The Secrets to Clearing Blocked Drains
Being a homeowner is wonderful most of the time. But when one of your drain clogs, it can be a real pain, especially when you have to fix it yourself instead of calling your landlord. Of course, you can always call in a professional plumber to unclog your drain, and in some cases, you may have to enlist the help of an expert, but there are some secrets to clearing blocked drains that can make your life as a homeowner much easier. Here are three of them.
No homeowner should ever be without a plunger. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to clear a blocked drain and it will only set you back a few dollars. But, you have to know how to use a plunger correctly for it to actually work. If your clog is in your toilet, you should already have enough water in the bowl to create a seal between the plunger and the drain, but if your clog is in your sink, you’ll want to fill the sink with about two inches of water before you begin to plunge.
Making sure the concave portion of the plunger fully covers the drain, lightly press down on the plunger to establish the seal. You want your first plunge to be light so that you don’t force air back around the seal and spray water all over the room. After the first plunge, you can make your subsequent plunges more vigorous, plunging 10 or 20 times if necessary to break up the clog. This action will force water into and out of the pipe with enough pressure to move the blockage out of the pipe. Be sure to keep the concave portion of the plunger covered with water at all times for best results
Clearing the Stopper
Sometimes, you may not even need to reach for your plunger. The clog could be trapped right at the stopper, which is right below the sink. Unscrew the pivot rod retaining nut and remove the stopper. Clean the stopper and check the mouth of the drain for anything that’s preventing water from flowing. You may notice a hunk of hair there, or some other type of debris that got past the stopper and blocked the drain. This is the easiest way to unclog a drain and it’s free as well!
If you can’t remove the blockage by cleaning out the stopper or using the plunger, you can try another cost-effective tool to dislodge the clog. A snake can be purchased for under $50. It’s another tool that’s good to have on hand for the more stubborn drain clogs. To use this tool, remove the P-trap under your sink to expose the drain. Push the snake into the drain, twisting it as it goes to get it around bends in the pipes.
When you feel the resistance in the pipe, turn the snake clockwise to grab ahold of the blockage. If you feel additional resistance when you pull the snake back, you’ve hooked the clog and should be able to pull it out. If the snake continues to move through the pipes, keep feeding it through the drain as far as it will go. You are letting it clean the pipes as it makes its way through the debris. Once it extends its full length, bring it back out and see if it pushed the clog down the drain.
Drain clogs can be a real pain in the neck, but with these secrets, you can unblock your drain and get your water flowing freely once again.