How to Safely Unclog Your Drains | Priority Plumbing

Priority Plumbing

How to Safely Unclog Your Drains

When it comes to bathtub and sink drains, it is easy to take the job they perform for granted. After all, other than us at Priority Plumbing & Drains — who is actively thinking and worrying about drains? For the most part, drains successfully dispose of wastewater from showers and sinks with relative ease, letting it all travel down into the sewers — out of sight, out of mind. However, when a shower or kitchen sink drain is blocked, many homeowners can’t think about much else! 

Clogged drains are absolute nuisances that can disrupt everyday routines, but they can also leave families exposed to dirty, stagnant water, encourage mold and mildew growth, and, if left unchecked for too long, corrode and damage the pipes. If you notice water draining slowly or not at all, it has already gone too far. It’s time to clear that drain out! 

We at Priority Plumbing & Drains know a thing or two about drain cleaning, and we want to give you some safe and effective solutions to drain clogs in your home. Continue reading to learn more! 

Use a DIY Drain Cleaner

For light clogs that have not completely blocked the drain, pouring a teapot of hot water could be the best remedy. Note: this solution works best with metal piping. PVC pipes may soften or weaken if the water temperature rises above 175 degrees Fahrenheit (about 79 degrees Celsius) — in this case, use hot water that has not been boiled. If the clog doesn’t budge, then pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain and add ¼ cup of vinegar. Be sure to close the drain cover before it fizzes out into the sink or tub. Once the foam has subsided, pour another ¼ cup of vinegar into the drain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then, flush the drain with hot water. 

Use a Trusty Plunger

Plunging a toilet is a skill that every homeowner should have, but most don’t think about wielding a plunger for a sink or tub drain blockage. We would recommend blocking the overflow drain at the top of the tub or sink basin with duct tape before placing a standard plunger over the clogged drain and pumping away. 

Use a Drain Snake or Auger

Another great solution for smaller, everyday clogs, especially for hair and soap blockages, is a drain snake. Available for very low prices at most hardware stores, a drain snake is usually a strip of hardy plastic with teeth on both sides. You can use this tool to break through and pull out blockages. If that doesn’t work, borrow or buy a handheld auger and clear out the drain in moments. Luckily, these tools aren’t expensive! 

Beware of Chemical Cleaners

You might have noticed that we recommend using benign DIY cleaners, but not the high-powered chemical cleaners you see all the time on TV commercials and store shelves everywhere. While chemical drain cleaners are extremely effective at clearing out clogs, there is such a thing as doing too good of a job. In the case of chemical cleaners and your drains, that’s not necessarily a good thing! 

If you have tried the safe alternatives, and are toying with the idea of heading to the store for some chemical cleaners, put down your car keys and pick up the phone instead! Call Priority Plumbing & Drains today, and we will send out skilled and experienced plumbers to clear out the clog safely as soon as possible!