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Plumbing for Beginners: Simple Tips to Unclog Your Drain

Staff Post

Posted on November 08 2017

The build-up to a clogged sink is a gradual process. First, you start noticing that the water takes longer than usual to go down. Then the stench coming from it starts getting rancid and possible unbearable as the days go by. Eventually, the water overflows and you’re left with a flooded bathroom and a ruined carpet. No amount of sink strainers and plunging can remove or prevent this from occurring since this phenomenon is inevitable. Would you believe me if I told you that you can fix this mess without having to spend so much on a plumber? With a little zeal, you can actually ‘MacGyver’ your way to a clear sink? Here are some DIY tips on how to unclog your drain!

  1. BOILING WATER

This method is the simplest way to free up your clogged drain at home. All you need is a kettle of boiling hot water that can melt away the gunk that’s been blocking your drain. Pour down water in three divided steps, leaving a few minutes in between each pour. In the middle of each, test the drain to see if it has already unclogged. If it does even without finishing the three turns you can opt to leave it be. This method of unclogging a drain is simple and pretty effective.

  1.  BAKING SODA WITH VINEGAR

Baking soda is a home cleaners magic elixir for a lot of household messes; unclogging a drain is no exception. This mixture is good for disintegrating the impeding dirt and grime in your pipes. To create the mixture take ⅓ cup of baking soda and mix it with ⅓ cup of vinegar. It will immediately form a fizzling reaction. Pour the mixture immediately down the drain to dissolve the substances inside. Let it sit overnight then flush out the contents with boiling water. Another method would be to pour some baking soda down and then drain then add the vinegar after. Lastly, another way to use this method to unclog a drain of a tub would be to repeat the first method, then stopper the drain. After doing so, fill the tub with water, then when it’s filled, unplug the stopper. The pressure of the water will push the contents down the drain. Again, let it sit overnight then flush with hot water. You’ll have clean pipes in no time.

  1.  BAKING SODA WITH SALT

Another baking soda solution to your clog drain is mixing it with ordinary table salt. This mixture will also create a dissolving liquid that will rid you of the nasty clogs in your sink. Just prepare half a cup of ordinary table salt and ½ cup of baking soda in the clogged drain. After doing so, leave it for 30 minutes then flush out the clog with boiling water. This will give it time to completely react to any hindrances in your tubes and will rid you of your clogged drain.

  1.  CLEANING THE PIPES

This is a no-brainer solution to unclogging the drain because what better way to do so that to manually remove the hindrance? This job isn’t as difficult as it seems, you just need to prepare a big bucket to collect the water and gunk out. Place the big bucket under the collection of tubes and the u-shaped tube of the sink. Remove the u-tube under the sink by loosening the nuts using a plumber’s wrench, then manually unscrewing the nuts using your hands. Check the tube for any corrosions, or clogs because the u-tube could be the source of the blockage, then clean it up. After doing so, use drains snakes to clean out the other pipes of the sink. You can watch a bunch of youtube videos for this part. Be your own handy-mum and try doing this at home!

  1.  SODIUM HYDROXIDE

A.k.a caustic soda; this method will require ample amount of protective gear such as rubber gloves and eyewear because it can burn your skin. Be careful with handling this mixture. If you get some on your skin, wash it away with running water or go to the hospital if the damage is too severe. Have ¾ gallons of water ready then add 3 cups of caustic soda to it. Stir the mixture with a wooden object while waiting for it to sizzle and heat up. When it does, pour it down the clogged drain then leave it for 30 minutes. Unclog the drain with boiling hot water afterward. Repeat the procedure if necessary.

  1.  VACUUM

You’d be surprised at how effective this is. Use your vacuum by creating a seal on the drain (like an old plunger end, then connect it to your vacuum. The seal must have no room or space for the air to seep out of or else this method won’t work. After making sure that the seal is airtight, let the vacuum create enough negative pressure to suck out your clog. Simple and easy to do, you should try this sometime.

  1.   WIRE HANGER

Another effective and simple way to unclog your drain would be to obtain a wire hanger, straighten it then create a hook at the end. You can use this to fish out the clog from your drain. Be sure to not push the clog further in the pipes because you’ll have a more difficult time removing the filth from the pipes. This method takes a certain skill with the tool but you’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.

If these methods do not work, then your drain problem may be pipe-deep and only a professional plumber can help you with that. But a great preventive way to clear your drain would be to use a strainer or remove leftover food from your plates and throwing them in the trash before you wash the dishes so that they won’t fall in the drain and clog your pipes. This won’t guarantee you unclogged pipes but they can slow down the process.

Hopefully, this article helps you with your drain situation and if you know of any other DIY tips for unclogging the drain, let us know in the comments section below.

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