How to fix clogged drains

03 Jan. 19

How to Unclog a Drain Before You Call the Plumber

It’s almost inevitable that a drain in your house will get clogged at some point. There are dozens of reasons that your drains might be clogged. Soap and hair are two of the most common, but many other things can end up in your drain. So, if you have something clogging your drain, you first need to figure out where the clog might be.

Finding the Clog

 Each fixture in your house has a pipe that drains liquid away. Those pipes then combine into a main drain that takes waste away from your house. So, if you have a clog in one fixture, it’s likely just a clog in that fixture. If more than one fixture is clogged up, then it’s likely a clog further down in the main drain. If that’s the case, then you’ll need a plumber to come to your house and fix it. If it’s only one drain, then you might be able to fix it yourself.

You can often find a clog in the fixture by running water. If the water immediately starts backing up, then the clog is probably pretty close to the surface. If it takes longer, the clog is farther down. Be careful to keep an eye on washing machine drains as well. A clog there could end up backing water up into your home, causing a massive case of water damage!

Clearing the Clog

 There are two basic ways to clear a clog; you can use a drain snake or you can use a chemical drain cleaner. A drain snake has the benefit of being safe for most pipes. A chemical rooter is typically pretty effective, but not completely. Also, chemical rooters are sometimes dangerous for certain types of pipes. They work by dissolving the substance clogging the drain so it can be flushed away. A mechanical rooter works by grabbing the clog and pulling it out; alternatively, you can dislodge it so the water flushes it away.

Your best option is to call a local plumber and ask them about the ideal way to clear your drain. You should ask them which liquid rooters they recommend. The type of clog also can determine the best way to remove it. That’s another thing you should ask a plumber about.

Type of Clog

 If the clog is in your shower or bathtub, it’s likely a clog of soap or hair. You can clear a soap clog by running water through the drain. That’s also an ideal type of clog for using a liquid rooter. If it’s hair, the best option is to use a drain snake to pull the clump of hair out of the drain.

If it’s a major clog in the toilet or sink, it’s likely a foreign object. You’ll need a local Boise plumber in most cases to handle this situation.