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Drain Cleaning 101

Drain’s clog, it’s a plumbing fact of life. If you notice your drains moving a little slower than they should be – or a clog waiting to happen, here’s a few simple tips to clear the drain and get water moving again.

How to Unclog a Drain

  • If you can reach it, pull it out. Flushing foreign objects isn’t ever a good option. If it’s not made to go down the drain, there’s a good chance that it will clog the drain. Even something as small as a phone stylus can cause major issues. You might not want to grab it once it plunks into the toilet bowl, but if you’re unable to flush anything after it gets jammed in the pipes you’ll regret not reaching in.
  • If you’re going to pour some sort of biological cleanser – do it as the last step. You don’t want to pour the cleaner in and then manually clear it. Check the packaging to determine the proper rinse time as well. Sometimes cleaners need to sit, so make sure that no one runs the water until the period is over.
  • If you’re going to snake your drain, grab some face protection first. You don’t want bacteria splashing up into your eyes – and especially not your mouth!
  • When possible, try using solutions that are natural instead of harsh chemicals. A strong vinegar-lemon solution can do the trick for some basic clogs that have things stuck on the side.
  • Don’t forget the most simple solution – the plunger! Depending on the cause and severity of the clog your plunger can help get the water moving. If that doesn’t work, try vinegar and baking soda. When the vinegar reacts with the baking soda it helps move the clog along and will clear most minor buildups (as well as eliminate odors along the way).
  • Use a brine solution (or very strong salt water) down your kitchen sink to help eliminate odors and help prevent grease build up.

Know When to Call a Professional Plumber

Not all clogs can be done with these tips, when in doubt, call your local plumber! Don’t forget, if you do opt to reach for chemical solutions, repeated use of chemical drain cleaner solutions over time can cause damage to your plumbing.

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