Do’s and Don’ts of Unclogging a Drain

Unclogging a drain can be a challenge. It’s not as easy as pouring a jug of Liquid Plumr into the pipes and waiting for the magic to happen.

Know the do’s and don’ts of unclogging a drain before you take on the challenge. You may be able to fix the problem on your own, without professional help, but you don’t want to do any damage in the process.

DO Follow These Guidelines

You can use boiling water to dislodge grease and hair, but not if your pipes are made of PVC; boiling water could weaken pipe joints and lead to leaks. If your pipes are made of PVC, just use hot water from the tap.

You can also try vinegar and baking soda to clear out blockages. This can help with bad odors as well.

Another way to dislodge a clog is with a drain snake. Thread it into the pipe to get it to catch on the debris and then pull it out or push it through. They’re designed to twist and bend with your pipes, so they can get out some stubborn clogs.

Sometimes unclogging a drain is as easy as pulling out the stopper. It’s common for hair and debris to get wrapped around this component and quickly lead to a backup. Thoroughly clean it off before putting it back in place.

Also, check the grease trap — sometimes clearing it out can remedy the problem.

DON’T Make These Mistakes

Some homeowners opt to use plungers when unclogging a drain, and that’s OK, but not if you’re plunging too hard. Excessive force can destroy the trap and damage the drain line.

Never pour a strong, hazardous chemical cleaning solution into your drains, no matter what the product’s marketing message is. Chemical drain cleaners aren’t usually biodegradable, and they can cause burns if they get on your skin.

You may rarely or never have to worry about unclogging a drain if you regulate what goes down it! Save your coffee grinds or eggshells for the compost. Keep fats, oils, and grease away. Put paper towels and feminine hygiene products in the garbage; don’t flush them.

When Should You Call a Professional?

Unclogging a drain isn’t always easy, but calling Connectionz is! Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is available 24/7 to help clear the worst blockages and get water flowing smoothly and quickly through your drains again. Call for emergency service whenever you have a clogged or overflowing drain — we’re here to help.