How to Fix a Clogged Drain

You look down into the sink, and see dirty standing water. Yuck – Not again! That sink drain is misnamed. It should be called a “sink clog.”

But when you think about all the stuff that ends up going down there, it’s no surprise that drains get clogged.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems in households across the United States, accounting for over 50% of all plumbing issues.

In short, you are not alone. And in a few minutes (if you keep reading), you will have the know-how to unclog that drain.

In this article, we will explore some simple yet effective methods to fix a clogged drain without calling a professional plumber.

But, if you’ve got a really stuck clogged drain, you might want to consider a quick visit by your local plumber (more on this later).

Now let’s take a step-by-step look at these unclogging DIY’s.

Hey McKinney, Here’s How to Fix a Clogged Drain

These following steps work for just about any drain, whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or tub drain. 

But some of these drains are easier to get at than others. So the drain clog – like in a shower drain – might be the same, but getting to the drain might be more difficult. 

You will need to remove any drain cover if possible, some won’t have any apparent way to remove them (more often with older homes). Also remove the drain stopper if you have one.

You will also need to plug any openings that connect to the drain. Like the overflow opening, or one side of a two drain kitchen sink.

    1.Identify the Problem:

First, take a moment to identify where the problem lies. Is it a slow drain or a completely blocked one? The answer will dictate the tools and methods you’ll require.

    2. Prepare the tools:

Like any DIY, having the right tools for the job is a very important part of success. You will need a basic plunger, a plumber’s auger or drain auger (also known as a drain snake), and a chemical drain cleaner (use caution with this one). 

These are some essentials you will need, but a few basic tools like screwdrivers and pliers might also be useful.

    3. Plunging:

Start with the good-old fashioned plunger. Ensure all other outlets and openings leading into the sink drain are plugged for better pressure. For this to work properly, you will need some standing water in the drain.

If the drain is clear of water, run some water to partially fill the drain and sink.

The water helps to create a tight seal.

When using the plunger, you need to place it over the drain opening so it creates a strong seal. Then, push and pull in an up/down manner vigorously for about 20 seconds.

This might solve that clogged sink issue.

If not, you can try a few more times. But if you have a nasty clog, this might not get the job done. 

For that, you’ll need some more invasive methods.

    4. Using the Plumber’s Snake:

If plunging isn’t sufficient to unclog the drain, try using a drain snake. 

Caution: A plumber’s snake is metal, with rough edges. Be cautious while using it to avoid scratching your sink or tub finish and also the fixtures. Throwing some old towels down there will help.

Gently start pushing the snake end into the drain opening. While doing this, turn the snake clockwise. This can be difficult to get the snake started. It takes a certain “feel” for it.

Then you will need to work it past the P-trap (drain trap). This can also be difficult to do. Take your time and work it slowly. 

Of course, if the clog is in the P-trap, you won’t need to work the snake past it.

After you get past the P-trap, and still haven’t reached the drain clog, you will have to keep working the snake through the pipe. We recommend calling a pro at this point, as the chance to clear that blocked drain dramatically decreases. 

And the longer you are pushing that snake through the drain pipe, the greater the risk of causing far more damage than the clog itself.

Caution: If you need a power auger, consider calling a professional plumber instead. A powered snake can damage the drain pipe and even punch through an old P-trap. You don’t want to “save a penny to spend a dollar.”

Other Methods for Unclogging Drains in McKinney TX

Check the P-Trap:

If the clog persists, the problem might be in the P-Trap. Unfasten the P-Trap cautiously to avoid water spillage, and check if the clog is there.

YouTube video

Boiling Water:

Maybe. But this can cause other problems with your clogged drains, and PVC pipes in general. We don’t recommend you do this.

Home Remedies:

You’ve probably seen some of these: Hot water, soda, vinegar, white vinegar (bet ya didn’t know there was a difference). 

Good luck with these “home remedies.” They don’t work! Nothing more needs to be said.

Fix a Clogged Drain with Drain Cleaner

If you have standing water, DO NOT use a chemical cleaner! It will also say this on the instructions written along the side of the can (you do read those before using, don’t you?).

“Alright, I won’t use this chemical drain cleaner when there’s standing water. But what about a slow drain?”

You can try it. It might help. But keep in mind these drain cleaners bore a small hole through the clog, which then allows the water – and chemicals – to flow through the pipe. 

They never really open up the clogged pipe enough to offer any long term fix. Then you will be back at it again. Plus, those chemicals are not in your “health and well-being” best interest.

And do not mix chemicals. Your home is not the place to engage in experiments with various chemicals. Things tend to blow up when you mix chemicals.

And if you have a septic system, Do not pour chemicals down any drains!

Caution: When using any of these chemicals, protect your eyes. Some of these chemicals can cause severe damage to your eyes. You only have two – enough said!

Best Way To Fix Clogged Drains is to Minimize any Clogging

Waste water drains are designed for one thing: Wastewater – to flow down and out of your home. 

We all know that isn’t the only thing we put down there. And yes, we are all guilty of doing this. But as long as we continue to put stuff other than water down the drain, you are going to have clogs.

So, let’s work to minimize the worst offenders:

  • Grease and Oils
  • Solid food wastes
  • Hair!!!
  • Non-Organic items like toys, bottle caps, etc.
  • Chemicals

The more effort we make to keep these non-water items from going down the drain, the less likely you will have a clogged drain. Think of it as a healthy diet for your plumbing system.

This is particularly true for septic systems

Let’s Recap How To Fix a Clogged Drain

Fixing a clogged drain can be a challenging task, especially if you’re not familiar with plumbing systems. 

While this article has provided you with step-by-step instructions on how to tackle the issue, it’s important to remember that some clogs may require professional expertise.

If you’ve attempted the methods mentioned in this article and the problem persists, it’s highly recommended to reach out to your local plumber.

Plumbing professionals have the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to handle complex clogs and ensure long-term solutions.

By seeking professional help, you can save time, effort, and potentially costly repairs down the line. So, don’t hesitate to call your for McKinney drain cleaning services today and get your drains flowing smoothly again!

Call Hackler – We’re right here in McKinney: 214-585-1499

FAQs About How To Fix a Clogged Drain in McKinney

Why you should never use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain?

These chemicals can damage the rubber and plastic components in your waste water pipes. Besides, this concoction doesn’t do a good job. At best, it is a temporary fix for an underlying problem.

Will pouring hot water down a drain unclogged?

If it is a slight clog, it might help to flush it away. But it usually doesn’t work, and can weaken the connections between pipes that might cause them to leak over time.

What liquid do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Plumbers sometimes use hydrochloric acid. This is a very potent chemical which can damage your plumbing system. It also can cause you harm, including severe chemical burns. Best to leave this to the pros.

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