05 Aug How To Clear A Blocked Drain?
A most common occurrence in residential plumbing is a blocked drain. Our service technicians will see clogged drains almost on a daily basis, so it’s important to know how to clear a blocked drain of any debris and more importantly, how to prevent the clog from returning.
A blocked drain is a result of debris build-up in your toilet, shower or sink and can cause damage to your bathroom or kitchen floor due to flooding. Clogs are noticeable right away and can be frustrating to unclog.
The build-up can be anything from hair to crumbs to a toy mistakenly stuffed into a toilet. Your plumbing system does a lot of work throughout any given day and when clogging happens, it disrupts the flow of your piping and plumbing systems. If left alone, it can lead to a bigger emergency plumbing situation.
Boiling Water in your drain
Using boiling water to eliminate a blocked drain can sometimes alleviate a clogged situation. Simply pouring hot water down your pipes won’t work however, you will need to use boiling water to attack your clogged drain.
Word of caution though: if your piping system uses PVC pipes, the boiling heat can cause the joints to loosen a bit. Also, make sure you pour the boiling water directly down the drain and not get on the porcelain bowl, as the water will cause it to crack. Use the boiling water from a stove or a hot water heater and repeat as necessary.
As with any do-it-yourself solution, we recommend calling your local plumber to ensure the drain is unclogged properly and with minimal damage to your fixture.
Using vinegar or baking soda
When boiling water won’t work, a common solution can be vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda combination, famous for its “volcano” effect in various school projects, can create a combustible outcome and can break down the debris in the pipe. Once you’ve poured this combination into your drain, pour boiling water down to flush out any other remaining debris.
Plunging the clog out
As with most clogs in your toilet, a common plunger can help extract the clogged suspect in your fixture. Though it can take many iterations of pumping and force to pull the culprit out, it can prove to be the only way to unclog your drain.
For starters, make sure you have the correct plunger – a cup-shaped plunger for sink clogs and a common toilet plunger for the toilet.
For extra measure, fill up the sink with water about halfway and gently place the plunger over the drain, ensuring it’s tight over the drain. This will ensure you have a firm seal and will encompass the affected drain. Use exertion and force to plunge the drain of its debris and hopefully you are on your way!
Using a snake to unclog your drains
If you’re feeling ambitious enough, you can head over to your nearest hardware store and invest in a hand-operated snake to clear your drains of debris. The snake utilizes long spring steel like wiring system to “snake” into the drain and pull out whatever is clogging it. Once inside the drain, the user will twist through the pipes further down into the plumbing system and hopefully extract the item that caused it to clog in the first place.
Because the pipes are in the U-shape, the debris can often find itself in the underside of the pipe and create chaos in your plumbing system. The snake will fit into those hard-to-reach areas and can pull debris out fairly easily.
When using snakes to unclog your fixture, however, it can cause scraping and some chipping of the porcelain, furthering its damage on your toilet or sink. Consider calling your local plumber to professionally assess the situation and utilize their tools to properly extract the debris from your pipes.
While homeowners might feel empowered to utilize these techniques to fix clogs in their fixtures, it’s important to not cause further damage and simply rely on the professionals to fix the issue.
Using preventative measures
When issues arise in your pipes, there are a few ways to try and tackle the issue. As a homeowner, you can certainly try your luck at any of the above solutions. When it comes to unclogging your drains, it can often be a result of a lot of debris over the years and months of usage.
Preventing these clogs from happening after you’ve relieved the drain of the issues is something a homeowner can do on their own.
- Using clog drain strainers to ensure that hair or other items don’t go down a drainpipe is always a smart solution.
- Running hot water after each use will flush out any new buildup and can ease the flow of water in your fixture.
- Getting a handful of baking soda and running it through your drains and washing it down with hot water can also be effective. Baking soda will clean out your pipes and remove any odours that might come from continuous use. Vinegar is also another great substance to use when unclogging your drains.
As with any do it at home project, make sure you are 100% sure you can tackle the issue.
Causing further damage to your fixtures or systems is definitely something you don’t want to contend with and using a certified technician to help you with your clogged drain is definitely the way to go when it comes to clogged drains.
Whether a clogged drain happens in your home or on-site at your commercial plumbing facility, Preferred Plumbing Solutions is always here to help!