Clogs happen. In a perfect world, they probably wouldn’t. But, in a perfect world, everyone would use just two sheets of toilet paper and nothing else would go into the drains.
Worrying about how the clog happened is not going to solve the issue, although understanding this can help to prevent it from happening again.
When faced with a clog you have two options:
- Get a professional
The easiest response is to call an emergency plumber and have them deal with the issue for you. They have the tools and the experience to handle any clog.
This is an effective approach. However, it is worth trying option two first.
- Do it yourself
There are several things you can do to unblock any drain in your home and these are worth trying first.
However, you should note that while chemicals can work, they are also likely to damage the inside of your pipes, potentially resulting in future issues.
Plunge The Drain
The most obvious starting point is to plunge the drain. You’ll need to choose the right size and type of plunger for the appliance. Toilet plungers are significantly bigger than sink ones. The plunger needs to cover the drain, blocking airflow. You can then slowly but firmly move it up and down to create a vacuum which will force the blockage to move.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
This is a viable way to unclog almost any drain. Vinegar and baking soda react together to create mini-explosions. All you’ll hear is fizzing.
Start by removing any water buildup in your sink or toilet, then pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Wait for several minutes for it to settle on the clog before adding the same amount of vinegar. If possible, block the drain hole from the top and leave the two compounds to react. It will take approximately 30 minutes to clear a clog.
It’s a good idea to pour water that is close to boiling down the drain. This will help to shift any residue pieces of the clog.
You should avoid using boiling water as this can also damage the plumbing.
If you’re dealing with a clog on all your appliances you’ll want to use drain rods on the main sewer line. However, if it is just one appliance then an auger, or drain snake will do. This thin piece of metal is flexible enough to move around the drains but strong enough to push through almost any clog.
Simply slide it in until your meet resistance and then jab it forward and back to dislodge the clog.
Even if you clear the clog yourself it is worth getting a plumber to look at your pipes and check their condition. Frequent clogs suggest you have an issue that may warrant the replacement of your pipes or an adjustment to your drainage system. It’s worth knowing about this before it causes a fatal clog.