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Unclog a Drain in 3 Easy Ways

unclog a drain sink trap
Stopped up sink? Clogged drains don’t have to ruin your day. Before you call a plumber, learn the easy when you can unclog the drains in your home.

It will happen to you eventually, the water in the sink won’t flow down the drain. Learn three easy ways to unclog a drain in your home.

Unclog a Drain: Using a Plunger

Make sure that you use the right type of plunger for the job. Cup plungers are the most commonly known. They are best used for sinks, bathtubs and showers. Flange plungers or thrust plungers have an extended rubber lip that provides a better seal for toilets. When you first start to unclog a drain, make sure that there is enough water to submerge the cup of your plunger. If there is too much water in your sink or toilet it will create a mess, if there is not a enough water, the cup will not be able to form a vacuum seal and generate any pressure. Be sure to also “burp” out the air from the cup so it fills with water before you begin to plunge. This gives the plunger what it needs to force the clog down the drain.

Keep the plunger handle straight, and perpendicular to the base of the toilet or sink. If the plunger is tilted at an angle, you will not get the proper force and the plunger seal can come loose.

Unclog a Drain: Cleaning the Waste Trap

The U-bend of your sink is also called the waste trap. It may seem odd that the plumbing under our sinks does not travel in a straight line, but this is done for several reasons.The trap is designed to prevent back flow, and to ensure that sewer gases do not rise up out of the sink. Water in the trap creates a seal, preventing sewer gases from getting through.

Waste traps tend to collect hair, and other debris. They also limit the ultimate size of objects that will pass on into the rest of the plumbing, which can slow down your sink’s draining abilities. Most traps can either be disassembled for cleaning or they provide some sort of clean out feature. If your trap features an access point then remove the cap, either by using your hand or a wrench. Ase a piece of wire or something similar to remove anything that has either gotten lodged or been built up in the trap.

Unclog a Drain: Chemical Drain Cleaners

If using a plunger or cleaning the waste trap does not work you can unclog a drain using chemical drain cleaners. Chemical drain cleaners are very powerful and should only be used as a last resort to unclog a drain. Drain cleaners can be corrosive and break down any waste debris that has been built up on the insides of the waste pipe. Drain cleaners come in a liquid, foaming or granular form that are mixed with water before using. Granulars have a shelf life once they have been opened, so be aware before using. Liquid drain cleaners only clean the surface they flow over. Foaming chemical drain cleaners expand inside the pipe and clean away the debris in the pipe.

Of course, sometimes you have to call in the professionals. If you can’t unclog your drain, contact your local plumber.


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