Tips For Unclogging Drains

If you've got a pesky clogged drain, then you might be ready to call a plumber. But before you do that, you might want to try out these methods for unclogging that drain on your own. If you are still at a loss after trying each of the following techniques, then a plumber is probably your best bet anyway.

1. Hot Water

The first solution is also the simplest. Hot water can do wonders when it comes to breaking up clogs. The key is to use water that's actually hot. The hot water coming out of your tap may seem hot, but it won't necessarily be hot enough to actually work in this situation. Instead, you want to heat up some water separately, even bringing it to a boil if you want. However, the problem with boiling water is that it can compromise the integrity of rubber seals. Many drains have these seals around their rims, which ultimately means you need to be very careful about where you pour the water. If you use boiling water, make sure that it all goes directly down the drain, rather than allowing it to overflow or run over the rim.

For particularly tricky clogs, you can combine hot water with baking soda and vinegar to create an extremely effective clog-busting solution. Simply add hot water and half a cup of baking soda to the drain and let it sit. This will allow the baking soda to get deep inside the clog. Wait 15 minutes or so and add anywhere from half a cup to a full cup of vinegar. This will create a rather explosive reaction inside the drain. If possible, try to cover the top of the drain, because that will force the reaction downwards, towards the clog.

2. Plungers

Plungers are also a great way to break up clogs, but you might be a little worried about using a regular plunger on your sink drain, and for good reason. You don't want to use the same plunger on your toilet that you use on your sink. Instead, you might want to try out a miniature plunger. Some of these plungers have alternate pumping mechanisms that allow them to exert a lot of pressure downwards without requiring too much force on your part.

Simply pump the plunger over the drain several times, making sure that there is a complete seal formed by the plunger contacting the bottom of the sink/shower/toilet/etc. You can release the seal once your feel the clog get dislodged. However, clogs can easily reform a bit further down the pipe, so you don't want to celebrate just yet. Instead, wait a minute or two to see if the problem emerges again. If it does, then try using the plunger several more times. If you still don't see any progress, then a plumber is a good choice.