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5 Easy DIY Methods for Fixing a Clogged Sink
Have you ever stood under a relaxing, hot shower only to find a puddle of lukewarm water forming around your ankles? If so, you probably have a drain clog at work.
Clogs are one of those inevitable parts of life. They happen to the best of us.
And they aren’t relegated to the shower. Clogs can show up in any sink or drain in your home. That’s why it’s important to know how to bust them before they get worse.
Take back your shower! Here are 5 easy DIY methods for fixing a clogged sink.
DIY Clog Busters
There are certain times when you need to call a plumber for a clog. And we’ll go over that later in this article. But before you do that, you can try a few DIY tricks to help bust up and remove clogs.
1. Boil It
One way to kill a clog is with heat. If the clog is caused by food or oil, this can help melt the oil and move the particles through. Since boiling water is easy to get and free to do, you should try this one first.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Then immediately pour it down your clogged drain. Take care to wear gloves and pour slowly so you don’t get burned by splashing water.
If the drain has standing water in it, remove as much of the water as you can before you do this. That way the hot water won’t lose steam as it passes into the drain pipe.
If it doesn’t work the first time, give it another try. Just be sure to remove as much of the standing water as you can before you do it again.
2. Salt It
Pour a cup of table salt down your drain before flushing it with boiling water. The salt may help dissolve some of the particles in the pipe.
Another drain-friendly option is to mix a cup of baking soda and a cup of salt together. Pour this down the drain and let it sit for a few hours before you flush again with boiling water. Baking soda has the added benefit of making the drain smell better too.
Or try pouring in a cup of baking soda followed by vinegar. Let sit and flush with boiling water. Any of these options can be done several times if necessary to move the clog.
3. Plunge It
We usually associate our household plunger with toilet clogs. But it’s an effective tool on drain clogs too.
The key to using the plunger is that you want to create a seal around it so that the suction works properly. Place the plunger over the drain. Then fill the sink so that the plunger head is completely submerged.
Pull up on the plunger several times with quick, jerking motions. This suction may be enough to dislodge the clog in the drain and send it on its way. Then flush the drain with hot water.
4. Snake It
There are a variety of products available at your local home store that you can use to snake out the clog yourself. Many of them are inexpensive and worth a try before you call in the plumber.
A drain snake is a steel wire that coils through the pipe using a crank. To use one, you’ll need to take apart the P trap underneath the sink to get to the main drain pipe. Check the P trap to make sure the clog isn’t there first.
Once the P trap is removed, insert the snake into the main drain pipe and coil it through. It will catch any drain particles and push them through.
5. Douse It
Another option is to try a commercial drain clearing product. You’ll find these in the home goods section of your local box store. Many of these drain cleaners use chemicals to break up the clog.
Pour the product down your drain and let it sit for the correct amount of time, based on the directions. Then flush the drain with hot water.
These products work best if you clear most of the water from the drain before you pour them. And you may need to do this more than once to get the drain to clear.
Using commercial drain clearing products is okay on an occasional basis. But if used too much, they can damage your pipes. So if you’re having regular drain issues, it’s best to call a professional.
How to Avoid a Clogged Sink in the First Place
Prevention is key when you’re dealing with drain clogs. Drains are meant to direct water and soap into your sewer or septic system. That’s all!
Never pour paint or other chemicals down your drains. This is harmful to your pipes and also your septic system. And can lead to a big plumbing bill.
Watch out for the drains in the kitchen where food and oil tend to get flushed into the sink. Installing a garbage disposal is one way to keep your kitchen pipes clog-free. Avoid clogs in your disposal by always running water through it when it’s turned on.
You can also use a small drain strainer to keep food out of your pipes. These strainers are easy to use and cheap. Get them for your shower and bathroom sinks too to keep hair from sneaking into your drains.
Also, never pour cooking oil down your drain. As the oil cools, it solidifies and coats the inside of your pipes. This oil coating serves as a glue trap for debris and can cause a future clog.
If your pipes are beginning to run slow, it might be beneficial to have a professional drain cleaning done. This service can clear out debris before clogs form and save you some hassle.
When It’s Time to Call for Help
If you’ve tried your best to clear your clogged sink and still haven’t fixed the problem, it’s time to call for help. Plumbers have access to longer drain snakes so they can tackle clogs deeper in your pipe system.
Are you ready for a professional hand? Here are some important questions to ask before hiring a plumbing contractor.
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