As a homeowner, you can unblock a drain without calling an expert. However, you need to know the different options/tools that are available for this task so that the best approach can be used. This article discusses the common tools/materials that can be used to clear a blocked drain.
Plungers are the most basic tool for a homeowner who wishes to unclog a drain. It is therefore advisable to have more than one plunger so that you can avoid the temptation of using the same plunger when dealing with a toilet clog as well as a kitchen sink clog. Plungers require water pressure to work. You must, therefore, fill the clogged drain with water so that some of the water can pool in the sink or bathtub. You can then place your plunger on the drain to create a seal. Move the plunger repeatedly until the suction pressure generated dislodges the clog within the drain. This method may not work in case the clog is located further within the drainage pipe.
Drain snakes are better suited to removing clogs in situations where a plunger cannot be used. The drain snake may be hand-operated or motorised. The snake is pushed into the drain so that any materials clogging the pipe stick onto its hooks. Pulling out the snake will remove the offending materials as well. The only challenge with this tool is that the basic drain snakes that a homeowner may have can be inadequate for dealing with major clogs located far within the drainage system.
Various chemicals can be poured down a drain to dissolve any material that is causing a clog. This approach is very efficient and easy to perform. However, the chemicals can damage some plumbing materials, such as plastic pipes. The chemicals also pollute the environment, as such, many jurisdictions restrict their use.
The alternative to harsh clog removal chemicals is natural remedies, such as vinegar and baking soda. These substances can be poured down the clogged drain to dissolve the clog. Equal measures of these substances should be poured down the drain in intervals, with the baking soda going in first. The vinegar goes in next after about an hour. Pour hot water down the drain several hours later to clean out the unblocked drain.
Use the tools/materials above to remove the clog from the drains in your home. Ask a plumber for help in case your DIY efforts are unsuccessful. They will assess the situation and use the most appropriate techniques or tools to remove the blockage quickly.