You know the deal. The water takes a long time to drain. You notice the water pooling around your feet in the shower. You don’t need to see the water eventually overflowing from a drain to know you have a clogged drain. A clogged drain is a nuisance. It can happen frequently, so it’s not practical to call the plumber each time. The main culprits for clogged drains are usually hair, soap products, grease, and food particles.
But there’s always a thing or two you can do to handle the problem on your own, so here are some unclogging methods.
If you’re looking for a way that needs no equipment or chemicals, it’s not going to get less complicated than a big pot of boiling water. Pour the boiling water slowly down the drain in a couple of stages, giving time for the hot water to work in the drain before the next pour. Or you can fill up a sink or tub with boiling water and then unplug the sink’s drain.
The wire hanger trick
If the boiling water doesn’t work, you can use a wire hanger. It’s pretty primitive, yet effective. Basically, you get a wire hanger and straighten it out and bend the last part into a hook. You’ll then be going fishing, not for fish, but for some less unfavorable things like clunks of hair and some other filthy things. The idea is to try to hook those nasty things into the wire and pull out, not push in.
Two of the most popular chemical solutions are liquid plumber and drano, which can be found in almost any supermarket. Drano contains sodium silicate which is efficient and strong, but using it in PVC pipes – which are plastic and a common alternative to metal pipes, is wrong because chemicals can damage PVC pipes. Drano also produces gel products, which are thick and very helpful with standing water and stubborn clogging. Unlike Drano, Liquid Plumber doesn’t contain sodium silicate, making it less aggressive in unclogging, but still efficient. Oftentimes, you can use Liquid Plumber to keep drains clean as a preventive measure for clogging.
Sometimes you’ll have to go a bit deeper to unclog, and that’s when a drain snake becomes a nifty tool. It’s a coiled spiral that you can get around 15 to 20 ft. long. It does not work the same way that a plunger does, by pushing the snake into the clog, winding it to push the snake way farther into the obstruction. It works by breaking up the clog so it can flush through the drain, eventually reaching the clog so that you can pull it out.
At least one of these tips should work for you. Try to prevent clogged drains by always run some hot water down the drain after using the sink or shower to dissolve water-soluble materials. Also avoid pouring cooking oils into kitchen sinks because, even though it’s liquid, when it cools it can solidify causing clogging. It is better to throw away anything that causes clogged drains, be it hair, nail clippings, or bits of food, instead of washing it down the drain and eventually clogging it.