclogging Tips
Every homeowner should have a basic toolbox of drain-clearing supplies. You can find them at your local hardware store, equipping you to unclog your drain without professional assistance. Here are the steps to tackle a clogged drain:
- Clean the strainer or stopper: Many sinks have a strainer or stopper designed to catch hair and other particles. If yours has accumulated a lot of debris, remove it, clean it out, and replace it to check if the water now drains smoothly.
- Inspect the sink trap: The sink trap is the curved section of pipe under your sink that holds water to prevent sewer gases from entering your home. Unscrew it by hand or with a wrench, empty the contents into a bucket, and reattach the pipe to see if this solves the problem.
- Break out the plunger: A cup plunger can work wonders on clogged sinks and tubs. Remember, this is different than the flange plunger reserved for toilets. Remove any pop-up stoppers, and give the plunger a good workout on the drain. A few firm up and down motions might be enough to dislodge the clog.
- Use a plumbing auger: Also known as a drain snake, a plumbing auger is a handy tool for tackling clogs further down the pipe. Feed the cable into the drain until it hits the blockage, then rotate it to help break up the clog before coiling the cable back up.
- Think twice about chemical drain cleaners: Though fast-acting, the corrosive nature of chemical drain cleaners makes them a last resort. Excessive use could wear out your pipes, not to mention introduce toxic chemicals into the local drinking water supply, so only consider this option when other DIY methods fail.
When to Call a Plumber
If you can’t get a clogged drain to flow freely or you find multiple clogs throughout the house, you know it’s time to call in the experts. Mike Counsil Plumbing offers top-notch pipe unclogging services to the residents of San Jose, Mountain View, and the surrounding South Bay area. Our plumbers can find solutions quickly and cost-effectively to get your home’s plumbing system flowing again. The next time you’re faced with persistent clogged drains, call us at 408-916-1226 to request 24/7 emergency plumbing service.