Drain clogs … nobody likes them. Unfortunately, most people have learned this first-hand because clogged-up and slow drains are one of the most common plumbing troubles that affect homes. We can’t imagine anybody who hasn’t run into a clogged drain at some point in their lives. We deal with them every day, so we can tell you quite a bit about what to do with them.
Let’s say you have a clogged drain or a drain that’s draining so slowly you’re certain it will become a complete clog soon. What can you do about it? We’ve listed four methods below. Three of them are good ideas (although the first two don’t always work) and one is terrible. Guess which of these four methods the majority of people choose first? That’s right: the terrible one. We’re here to see you avoid the worst option and end up with the best one.
Good Method #1: The Plunger
If your first instinct with a stopped-up drain is to reach for a sink or toilet plunger, you’re on the right path. Plungers are immensely useful tools to keep around the house. They can clear simple clogs and get sinks or toilets working again. (Make sure you know the difference between the two types of plungers. Toilet plungers have long phalanges at the end to better fit down in the bowl.)
Good Method #2: The Drain Snake (a.k.a. The Drain Auger)
You may not have one of these on-hand, but they can be useful for the tougher clogs you may encounter in a sink. Augers are lengths of wire you can insert down a drain and then spin using a handcrank to break apart clogs or pull the clog out. Although augers are safe and simple to use, they won’t work well on clogs too far down the drain, and for thicker clogs they may only partially open up the drain, allowing the clog to start to come back.
Good Method #3: Call a Professional Plumber
We should really call this the best method—because it is! This is how you clear out a clog with a 100% success rate. If you’ve tried the plunger and the drain snake and they didn’t work, or you don’t have one of either, calling our plumbers is the best way to have your drain or toilet opened up again. Our plumbers use advanced tools that can break through any clog and remove the debris that can help clogging start in the first place. We use motorized drain augers and powerful hydro-jetting equipment to not only unclog your drains, but clean them as well.
Terrible Method: Chemical Drain Cleaners
Yes, those bottles of chemicals found in stores advertised as “drain cleaners” are bad news for your drains—and maybe for you. No plumber recommends them because the caustic chemicals in them can damage drains and create highly toxic fumes. They don’t work well either: they may eat through a clog to partially open it, but they’ll leave most of the clog behind. The chemical residue can remain in the drains long after, causing damage and even corrosion. Please leave these on the shelves!