How to Unclog a Drain

Clogged drains are inconvenient and messy any time of the year, especially during the holidays when you already have enough piled on your plate. 

The last thing you want to deal with is slow draining or standing water as you prepare for overnight guests, a family gathering, or even a peaceful night at home alone in Des Moines, IA, Wichita, KS, Springfield, MO, Kansas City, MO, and Omaha, NE.

The cause? Hair might block the water from draining in your bathroom sink or shower. Too much toilet paper, mixed with products you should not flush, might be the culprit in your overflowing toilet.

You might have inadvertently dropped food particles or grease into your kitchen sink drain, creating a rising puddle of murky water. 

Whatever is at the root of your drain problem, the faster you fix it, the sooner your household returns to normal. 

Get Professional Help

Midwest Air Pros can help you find a plumbing professional you can trust. We offer an online directory of plumbing companies in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Click on our Find A Pro link to choose a plumbing company. 

When you hire a professional plumber from our Midwest Air Pros directory, you can rest assured you are dealing with a trusted, certified, trained individual. A licensed plumber can troubleshoot and fix any plumbing or drain issues. They also offer drain maintenance to stave off clogs, clean the drain walls, and eliminate tree roots.

Professional assistance is the best solution if you are too busy or prefer not to tackle a clogged drain yourself. Any of our Midwest Air Pros plumbing partners can quickly resolve drain problems in your home.

However, a drain clog could be easy to undertake if you enjoy getting hands-on with household tasks. 

Unclog A Drain

Start by gathering the tools you will need for the job. If you plan to work on a bathroom or kitchen sink, you will need a plunger, a bucket, and rubber gloves. Keep an auger or plumbing snake on hand. 

The plunger for use in a sink has a cup-shaped component. A toilet plunger has a rubber flange that extends below a bell-shaped rubber cup.  

Now, you are ready to use the plunger. Add water or use any standing water to cover the base of the plunger. Bail some of the water out of the sink to eliminate excess. Block the overflow drain with a wet washcloth if the clog is in the bathroom sink. You likely will not have an overflow drain in your kitchen sink. 

Place the plunger cup over the drain. Pump it quickly up and down without breaking the seal you have created over the drain. The plunger applies pressure that may dislodge the clog.

If the toilet is clogged, insert the flange into the drain and cover the drain with the bell-shaped portion of the toilet plunger. Be sure there is enough water to cover the rubber component. Vigorously pump the toilet plunger for about 20 to 30 seconds. When you lift the plunger, breaking the seal between the tool and the drain, the clog likely will clear.

Snakes and P-Traps

If the plunger does not work, it is time to try a plumber’s snake or auger. Insert the snake into the drain and turn the handle to uncoil a flexible cable that travels through the drain to break up the clog. 

Sometimes, the culprit is debris in the sink’s P-trap, the elbow-shaped pipe under the sink. In that case, you need to clean out the P-trap. Start by placing a bucket under the pipe. Next, unscrew the P-trap, letting water and debris fall into the bucket, and remove the clog. Re-connect the pipe. 

Bigger Clogs

A plunger or an auger can effectively remove a small clog and get water flowing through a sink drain. However, if water slowly drains in all your sinks or is overflowing from basement floor drains, you likely have a clogged sewer line.  

It is time to call an expert in snaking or hydro jetting for larger drains.  

Find a Plumber You Can Trust

Plumbing help is just a click away with our Midwest Air Pros online directory. Find a licensed plumber in Des Moines, IA, Wichita, KS, Springfield, MO, Kansas City, MO, and Omaha, NE, by clicking on our directory link.