Cleaning Clogged Drains
When your sink, toilet or tub drains out slow or gets blocked, you have to look for a permanent solution. The clogged drains also lead to bad odor. This bad odor signals an upcoming potential trouble. The clogging may be caused by buildup of sludge with hair, dust, leaves, tree roots, etc. that need a cleanup.
Although cleaning a clogged drain may not be a fun, you can try to clean the clogged drains yourself in easy steps using the following tools before calling a plumber to clear that clog.
- Drain opener
- Drain-and-trap auger
- Wire coat hanger
- Stiff brush
- Wet cloths
- Petroleum jelly
Most kitchen sinks do not have any overflow vent. If it is a twin side-by-side basin, you should plug the drain opening of other basin with wet cloths. Also, cover overflow opening with a wet cloth. In some homes, the other bathrooms are connected to the same drain. In this case, you will need to block the other basin at its drain as well as overflow vent. Bathtubs also have drain openings. Close them all with wet cloths so that the plunger can work properly.
Fill the clogged basin with water so as to cover the plunger head. Coat petroleum jelly on the lip of plunger to create a better seal. Put the slide plunger-cup into drain opening and pump the plunger up and down rapidly to create water pressure so that it dislodges the stuff choking the drain and rushes out water.
If there is no clog in a fixture’s trap, you have to clean drainpipe. Push a drain-and-trap auger into the pipe extension going to the wall and move the auger to and fro. Try this procedure two or three times. If it does not work, you will need to try chemical drain cleaning method.
Chemical drain opener may work in completely clogged drains. However, it is advisable to use drain-and-trap auger and avoid use of chemicals that can harm fixtures and pipes. Remove strainer and feed the flexible auger-wire into its opening and crank handle of auger. Loosen and tighten thumbscrew on its handle. The wire will move further. When the wire strikes some clogging material, move the wire back and forth and continue turning the handle.
You can try to clean the clog near the tub’s drain, start from the tub drain and move to the overflow and next the drum trap, if you cannot clean it at the previous place
If you are not able to clear the drain with auger, you have to remove the clean-out plug of the sink. Collect the water in a bucket. Use wire coat hanger that has hook shape and try to hit the clog. Otherwise, work with wire of drain-and-trap auger. Move it into clean out towards basin and drainpipe to remove blockage.
If there is a clean out in the trap, remove the trap. Clean it with the help of wire coat hanger followed by a stiff brush along with hot soapy water. Replace the trap. If trap is not clogged, you will need to clean drainpipe itself with the auger. If you do not find blockage even in the pipe, the main drain may be clogged.
For a clogged drain in bathtub try cleaning with plunger. If it does not clean, remove overflow plate and enter auger directly into its overflow pipe and move it down into drainpipe.
It may not be possible for you to clean clogged drains, if you are not a do it yourself guy. Unclogging floor drains as well as main drain pipes is a still difficult task. It is best to use the services of qualified and experienced plumbers who can easily find the type and location of the clogging by using the latest equipment and tools. They can solve several problems without breaking or digging and removing the pipelines, repair the clogged drains efficiently and minimize damage. Moreover, they can advise you to prevent any future drain clogging.