7 Ways to Unclog a Stubborn Drain

Dealing with stubborn clogs is no picnic. When you are faced with a clogged drain, not taking care of the problem right away can result in more serious plumbing issues, and who wants to deal with that headache? Highland Park, Illinois, homeowners will be happy to know there are several tactics they can use to address clogged drains in kitchens or bathrooms, and free them to do their jobs properly.

Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

Before trying any other method, see if you can resolve the issue by pouring hot water down the drain. Simply boil the water in a decent-sized kettle and slowly pour it down the drain immediately after removing it from the heat. Hot water can often break down accumulated debris such as grease and food particles, freeing your pipes with ease.

Try Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are powerhouse DIY cleaners. Combined, they create a nice fizz action that can remove grime, hair, and other gunk from drains. All you have to do is mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a mixing cup and immediately pour the fizzy liquid down the drain. Alternatively, you can pour dry baking soda down the drain first and follow that with vinegar. Let the mixture sit overnight, if possible, and flush the next day with hot or boiling water.

Use a Bent Wire Hanger

Old-school wire hangers are great tools to keep on hand for plumbing issues. Simply open and straighten the hanger. Once you push the slightly curved end past the drain cover, you can start fishing for clogged debris. Keep in mind that you should always try to pull the debris out, not force it further down the drain, as doing so will only cause more serious problems that you won’t be able to reach.

Use a Shop Vacuum

If you own a wet and dry shop vacuum, it’s worth trying on your clogged drains. First, you’ll want to cover the vent and set the vacuum to liquids. Using the hose, you’ll need to create a tight seal over the drain. Turn the vacuum to the highest setting and wait for the clog to be sucked into the vacuum. This isn’t a surefire method, but it’s worth a try, especially if you already have a shop vac on hand. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

Invest in a Drain Snake

Drain snakes are low-budget, low-tech pieces of equipment designed to unclog pipes. A drain snake is a long, flexible rope made of metal that features a spiral at one end. Some snakes are even designed to fit over an electric drill attachment. To use a drain snake, insert it down the drain opening and turn the handle. Keep pushing until you feel resistance, and then rotate the snake against the blockage until it becomes free. You’ll need to run the water for a few minutes after removing the snake to ensure the drain is completely unclogged.

Use Caustic Soda

If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a chemistry class, caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide. This substance can cause some nasty chemical burns, so use caustic soda with caution and be sure to wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with it. Pour about a three-quarter gallon of cold water into a plastic bucket followed by three cups of caustic soda, which can be purchased at any hardware store. Stir it with a wooden spoon until dissolved. The mixture will start to heat up and fizz, at which point you’ll want to pour it down the drain and leave it for up to half an hour. After that, flush the drain with boiling water and repeat as necessary.

Do not try any removal method if you are not certain what to do or if it could result in serious injury. If using chemicals, you have to secure the product immediately. It takes no time for others, especially children to wander into the area. While you are busy handling the clog, equipment or chemicals not properly closed stored can present hazards to others. It is best to contact a professional for safe and proper plumbing service.

Enlist the Help of Professionals

Some clogs are just too stubborn for DIY attempts. If your drains need a professional cleaning, you are better off contacting a professional plumber to resolve the situation. Contact Carefree Comfort at 847-388-0115 to schedule plumbing service.

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