Top 7 Ways To Unclog Your Drain

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When your water won’t drain from your sink or your toilet refuses to flush, you’re one step away from a complete plumbing disaster in your home. After all, water should go down, not up. 

You have options when the water just sits stagnate in your sink and your toilet threatens to overflow. You can attack that drain and unclog your ways before you do anything else. 

By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand seven simple techniques that could unclog your drain and give you a functioning sewer system once again. 

1. Wire Hangers

Sometimes a complicated problem requires a simple solution. A wire hanger can solve your clogged drain problems if you approach it right.

Begin by using a needle nose pliers to unwind the wire from the hook on the hanger. Then straighten out the hanger as much as possible. 

Next, create a nub at the end of the wire. Again, using the needlenose pliers, fold a quarter inch of the end of the wire into itself. Use the hook end of the hanger since it is already in the hook shape. The twisted end is a bit too complicated to twist, and it won’t flex as well when you push it down the drain pipe. 

Wiggle the hanger around inside the drain as you push the wire through the pipe. You will eventually reach a stopping point when you hit the clog. Gently lift the wire out of the drain at this point and shake the clogged materials into your garbage. 

Then snake the wire through the pipe again to grab more debris. Keep repeating this process until you have cleared the pipe. 

2. Wet Dry Vac

If you need more muscle to break up the clog, a wet and dry shop vacuum could help. 

Begin by adjusting the wet-dry vac’s settings so they can suck up liquids. Then cover up the vent on the vacuum to prevent a smelly mess. If you do not cover the vent, you will end up with debris all over the room where you’re working. 

Then put the hose over the drain and create a tight seal. You could adapt an old plunger head to the end of the hose. Duct tape could work to attach the plunger, and then you can create a seal over the drain. 

Then turn on the vacuum to its highest setting. This amount of suction could draw up the clog and into your shop vac. 

3. Boiling Water

Sometimes your clog is just a mass of grease that has cooled and solidified. If that’s the case, simple boiling water could melt down the clog and break it up. 

So begin by putting a kettle on the stove or microwaving several cups of water. Heat the water to boiling.

Visualize the water as two or three parts. Then pour the water slowly down the drain, one part at a time. Do not dump the water down quickly, but rather move slowly and allow the hot water to work on the clog. 

Boiling water is the quickest and simplest way to unclog a drain. If the clog breaks free, and you still have hot water left, you can brew yourself a cup of tea. 

4. Dish Soap

If hot water does not dissolve your clog, dish soap can do wonders. Dish soap can work well in a sink or toilet clog.

Begin by pouring 1/4 cup of dish soap down the bowl of the toilet or sink. Then put your kettle back on the stove and boil water. The dish soap works like a lubricant, breaking up greasy clogs. 

The hot water then melts the clog. Slowly pour the hot water down the drain again, and begin plunging the drain aggressively. 

If your plunger does not unclog the drain, glove up with some rubber gloves and see if you can manually break up the clog. 

5. Roto-Rooter

Roto-Rooter is the name of a professional company that unclogs drains, but it also refers to the act of unclogging your drain using a wire snake or auger. This low-tech piece of equipment breaks up stubborn clogs. 

The snake consists of a tightly coiled wire that has a thicker wire coil tip at the end. Once you’ve purchased the auger at a local hardware store, the process of breaking up the clog is simple. 

You simply run the pipe through your drain and pull it out with the clog.

If your clog is too stubborn or deep, you’ll have to call a professional drain cleaner. At this point, you have exhausted your resources and need to rely on the experts. 

6. Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can clean out some clogs with the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda down your drain, approximately 1/4 cup. Then follow this with vinegar. 

Give the chemical reaction a chance to work for a few minutes. Then follow the vinegar with hot water to loosen any debris left. 

7. Liquid Cleaners

You can find a handful of different chemical drain cleaners at your local hardware store. Such cleaners will dissolve the clog when you let them set in the drain. 

Pour the prescribed amount of cleaner down the sink, and wait the prescribed amount of time. Each cleaner takes approximately 15 minutes depending on the intensity of the drain cleaner. 

Unlike baking soda and vinegar, you need to be careful to store such drain cleaners away from small children and pets. Most drain cleaners are toxic if swallowed. 

Unclog Your Ways With Confidence

When the water begins to refuse to go down the drain, there’s no reason to panic. You can attack the drain and unclog your ways. You need simple tools like a wire coat hanger, dish soap, hot water, a shop vac, and, if necessary, a snake. 

If all of your DYI methods have not worked, you can always still call in a professional. 

Do you have a stubborn drain? If so, contact Alpha Environmental. Our professionals are ready to help you get things moving once again. 

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Lake Oswego, OR
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