How To Properly Unclog a Drain

Clogged drains are a common household issue most people encounter at one point or another. They’re not a particularly serious problem most of the time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t annoying. Fortunately, a lot of the time a clog is something you can handle on your own quickly and inexpensively—as long as you know what you’re doing.

If you use the wrong methods or worse, ignore it altogether, a simple clog can turn into a serious (and costly) problem down the line. Follow the steps below to properly unclog your drain, so you can avoid a call to the plumber!

Try flushing it out first.

Minor clogs can often be dislodged with just hot water. Bring water to a boil on the stove, then pour it down the drain, allowing it to dissolve the built-up residue. If that doesn’t quite do the trick, try pouring a half cup of baking soda, then half cup of vinegar down the drain first. Plug it and let the solution work to dissolve the clog for about an hour before pouring in the hot water.

Grab a plunger.

Plunging is not just for toilets, but for clogged sinks too. Get a flat top plunger made for sinks and cover the clogged drain tightly. Fill the sink with just enough water to cover the sealed drain, then plunge. When you’re done, clear out any remaining residue with hot water.

Check the trap.

If flushing out or plunging the clog doesn’t work, the issue might be in the trap (the curved section of the pipe underneath the sink). Place an empty bucket under the trap to catch the residue, then use a plumbing wrench to loosen and remove the pipe. Empty the pipe into the bucket, then clean the inside with a wire brush or old toothbrush. Rinse the trap with hot water, then replace and see if the problem is fixed.

Use a snake.

For clogs that just won’t seem to budge, try snaking the drain to break up and remove the debris. As you’re feeding the snake down the drain, be sure to stop when you hit the clog. If you continue pushing, you will only make the clog worse. When you reach the obstruction, rotate the snake up and down and back and forth to break it up, continuing until you no longer feel resistance.

Sometimes, a clog may be too far gone for you to tackle on your own, especially if you notice signs of a water leak along with it. If you’re not sure what the problem is with your plumbing, call Inland Empire Leak Detection. We’ll perform a free inspection to identify if there’s a leak, where it’s coming from, and what’s causing it. If you do have a leak, we can provide affordable, expert repair.

Contact us today to schedule your free leak inspection!

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