Drain Cleaning – How to Get Rid of Clogged Drains Without Calling a Plumber

A dirty drain or clogged toilet may not be at the top of your to-do list, but these issues can interfere with daily life and lead to serious plumbing problems.

Drain Cleaning

Drain Cleaning Los Angeles can alleviate many of the annoyances caused by dirty pipes and drains. Here’s how it works:.

When the drain in your kitchen sink, bathtub or shower becomes completely blocked, it’s a nightmare scenario. Not only does the clogged pipe prevent waste and water from flowing out of your home, but it can also cause serious damage to your pipes, sewer lines or septic system. If left untreated, a drain clog can eventually lead to thousands of dollars in damages and require costly repairs. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid drain clogs.

A common cause of clogged drains is food scraps. Putting cooking grease, oil and fat down the drain causes them to solidify and accumulate with other food scraps over time. Investing in an air-tight container to collect and store these items for disposal is a simple solution. Another preventative measure is using a wire drain snake on a weekly basis to loosen and remove food scraps and hair from your plumbing pipes.

Another common cause of clogged drains is soap scum build-up. Showers and bathtubs are the main culprits, but even sinks can be affected by a build-up of soap residue. Regularly cleaning your drains with either a chemical drain cleaner or natural homemade solutions is the best way to keep these problems at bay.

Some clogs are stubborn and can take hours to clear. If you’re battling a particularly tough blockage, try pouring boiling water down the drain in small batches at a time. The heat from the boiling water will melt and dislodge many clogs, and the steam will help to break up larger ones as well.

For a more hands-on approach, you can use a wire hanger to snag and break up stubborn clogs in the kitchen or bathroom. Just make sure you don’t use too much force, as too much pressure can smash the clog deeper into your pipes. If you don’t have a wire drain snake, you can also try using a rudimentary hook to fish out clogs in the bathtub or sink. A wire hanger can be a lot easier to grip than a long, thin snake, so it’s a good option for those without access to specialized tools.

Clogged Toilets

If your toilet is clogged and you don’t have a plunger, there are some home remedies that might save you from calling the plumber. You’ll need a large container to fill with water, liquid soap, and caustic soda. Mix these ingredients until they are in solution and then pour them into the toilet. This should break up and dislodge the clog. You’ll need to use a funnel or cup to avoid getting the caustic solution on your hands and face.

If you hear gurgling in your toilet, this is an indication that there are problems with the pipes and that a clog is imminent. You can try flushing the toilet a few times to see if this breaks up the clog, but if the problem persists, you will need to take more extreme measures.

One of the most common reasons for a clogged toilet is non-flushable items that make their way into the drain. Wipes, cotton balls, q-tips, and paper towels are all common culprits that we find during drain cleaning services. These foreign objects don’t dissolve like toilet paper and can cause serious damage to your plumbing. Have a trash bin handy in your bathroom to keep these things out of the drain and prevent frequent toilet clogs.

Another common cause of clogged toilets is a broken sewer line. A damaged sewer line can halt your toilet’s ability to flush waste and may impact every toilet in your home. If you notice that your toilet is constantly clogging, talk to a licensed professional about possible repair options for your sewer line.

A plunger is an effective tool for most minor clogs. It takes a bit of finesse to use it effectively, but plunging about five or 10 times usually breaks up and removes the clog. If you’re not comfortable using a plunger, try using a snake or auger instead.

Another great DIY solution is a homemade drain cleaner. Baking soda and vinegar are safe, non-toxic household products that can clean a variety of surfaces and dissolve most drain clogs. Mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of white vinegar to create a chemical reaction that fizzes and breaks up the blockage. You can also try adding hot water to your mixture to help loosen the clog and force it down the pipe.

Clogged Sinks

A clogged sink can be an absolute nightmare. After all, we use our sinks to wash everything from hands and hair to dishes and vegetables on a daily basis. When water begins to drain more slowly than usual, it could be a sign of a serious clog that requires professional intervention. Fortunately, there are some simple DIY methods you can try to unclog your sink without calling a plumber.

Kitchen sinks are most often clogged by food scraps, which can build up in your pipes over time and prevent water flow. To avoid this, make sure you scrape your food waste into the garbage can instead of rinsing it down your sink. Grease waste is another common cause of kitchen sink clogs. Many cooking fats, such as lard and bacon grease, are liquid when they’re poured into your sink, but when they cool down, they solidify into an oily clump that can block your drains.

If plunging the clogged drain doesn’t work, it might be necessary to remove the P-trap and clean the wall pipe with a plumber’s snake or auger. Be sure to wear eye protection when using a drain snake, and ensure it is rated for the type of plumbing you have in your home (PVC or steel).

Lastly, if these methods aren’t successful, call in a plumber for a more extensive drain cleaning. Depending on the severity of the clog, the plumber may have to remove and replace the P-trap or even disassemble your entire drain system in order to completely clear it.

Having the right tools and knowledge will help you tackle most clogs before they become too big to handle. For a quick and inexpensive fix, try plunging your clogged drain with baking soda or vinegar. Boiling a pot of water is also a great way to loosen up soap scum, grime, and other gunk that’s stuck inside your drain pipes. Be sure to check that your pipes are rated for the high temperature of boiling water before trying this method, though. If they aren’t, the intense heat can melt or deform your pipes.

Clogged Showers

As showers send water down at a much lower rate than most other drains in the home, they are more susceptible to clogs. The main culprit is hair, which builds up over multiple showers and keeps water from flowing freely through your pipes. Additionally, traditional soaps (which can contain animal fats like tallow), talc, and wax can all accumulate and stick to your shower drain. The combination of these sticky substances and hair can clog your drains quickly.

If you notice that your shower is taking longer than usual to drain, or water pooling around the drain after use, it’s time to take action. Addressing the issue early on can prevent the clog from worsening and potentially causing more serious issues in your home.

A clogged shower can be a real pain, but it’s also a relatively simple fix for most homeowners. The first step is to remove the shower drain cover and see what’s causing the problem. If it’s a large amount of hair or soap scum, try pouring boiling water down the drain to help dissolve the build-up and wash it away.

You can also try using a metal coat hanger or wire to reach down the drain and physically snag and pull out the clog. For more heavy-duty clogs, consider investing in a drain snake ($54, The Home Depot) or an auger that’s specifically designed to clear showers.

Finally, you can use a homemade baking soda and vinegar solution to clean your drain without resorting to chemical cleaners. Simply pour one-third cup of baking soda down the clogged drain followed by a full cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz and work through the clog for about an hour before running hot water down the drain.

If you can’t get your clogged drain to clear with any of these methods, it’s time to call a plumber. A professional can clear your shower drain and inspect your plumbing system for any problems that need to be addressed. It’s also a good idea to call if you can smell a foul odor coming from your drains, as this may indicate a bigger issue that requires a professional inspection.