How to Clear a Clogged Drain

plug in curve of plumbing
Chemical agent used to unclog some pipes. Digital illustration.

If your home has indoor plumbing (and we’re pretty sure most do nowadays), you’re going to experience a drain clog at some point. While tempting to use a chemical based option to clear a clogged drain, we want to caution you on doing so. Instead, follow some of the tips we’ve outlined below, and if you still need help at the end of the day, contact us for assistance.

But first, let’s look at a “patience is a virtue” step you should take before tackling the project.

First, let the water drain if possible
If water is still trickling down your drain, you may want to wait before anything just yet. By allowing the water to fully (or at least mostly) drain, you’ll be able to work more easily on the problem. A bathtub or sink that fills up with water can be frustrating. Having a little bit of patience can make your job easier.

Use a plumber’s snake
The goal with each of our suggestions and tips is to do what you can to clear the drain — not dissolve it with a chemical. Your best friend for this is to use a plumber’s snake to see if you can remove the obstruction. You might be surprised what you pull out: we won’t go into excessive detail, but let’s just say clogs can be more than just hair or soap scum.

Grab the plunger
Plungers can help clear out more than a backed-up toilet. While yes, they’re great for plunging your commode, they’re also helpful for using the “vacuum” nature to pull out the clog. This is also a case where you may want to leave a little bit of water so that you can visually see that the drain is clear.
As a side note, just be sure to sanitize your sink or bathtub once completed.

Clean out the overflow trap
A drain trap is one of the ways that smelly gasses stay out of your home. However, their U-shaped design also means that they are one source of clogged drains. Near the trap should be an access port of some kind. Use this to easily access the trap and excise the problem.

Use a power auger
For more extensively clogged drains, such as those on the floor, you may want to use a power auger to clear the obstruction. This can bore through larger problems, especially in places that are inaccessible (such as below the concrete in your basement).

Special situation: replace your primary drain line
In rare situations, your primary drain line for your house may have been invaded by roots. This is more common with older tile drain systems. But if you’re experiencing house-wide problems with your drains, this is worth looking into if other solutions don’t fix the problem.

The easiest way to clear a clogged drain
While some of these solutions are relatively simple, others are best handled by professionals. No matter what you do, we don’t recommend harsh chemical solutions. Rather, the optimal choice is to clear the drain.

Our team can help unclog any drain problem you may encounter. Let us know HERE if you need assistance and we’ll schedule a time to visit your home soon!

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