4 Drain Cleaning Options for Blocked Drains

No matter how careful you may be while washing dishes and taking a shower, practically everyone ends up with a clogged drain every now and then. If you have a blocked drain at home, here are some drain cleaning tips worth trying out.

Plunger

A plunger is one of the fastest and easiest options you have for clearing your blocked drain, if used properly. You have to create a seal by placing its rubber head against the drain. This prevents air from seeping through, which is when you need to push on the plunger till its head inverts.

Now release the pushing motion till the head returns to its original shape. Repeat a few times, till the water starts draining. If nothing happens, try another DIY drain cleaning method!

Snake Drain Auger

Your next option is a snake drain auger that reaches deep into the pipe to remove blockages. Though effective, it requires quite a lot of skill. You have to insert it into the drain while rotating its cable handle in a clockwise motion.

Grip the handle about 3 inches from the drain opening so that you can feel the clog as you push the cable further into the piping. Once you reach the clog, try to break and hook the blocked matter by slightly pulling and pushing the auger.

Keep turning the handle till the auger gets hits the blockage. This is when you have to slowly pull out the auger so that the blockage hands onto it, and doesn’t fall back into the drain. Now remove the auger and pour some hot water into the drain to ensure the drain is clear.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

If the plunger and auger don’t work, you can next try chemical drain cleaners to unclog the blockage. These cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid and lye that get through tough clogs and also prevent recurring blocks. It’s important that you flush out remaining chemicals by running enough water through the drain.

Natural Drain Cleaners

Natural drain cleaners can also unclog drains, without the smell, residue and danger of chemicals. They are safer to use in a home with kids and pets as there’s no risk or danger of the kids or pets accidentally swallow or play with them.

Examples of natural drain cleaners are baking soda with vinegar or lemon juice, a mixture of borax, vinegar and salt or just running boiling hot water into the blocked drain.

Of course, if all this fails, or if you don’t have the time to unclog the drain yourself, you can always call drain cleaning professionals to do the job for you. Just make sure you choose the right company after checking their experience, license and estimate for the job.  Where we live, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, our favorite plumber can be found here.  (Gotta give the guy a plug every now and then, he’s always really good to me…)