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How to fix a clogged drain

A drain is a small part of a larger system of pipes that are under your house. The sole role of these pipes is to carry the water from the kitchen, bathroom to the community drainage system.

Each time you wash something in the sink or take a shower, that water goes through a series of underground pipes and to the main community drain. The pipes on your property are smaller in diameter than those of the community system. Because of the smaller diameter, these drains get clogged in time.

4 Signs That The Drain Is Clogged

Having a clogged drainage is stressful and costly most of the time. Hiring a professional plumber to unclog it comes with a price. Depending on the area and where the clog is located in the drain system, it can end in a few hundred-dollar bill.

Therefore, it will be good for you to check whether the drain is showing some early signs of blockage. Doing so it will prevent doing further damage to your pipes. The following are the most common signs when your drain is about to get clogged.

There’s an unpleasant odor coming from the drain. When your drain is clogged, there is a high percentage that it will emit an unpleasant odor. It’s caused mainly by the food and fats stuck onto the pipes. Thus, food slowly decomposes, which eventually creates a bad smell. It will spread all throughout when the tap is being turned on, making the smell a lot worse. 

Water drains slow. When the drain is blocked, there’s a high likelihood that the flow of water will be restricted. The reason behind this is that the water must filter through the blockage, producing a sluggish flow. 

Water levels raised. If the toilet is clogged then the water level in the toilet gets easily raised and it does not go away. The pipes are blocked if that’s the case. If you notice it overflows suddenly, you might have a much bigger and serious problem. A main drain pipe under the house may be clogged. If that happens, stop putting more water in the drain system.

When there is a gurgling sound, there is a high possibility that the drain may be blocked or partially obstructed. The sound may indicate that air is trapped inside the drain due to insufficient drain flow. 

If ever you see any of these signs, you should check if your drain system is still in good condition. It’s better to prevent clogs and not wait until the drain is fully blocked.

4 Methods to fix a clogged drain

Regularly cleaning the drain is the least expensive option in order to avoid paying a plumber or damage your drainage system. Luckily, here are some things you can try to unclog your drain at home, as a small DIY project. 

Flush using boiling water

It is an easy and guaranteed way to unclog drains that have a small clog. With minimal effort, your drain will be free from those little blockages. When pouring boiling water, you must wait for the water to drain and flush it with water. A simple reminder, though, this method works better on steel pipes.

Make your own drain cleaner

There are different kinds of clogs that can cause damage to your drain. While you can find multiple commercial drain cleaners, you can also do one basic at home. Mix some water with baking soda and pour it in the drain. Wait for a couple of minutes for the water level to decrease and pour some water again. If the level of water is not draining fast, you can repeat the step.

Plunge it

A plunger is a tool that should not miss from any house. Using it is simple but is a method that works. You can do this by plopping it up above your sink or bathtub drain then start the plunging. 

Buy or create a drain snake

A drain snake is an easy way to unclog drains. The procedure is really simple, insert the drain snake until it hits the clog. Start rotating the lever and try to push easily inside the drain. However, you must be careful when using a snake drain so you do not damage the pipes. It would be best if you remembered that this works with small or light clogs.

When doing all of these things, you must always make sure to be careful during the process. It will be a bigger problem if you possibly do it wrong, leading to some damage to your drains.  

Clogged Drains FAQ

Q: Why the drain of the shower clogs?

A: While we shower, hair gets carried with water in the shower’s drain. In time, the hair can form a solid clog and obstruct the drain completely. In these situations, you can search for a drain cleaner that can break or partially dissolve the hair.

Q: Can a clogged drain cause leak?

A: In some cases, a clogged drain can cause leaks. If the water does not exit the house’s main drain line fast, it can leak on weak connections between the pipes.

Q: Can Coke be used as a drain cleaner?

A: Coke can be used as a drain cleaner only for kitchen sinks. Most of the clogs that occur in a kitchen are because of fat deposits on pipes. Coke can dissolve fats in time. Be sure to leave it for at least an hour to be sure of its success.

A: Can bleach clear clogged drains?

Q: Using bleach to clear clogs is not recommended. Bleach is not entirely safe for human skin. Usually when trying to clear a clog, some of the water may jump on you. If the bleach gets in contact with your skin or eye, it may hurt you.

A: How to find the clog?

Q: In order to find the clog, you must see if the water flow is restricted only in a certain room. If your kitchen drain is clogged, try also in the bathroom. If the water flow is restricted only in the kitchen then the problem is with the pipes in there. If you encounter the same issue also in the bathroom, then the problem may be on the house main drain line. In that case, it’s recommended to contact a plumber.

A: Can vinegar be used as a drain cleaner?

Q: Vinegar can be used with success in the kitchen. Due to the fact that the vinegar is acidic, it can break fats down resulting in successfully unclogging the drain.

Q: What to do when you clogged the drain with rice?

A: If you managed to clog the drain with rice you only have two options, to use a plunger or a drain snake to unclog it. Most commercial cleaners will not work appropriately for rice. In the future try to refrain yourself from throwing rice in the kitchen’s drain.

Q: What’s the difference between a clogged and a frozen pipe?

A: It’s very unusual for a drainpipe to froze. Drainpipes are designed only to carry the water. Usually, they do not hold water in them, only air. In 99% of cases, the drain has to be clogged. Only in the case the drain was clogged, and water was still inside the pipes then it may occur, but again, it’s extremely unlikely.  

Last Updated on March 13, 2023

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