What if you just had a great dinner and while stacking up the plates to wash, you find out the sink is misbehaving? Or how about a bad day after spending hours under the sun and while you are back and rushing into the shower, you realize the water in your shower has backed up and you are standing ankle-deep staring at it beneath you? These happenings can simply ruin a happy moment or worsen a long tiring day.
Clogged drains occur due to several reasons. It can be due to an over-full of your garbage disposal, chunks of food particles along the pipelines et cetera. These sudden drainage problems often require an immediate assessment and repair by a professional plumber. With simple tips, any novice can successfully carry out this repair without needing professional assistance. Here is everything you should know about your clogged drains and how to fix the problem in a few steps:
What are the Different Clogged Drains?
You may experience a drainage problem in your bathroom sink from time to time. This is often because you leave certain things behind such as hardened toothpaste, hair from your comb, fallout from shaving, and soap particles. Fortunately, bathroom sinks can be easily unblocked.
Shower and Tub Drains
The main cause of this blockage is usually the hair. If you shave your beard and allow hair to fall out to the shower or tub while bathing, it will get clogged along the drainage pipe, and cause dirty water to flow back into the tub or shower.
This usually occurs at the foot of the basement if there is a leaking pipe traceable to the foundation of the house.
One of the main culprits of kitchen sink blockages is food particles and accumulated grease, which is why after eating, you should endeavour to get rid of food particles and grease from your plate and trash them in a can before washing the plate.
Which Tools are Required to Fix the Problem?
There are a few perfect tools that you can use to fix your drainage problem. These tools are affordable and it is a must-have for all homeowners because you can suddenly have clogged drainage and need them:
- Pail or Bucket: Get prepared with any of these and ensure they are suitable to place under your drain
- Snake: You can find models of 1/4 or 3/8 inches
- Plunger: Find the one with a short handle and big rubber bell, as they usually produce more force
- Rubber gloves.
- Adjustable wrench.
How do you Fix a Clogged Drain?
Even though drainage problems are better handled by professional plumbers, simple drainage problems can be solved without consulting them. There are a few steps you can follow to open a clogged drain by yourself, and they are as follows:
1. Remove Stagnant Water
The first thing you must do is to get rid of the water that stopped moving as quickly as possible. Leaving the water can cause it to smell, and breed bacteria, mold, and tiny insects. When you remove the water, it allows you to have enough room for the water you will be adding later to flush out the drain.
2. Remove Visible Clogs and Inspect Your Garbage Disposal
After the stagnant water is completely out of the drainage, the next step is for you to get rid of every visible blockage from food crumbs to hair. Ensure you do this while wearing your rubber gloves. If you access your garbage disposal and it sounds poorly, this means it has been blocked. If that is the case, unplug it, and turn the blades upside down to free the clog.
3. Add Salt, Baking Soda, and Vinegar, and Pour Boiling Water
This usually works mostly for kitchen clogs, even though it can also free other blockages. Simply heat a large portion of water to boil and first of all, add half cups each of either soda or table salt down the drain before pouring the boiling water.
For vinegar and soda, after adding these contents down the drain, wait for some minutes, and while it bubbles, pour the boiling water into the drain. You can repeat this tip more than once until the drainage becomes clog-free or until your plumber arrives.
4. Use a Plunger
Get a stout plunger and plunge off the clogs if you have tried the previously mentioned steps and it is still blocked. Before plunging, stuff a cloth in the overflow hole of the tub or basin or use a stopper to close the sink at the reverse side. Doing this improves the strength of the seal and sends forceful pressure into the blockage. Make sure you plunge energetically and afterwards, flush warm water down the drain.
5. Clean the P-trap Before You Snake it
The P-trap is usually found under the sink, at the curve of the drainage pipe. Before snaking it, put a pail or bucket under the drainage, to collect debris and water. Once you have done this, set the slip nut free by gently shaking the trap arm. Thereafter, make sure you tighten it securely with your hand.
6. Snake the Drain
If you cannot see any blockage even after taking out the P-trap, simply shake the drain. While doing this, remove the P-trap and make the pipe visible before you pass the tip of the snake into it.
Once you are done, hand-tighten the screw sets and use a clockwise motion to spin the snake toward the drainage. Spin the snake continuously until the clogs are released. Finally, withdraw the snake, and assemble the P-trap again before flushing warm water down the newly opened drainage line.
If you have clogged drainage, there is nothing to worry about as these steps are easy to try out. However, if the blockage is complex and requires plumbing assistance, ensure that you contact a licensed professional plumber to give you the best repair.