Plumbing develops clogs over time; it’s a normal fact of life. However, you don’t have to be stumped the next time it happens to you. There are ways to take care of the clog on your own and get the functional use of your sink and bathroom back. Try these convenient methods for unclogging your blocked drain and minimize any inconvenience to you:
- Pour boiling water
Solutions don’t come easier than pouring some boiling water down the drain. Get yourself a kettle full of water (or use the stove or microwave if you don’t have a kettle) and bring it to a boil. Pour the water down the drain in three stages, giving the water a few seconds to work in between each pour.
It may take a few repetitions, but this method often works on different kinds of blockage. One great tip to prevent blockage is pouring some hot water down the drain after anything that could cause clogs. The hot water helps keep everything else flowing down the drain and prevents buildup that could block the drain later.
- Use a plunger
A common household plunger is a great tool to have handy in case of clogging. If you’re working with a sink or bathtub, fill it up with enough water to cover the bottom of the plunger first, then put the plunger over the drain and plunge on it a few times.
You can also give the plunger a helping hand by temporarily filling up other outlets. For example, if you have an overflow outlet, fill it up with a rag to help the plunger’s suction work effectively.
- Try a drain snake
A plumber’s snake, also known as an auger, is readily available at most hardware stores. Essentially, it’s a long, flexible metal rope with a spiral of metal at the end that can snake down the drain and snag the clog, allowing you to pull it free.
Snake the auger down your drain until you reach the block, then crank and pull up to pull the blockage free. It may take a few tries to remove the buildup completely. Pour some water down the drain to test if there’s anything left in the pipe.
- Check the p-trap
Sometimes you need to take an alternate route to get at a block, namely via the p-trap under the sink. Place a bucket under the drain to catch any water left in the pipes, then unfasten the p-trap from the drainpipe and clear out anything stuck in the pipes. Check the p-trap as well to make sure you’ve dealt with the entire blockage. After replacing the p-trap, run some water through the drain to check that it’s working properly now.
- Use vinegar and baking soda
A mixture of vinegar and baking soda can often work to weaken clogs. Pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a similar amount of vinegar. The solution will bubble at first, but eventually, it’ll subside. When that happens, insert the stopper and wait at least 15 minutes. After that time, run some hot water through the drain to flush away the remaining buildup.
Some plumbing problems are simple enough to fix on your own, but the harder ones are best left to trusted Ontario plumbers. Some complex clogs can be difficult to address on your own, so leave it to the pros to fix the problem efficiently.