Knowing the best way to unclog your drains can save you time and money. But knowing how to prevent the clog in the first place is equally important. Even with the best maintenance effort, the time will come when you face a backed-up sink or tub that’s struggling to drain. We’ve put together a few tips to use for you.
How to Unclog Your Drains and Prevent Future Clogs
We’ve all been there; you’re finished with the bath and pull the plug, only to have nothing happen. Or perhaps you’re doing the kitchen full of dishes after entertaining and suddenly you notice that the water is rising in the sink instead of draining. Now what?
Let’s start with how you can help prevent those issues in the first place:
- Do not put grease, peelings, grounds or husks down the drain. These items can damage your in-sink disposal and clog the pipes.
- Use a strainer in your kitchen sink and in your bath. These simple items keep hair, soap scum, small bits of food and other items from getting into your drain.
- Periodically run hot water (up to 140 degrees) down your drains for several minutes to help liquefy any grease that’s caught in the drain.
The tips above are great for prevention, but when something gets through and water is backing up, it’s important to know how to unclog drains. Follow these steps to determine if you have a simple clog that you can clear up without calling a professional plumber:
- Remove the strainer and stopper in your sink or tub – These items are great at stopping items from going into your drain and pipes. But that means there can be a build-up around them. Removing the strainer and stopper, cleaning them and replacing them may be all you need to solve the problem. But if that didn’t do the trick…
- Grab the plunger – This simple tool is a must-have for every home. If you’re trying to unclog a double-bowl kitchen sink, put a damp rag partially into the drain of one side of the sink while you plunge the other. If it’s a single sink, push the rag into the overflow opening to help deliver the pressure needed for the plunger to work. For your bath drain, use the rag over the overflow. Now plunge! For simple clogs, the plunger is usually enough to dislodge the item and allow water to begin draining again. Still clogged?
- Unscrew the sink trap – If there’s standing water in your sink, be sure to bail it out before you get under the sink. Place your bucket under both connections of the curve of the pipe (the trap) and unscrew by loosening the nuts and removing the trap, allowing the water from the pipe and the trap to drain into the bucket. Clean out the trap with a bottle brush to remove all of the build-up. Replace the trap, tighten the nuts and run water to see if you’ve successfully unclogged the drain and pipe.
If the 3 steps above haven’t cleared your sink or tub, it’s time to call the professionals! Our experienced plumbing technicians and fully stocked trucks are ready to help—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—no matter how small or large your plumbing job.
Call Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting, Inc. at