Clogged bathroom drains create unpleasant hassles for your whole family. The good news is that most bathroom clogs can be resolved with a plunger or a metal coat hanger. But when the clog is located deep inside the pipes, you will need expert help.
Preventing Bathroom Clogs
Using basic precautions can prevent most bathroom clogs from happening in the first place. Here are a few simple things you can do to avoid clogs in your toilet, shower, and sink:
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides toilet paper and human waste. Not even tissues!
- Place hair screens over shower and sink drain to prevent hair from washing into the pipes.
- At the first sign of a slow drain, rinse the pipe out with a kettle full of boiling water.
Avoid using harsh chemicals to remove toilet clogs. These caustic drain cleaning products can damage pipes and are bad for the whole sewer and water treatment system. The best way to clear out a toilet clog is with a plunger. However, not all plungers are meant for resolving clogged toilets. There are three basic kinds of plungers, but you only need to keep two at home. Make sure you use the right tool for your clog:
- Cup Plungers These are what people usually think of when they picture a plunger. Also called common sink plungers, cup plungers have a flat rubber plunging surface. These are best suited for clearing out sinks, tubs, and floor drains.
- Flange Plungers For the best results when plunging a clogged toilet, use a flange plunger. They have an inverted cup protruding from the bottom of the rubber plunging surface, which helps produce maximum suction inside a toilet.
- Accordion Plungers This type of plunger is made of hard plastic, and it’s difficult to form a good seal or achieve adequate suction with them. Leave these plungers on the hardware store shelf where they belong.
Clogged Tub and Shower Drains
Most tub and shower clogs are formed when hair gets caught inside the drain. The internal stopper mechanism tends to catch a lot of hair that gets rinsed down the drain. Hair accumulation will lead to water draining slowly and can prevent the stopper from fully closing the drain. To clean hair out of your tub or shower drain, remove the screen cover and the stopper. Then, use needle nose pliers or a bent coat hanger to pull out the gob of hair. If you’re still not satisfied with your drain’s performance, try pouring hot water down the drain to dissolve soap deposits and rinse away remaining hair.
Clogged Bathroom Sink
Bathroom sinks can become clogged by hair, beard trimmings, hair care products, makeup, and soap scum. Sink clogs most often occur at the stopper mechanism or inside the P trap, which is the curved pipe under the drain. Disconnect the sink stopper, and then, carefully use needle nose pliers or a bent coat hanger to pull out the gob of hair from the sink stopper just inside the drain opening. To clean out your P trap, use an adjustable pipe wrench to carefully remove the section of pipe, and then clean the debris out of it.
Need Help with Clogged Bathroom Drains?
If you have tried these DIY remedies but your drain is still slow, it’s time to call Mr. Rooter® Plumbing. If your clog is located farther down the pipes, your local Mr. Rooter can remove that blockage with a powered drain snake or our HydroScrub® Jetting process.
Call your local Mr. Rooter or request an estimate online.