Emergency Services

How to Unclog a Drain

After a long, strenuous day, there are few things more enjoyable than hopping in the shower to wash it all off and feel clean again. However, it can be challenging to get squeaky clean when a puddle accumulates at your feet due to a drained clog.

Unfortunately, clogged drains are common – whether it’s a sink, bathtub, or toilet.

Depending on the clog, it can be anything from a minor inconvenience to an all-out plumbing nightmare. In fact, a severely clogged can cost thousands of dollars to fix, so it’s important to address the issue quickly. Fortunately, fast, and effective DIY methods exist to unclog drains when a drain gets backed up.

This post will discuss signs of a drained clog and a few tips and tricks you can take to unclog them quickly.

Signs of a Clogged Drain

women unclogging a drain

Let’s start by discussing some of the common signs you may have a drain clog.

Standing Water

The most obvious sign of a clogged drain is standing water. The likely cause of standing water is hair and hard-to-remove soap scum buildup in your drain.

If you have standing water in your shower or sink, it is especially important to clear clogs as soon as possible. Undrained water can lead to dangerous mold growth and health problems if left unattended for too long.

Foul Odor

Another sign of a clogged drain is foul odors. If the water doesn’t drain out of your sink or bathtub, then sewage and other hazardous gases can accumulate in your home.

If you smell this foul odor, the clog is likely advanced and needs more than a DIY solution to fix. Instead, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber to ensure your drain(s) are properly unclogged.

A Gurgling Sound

Another sign of a clogged drain is a gurgling sound. The gurgling sound is caused by air bubbles flowing through the pipe. This occurs because something obstructs water from traveling down the drain – such as a clump of hair.

The sound of a gurgling drain usually indicates that the clog is relatively near and can be reached by clearing the clutter around the area in question. So, if you hear this, it’s important to act quickly before the buildup pushes down further and causes more serious problems with your pipes.

DIY Methods to Unclog a Drain

Plumber helping unclog a drain

Drano™ and other types of drain cleaner don’t always work to unclog a drain —in those cases, you’re going to have to resort to some old-fashioned manual plumbing. Here, we’ll go over a few DIY plumbing methods you can take to fix a clog.

1) Remove the Drain Stop or Plug

In most cases of a clogged drain, you can fix the issue by removing the drain stop or plug from your sink, tub, or toilet. Once exposed, you can try to remove any debris with a coat hanger by fishing it out.

Sometimes removing the drain stop will require a screwdriver or a pair of pliers. Then, you’ll need to use a pair of tweezers to reach into the open drain and pull out any built-up solids. Be prepared; it will be gross. However, removing all the hair and random gunk can be just the thing needed to get the water draining again.

2) Fill the Sink or Tub with Water

Once you’ve removed the debris, your drain may still be slow to clog.

If this is the case, fill the sink or tub with at least two inches of water. After this, use a plunger to cover the drain and then gently press it up and down. After a few pushes, you may find the water beginning to drain normally again.

3) Use a Drain Snake

Finally, if none of the above ideas work, use a drain snake. A drain snake is a long metal wire that can be inserted into the drain to help clear out any remaining debris. These tools can be purchased at local hardware stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Pushing the tool down into the drain should bend around the corner and clear out any stubborn remaining clogs. Make sure to follow the instructions on your device’s packaging.

Of course, certain types of clogs are much harder to fix than others. You may even need to look into using some alternative methods.

Get Professional Help

If none of the above DIY tricks work, the problem is likely more prominent than a simple clog. In this case, it’s time to call a plumber and get help from a professional.

You need a plumbing service you can trust to get the job done right. Shamrock Plumbing, located in North Salt Lake, Utah, has more than 30 years of expertise in the industry. We work with customers to fix any type of plumbing problem as quickly as possible.

To learn more about our plumbing services, call us at 801-505-9505 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page.



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