Blocked drains are a problem that most homeowners have to face at some point. Before you call a plumber, try these five top tips to clear the blockage yourself.
1. Run Hot Water Down the Drain
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Simply running hot water down a sluggish drain can sometimes encourage whatever is blocking the drain to move through the pipe. Heat can also liquify congealed fats, which are a common cause of slow-draining kitchen sinks.
2. Try Mixing Baking Soda and Vinegar
Vinegar and baking soda are two staples that many people have in their kitchen cupboards. Mixing them together is an easy way to create your own homemade drain cleaner. This solution is more environmentally friendly than chemical drain cleaners. All you need to do is tip the bubbling solution into the blocked drain and wait for the acid to dissolve whatever organic matter is causing the clog.
3. Try Using a Drain Snake
Drain snakes are useful for removing objects and hair from drains. You can pick one up at your nearest hardware store. Feed the drain snake into the drain and wiggle it around to dislodge the blockage. If you are using the drain snake to deal with a hair clog, you will need to keep pulling it up, removing the hair, and dipping it back into the drain until it comes up clean.
4. Use the Right Kind of Plunger
Many people know that plungers can help with household plumbing problems, but not everyone realises that there is more than one type of plunger. The type with a flat, round head is useful for unblocking sinks, bathtubs, and shower drains. If the blockage is in the toilet, you will need a toilet plunger instead.
5. Shop For Drain Cleaning Products
Chemical drain cleaners are useful for dissolving clogs in home plumbing systems. However, you should always read the packaging carefully before you pour a chemical cleaner into your bathtub, sink, or shower. Some cleaners can damage enamel, which makes them unsuitable for use in enamel bathtubs. You should also take care to keep chemical drain cleaners away from children and out of contact with your eyes and skin.
If none of these tips helps you resolve your blocked drains, contact a local plumber. Professionals can use specialist tools and draw on years of experience to handle even the most stubborn clogs.