Clogged drains are a common problem, but they can often be resolved without calling in a professional. What’s more, you don’t need to use toxic chemicals to clear out your clog. With a little patience and some tried and true methods, you can often unclog your drain by yourself, in a reasonably short amount of time.
- First, try to physically remove what’s causing the problem. One common cause of clogs is hair collected around a pop-up stopper or strainer. You may be able to remove the hair and clear the clog, or you might be able to use a drain stick to clear clogs caused by a hair in a P-trap or an S-trap. Cleaning a sink trap can remove clogs caused by buildup or a foreign object, a plunger can clear clogs that aren’t too far into the pipes, and a plumbing snake can clear deep blockages.
- A chemical drain cleaner can break up stubborn clogs. Choose a product suitable for your system and the type of pipes you have. For instance, if you have a septic system, make sure the drain cleaner is septic-safe. Never mix drain cleaners, and don’t use any drain opening tools after you’ve used a drain cleaner. Because the chemicals in drain cleaners are harsh, be careful not to let it come into contact with finished fixtures like faucets, stoppers, or drain trim.
- A less toxic alternative is a natural drain cleaner. Aside from being gentler on your pipes and features, natural drain cleaners are less likely to negatively impact the environment than chemical drain cleaners.
- DIY Drain Cleaner: Put ½ cup baking soda into your drain, making sure it all goes down. Pour in ½ cup white vinegar into the drain, covering it immediately with a stopper or rag so that the bubbles stay in the drain. Wait 2 minutes and pour another ½ cup of vinegar into the drain, again stopping it with a rag or stopper. Wait 15-30 minutes, then pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain. You may have to repeat the process for a stubborn clog.
- Dish Soap and Water: This is especially good if the clog is caused by grease. Just squirt a good amount of soap down the drain, following it with a pot full of boiling water.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda, and pour it down the drain. Let it foam, and it should break up the clog and clear the drain.
- Prevention is the best cure. Never pour coffee grounds, grease, or anything else that can solidify or clump into a sink. If you use disposal, run plenty of cold water to flush down food particles. Frequently clean pop-up stoppers and strainers, and consider using a treatment designed to reduce buildup in pipes.
If you can’t seem to clear the clog, it may be time to call in the professionals at A-1 Sewer and Septic Service. Having served the residents of the Kansas City Metro Area since 1968, we’ve earned a reputation for efficient service at affordable, up-front prices. We’re available on your schedule, and we offer same-day and weekend service at no extra charge. Give us a call at 913-631-5201, or reach us through the Contact Us page on our website.