How to Clear a Clogged Drain
There is no reason to let a clogged drain ruin your entire day and damage your plumbing as well. If you need help clearing a clogged drain, there are a few methods you can try. By handling the issue on your own, you can reduce the need to hire a plumber or spend a considerable amount on an emergency visit. Keep reading for how to clear a clogged drain using inexpensive tools and easy to follow techniques. Only when these methods fail in drain cleaning then it’s time to call in the professionals.
Call Gallegos Plumbing As Your Professional Local Plumber For Any Type Of Plumbing Request: (805) 750-1830.
Method 1: The Easy Way
The easiest method for clearing a clogged drain involves removing clogs at the stopper. There are some cases when the clog is easy to see from the sink or tub. For bathtubs, the stopper apparatus can catch debris or crud buildup over time. You may find hair or other scum stuck to the stopper on your tub, and you can remove it quickly. If the stopper on your sink will lift out completely, remove it, and clean it thoroughly.
If your sink’s stopper only partially lifts, then look under it as much as possible. You can use a flashlight to get a better look if needed. If you notice buildup or a clog, remove the stopper and clean it thoroughly. If the clog is at the stopper of your sink, you can follow these steps to remove it:
- Remove the screw on the pivot rod retaining nut on your sink’s drain
- Remove the pivot rod partially, which will release the stopper
- Remove the stopper, clean it, and put it back
» Note on Drain Cleaners:
It may be tempting to reach for drain cleaner when using this method of unclogging a drain. However, you should not use these chemicals on your drain before you try using a plunger (see Method 2). If you use drain cleaners and then plunge your sink or tub, the chemicals may splash out of the drain and have corrosive effects.
Method 2: Use a Plunger
If you are looking for a drain cleaning equipment that does not involve unscrewing pipes, you should try using a plunger. If you are working on clearing a clog in a sink or tub, reach for a bell-shaped plunger. With a plunger, you may be able to break up the clog in your drain without having to take the pipes or stoppers apart. Follow these steps to use a plunger to unclog your drain:
- Fill your tub or sink with enough water to cover the plunger
- Ensure the bell of your plunger can completely cover the drain hole. Cover any overflow holes or drain holes as well.
- Do not apply too much pressure on your first plunge because the bell is filled with air. If you use too much force at first, you will splash water everywhere.
- Once the air is out of the bell of your plunger, you can plunge more forcefully. Make sure you maintain a seal on the drain hole to be effective.
- You may have to plunge 15-20 times to force water to break up the clog.
- It may be necessary to add more water to your sink or tub so that the bell stays covered, and air does not get into the drain.
Many clogged drains can be solved using a plunger. Stick with it, even if it takes several plunges to get a result. If your bathroom or toilet drain is still clogged after using a plunger, you should use a plumber’s snake. Here are All the ingenious ways to fix a clogged toilet.
Method 3: Use a Plumber’s Snake on Your Sink
You can find a plumber’s snake at any hardware store or home center for a relatively low price. This tool is made of wire, tightly wound, but very flexible. It can move through the sharp bends and 90-degree angles in your drain lines. Using a plumber’s snake will take a bit more time and effort, but it is still considerably more affordable than emergency plumbing services. Follow these steps to use a plumber’s snake to unclog your drain:
- Remove the P-trap from underneath the sink.
- Lay your snake out flat by uncoiling it. If you do not do this, the coil will spring out unexpectedly.
- Firmly push the plumber’s snake into your drain. You should use a twisting motion while you shove the snake so that it moves around corners in the drain line.
- If you feel resistance while shoving the snake down the drain, turn the coil clockwise. This motion will help wind the snake into obstructions. Try pulling back on the snake slightly. If there is resistance when you pull, you have something hooked on the coil, and you should remove it from the drain.
- Keep pushing the snake in the drain for as long as it will make progress. By turning the snake, you can break up clumps or clogs along the way.
- Reassemble the drain and run the water to see if the issue has been resolved.
- As you pull the plumber’s snake out of the drain, wipe off the dirt and scum.
- Replace the P-trap under the sink.
Method 4: Use a Plumbing Snake on Your Bathtub
This process can be a little more robust than using a plumbing snake on your sink. Start by removing your tub’s stopper mechanism. Remember to reference Method 1 and check for any visible hair or clogs that can be easily removed. Use your plumbing snake by feeding it through the overflow hole, which will allow the snake to move through the P-trap and drain line. You should only remove the P-trap as a final option.
Method 5: Non-Chemical Approach
Usually, you can get a remedy from a sink clog with drain cleaner, which is easily available at your local hardware store. But, if you think that the clog isn’t too rigid, you could also go for a non-chemical approach.
We recommend you to go naturally first and try these ways of natural drain cleaner to clean a sink drain.
- Pour an entire pot of boiling water directly into the drain. You might have to repeat this procedure many times to clear a clogged drain, but it’s an easy and non-expensive tip.
- Pour a cup of baking soda and an equal amount of white vinegar directly into the drain. You can use salt also in place of vinegar. Let this mixture down for about 10 minutes and then run hot water to clear a clogged drain.
Prevent Future Clogs
Many times, you may find the same drain clogging over and over. If this seems to be the case, you may have drainpipes that need cleaning or obstruction of some kind. It is also possible that the drain system was designed poorly and is prone to clogs. After you remove a clog and restore the flow of water, there are a few solutions you can try to prevent clogs in the future.
- Use a drain cleaning chemical solution. You can purchase powder or liquid chemicals for cleaning your drains at most hardware stores or supermarkets. These chemicals can remove hair and oil from bathroom sinks or grease from the drain in your kitchen sink. Here are the Easiest ways to unclog a bathroom sink and shower drain
- Take apart the trap and clean it. Also, snake the drain to remove any debris.
- Check the pipes for a slope less than 1/4 in per foot. These slopes are signs that there are too many turns in your drain system.
- Use a heavy-duty snake or contact a licensed plumbing contractor if a clog is deep in the drain system.
Top-Notch Drain Cleaning Services in Ventura County
If you find yourself in need of expert drain cleaning services in Ventura County, Gallegos Plumbing is ready to help. As the number one contractor for plumbing in Ventura County, the experts at Gallegos Plumbing have resolved countless issues involving clogged drains and repairs. Contact Gallegos Plumbing today to request service or call 805.750.1830 to have your clogged drain issue handled by our professionals.