Any type of plumbing system is capable of developing a clog, so as a homeowner, it’s important you understand how best to remove those clogs.
Keep in mind that any method of drain clearing you try yourself should only be tried a few times before you call in a licensed plumber to handle a tough job. If you try to use too much force or start attempting to make up your own methods of drain clearing, it could result in some significant (and expensive) damage to your plumbing systems.
Unclogging a sink
Most of the time, you can use a plunger to remove the clog from the sink. Partially fill the sink with water; then begin plunging, working the plunger with vigorous up-and-down motions before quickly pulling the plunger off the drain opening. If you have a double-bowl kitchen sink, you’ll need to shove a wet rag into the opposite opening to create a vacuum.
If plunging doesn’t work, you could try a cable auger underneath the sink. Remove the sink trap with a pipe wrench; then empty the water from the trap, and use the augur to cut through the clog with about 18 inches of cable. Crank in a clockwise direction, and push forward to push the cable into the pipe. Keep going until you remove the blockage, but if the cable catches on something, turn the crank counterclockwise, and pull back.
Snaking a tub drain
Bathtub clogs usually occur over an extended period of time. Try a plunger first. Remove the screen from the tub drain, and fish out hair and soap scum with a bent wire. Remove the stopper from a pop-up drain and clear it off. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, go to work with the plunger, covering holes on the underside of the overflow plate with a wet rag.
If plunging doesn’t work, you’ll once again need to use a cable auger, feeding about 30 inches of cable into the overflow tube.
Eliminating toilet clogs
Toilet clogs can usually be eliminated with plungers. Simply put the plunger into the opening at the bottom of the bowl; then plunge up and down to free up the clog. The water should run down the drain when it’s released, allowing you to safely flush.
However, in some cases, you may need to use a closet auger. In such cases, you will place the auger into the bowl with the bent end facing up. Hold the tool shaft steady, and crank while pushing down on the handle. The cable will snake its way through the trap. After you’ve dispensed the whole cable, you can start cranking while pulling up. Flush the toilet to clear out the drain; if it’s still feeling a little slow, you can once again run the auger through the system.
Need some more tips for drain clearing in your home, or would you prefer to just hire a professional plumber to get your drains flowing again? Contact the experts at Affordable Rooter, and we’ll be happy to give you some assistance.
Categorised in: Drain Cleaning
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