How to Unclog a Drain
When a drain clogs in your Midwest home, your first reaction likely is to reach for a plunger.
Plunging may be your best option for clearing an obstructed drain, depending on the severity of the clog, its location, and how frequently your drains back up.
If you are comfortable using a plunger, a snake, or an auger and have the time to try a hands-on remedy, fixing a blocked drain by yourself can be a timely and affordable solution.
However, not all clogs are the same.
How Clogged Is Your Drain?
Some cause slow drainage, and others create standing water. Layer upon layer of grease, food, or hair stubbornly stuck to drain walls pose a challenge to your plunger. Tree roots in your sewer line can cause floor drains to back up and overflow.
When that happens, you likely need professional help.
No matter what type of clog obstructs your drains, Midwest Air Pros can help you find the best plumbing team to handle it, minimizing how much it messes up your home or disrupts your day.
We work with a network of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies, plumbers, and electricians in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Clogs are no match for our experts, who maintain, repair, and install drains. Our online directory makes it easy to find your perfect match.
TLC for Your Drains
Being mindful of what goes into your drains is the first step in keeping them clog-free in your home.
- Refrain from pouring grease, oil, and food into your kitchen sink drain.
- Place a trap to collect hair in or over the drain in your shower.
- Flush only human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.
- Have your drains professionally cleaned annually, especially if you have trees and shrubs near your sewer line that clog the pipe.
- If you use a septic system, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you reduce the use of your garbage disposal and avoid using toilets as “trash cans.”
Hydro jetting is a drain-cleaning technique that can destroy clogs and clean pipe walls encrusted with mold, grease, and other debris. A trained professional releases water under high pressure through your drains to bust obstructions and wash them away. Hydro jetting is safe for most pipes, although damaged or older plumbing may not withstand the stress of the high-pressure water.
Before hydro jetting, the plumber you select through Midwest Air Pros will snake a camera through your drains to help locate clogs and assess the strength of the pipe. If the drain is too fragile to undergo hydro jetting, an alternative, such as a drain-cleaning cable machine, is a better solution.
This electric-powered machine sends a cable fitted with a cutting tool or a corkscrew into the drain. The cutter can chew through clogs like tree roots and bust them up. The corkscrew snags the clog.
DIY Clog Busting
If you decide to do the job yourself, try using a manual auger or drain snake to unblock a sink, shower drain, or toilet. Wear clothing you do not mind getting dirty, gloves, and protective eye gear. Assemble your tools.
Open the drain hole in the sink you want to unclog. Use the crank on the tool to feed the flexible cable into the drain. You will feel resistance when the line moves into the clog. Keep cranking to destroy or hook the obstruction.
Pull out the tool and discard the clog. If the clog is deep into the plumbing, you may have to disassemble pipes beneath the sink to access the drain as it enters the wall or floor.
A toilet auger is a specialized tool that removes clogs and avoids scratching your toilet bowl. It works the same way as other drain snakes. You crank the cable into the drain, break up or snag the clog, and retract it.
A plunger may be an option for clogs embedded in pipes between the sink and the wall. Use a standard plunger for a sink. You can tell the difference between a toilet plunger and a sink plunger by the shape of the rubber cup. A toilet plunger has a flange extending from beneath the cup.
Place the plunger over the drain, create a tight seal, and pump up and down several times. Run water to see if it drains.
Maintain Your Drains Today
Find a qualified professional through Midwest Air Pros to clean your drains, remove clogs, and solve plumbing issues. Visit our directory to select an expert plumber in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, or Nebraska.