What Is The Best Way To Unclog A Drain?

unclog a drain

Experiencing a clogged drain can be a real nuisance. Knowing that your drain is clogged is not rocket science. A sink takes forever to drain, or the tub begins to fill up around your feet when you’re in the shower. Another obvious sign is the foul smell that often accompanies a clogged drain. 

Knowing you have a clogged drain and knowing how to fix it is a different story. While some drain clogs are easier to unplug than others, you are never guaranteed to totally fix the problem. That’s why calling a licensed plumber for drain cleaning may be the best choice. 

While there are many commercial drain cleaning products available, they often cause more trouble than not, so they should probably be avoided. In this guide, we’ll show you the best way to unclog a drain using a simple method called “snake the drain.” This method is effective, eco-friendly, and no fancy store-bought products are required. Follow along as Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric explains how to unclog a drain, and keep your drains flowing smoothly!

Understanding the Problem

Before we start fixing the clog, you must understand what’s causing it. Most clogs happen because of a buildup of things like hair, soap residue, food particles, and grease inside the drain pipes. Over time, these materials can create a blockage that restricts the water flow. To unclog the drain successfully, we need to remove this buildup.

Tools You’ll Need:

To snake the drain and clear the clog, you’ll need a few basic tools that you probably already have at home:

1. Plunger: A simple plunger can be very effective for clearing minor clogs in sinks or bathtub drains.

2. Wire Coat Hanger: You can straighten out a wire coat hanger to create a makeshift drain snake.

3. Bucket: Keep a bucket handy to catch any water that may come out while you’re working on the drain.

4. Rubber Gloves: These will help protect your hands from any gunk you may encounter.

5. Old Towel or Rag: You might need this to wipe up any spills or messes.

Unclogging the Drain

Now that you have your tools ready, let’s get to work:

Plunge the Drain:

  • Start by placing the plunger over the drain opening.
  • Make sure there’s enough water in the sink or tub to cover the plunger.
  • Push down firmly and then pull up quickly to create suction.
  • Repeat this plunging motion several times, and you may feel or hear the clog breaking apart.

Remove the Drain Cover:

  • If you’re working with a sink or bathtub, you might need to remove the drain cover. Use a screwdriver to do this carefully.

Make a Homemade Drain Snake:

  • Take the wire coat hanger and straighten it out as much as possible.
  • Bend one end into a small hook shape, which will help you grab the clog.
  • Insert the hooked end into the drain and start fishing for the clog.
  • Be patient and gentle to avoid damaging the pipes. Wiggle and twist the wire as you go.

Retrieve the Clog:

  • When you feel resistance, it’s likely that you’ve hooked onto the clog.
  • Carefully pull it out and place it in a bucket.
  • If the clog is too far down the drain, you may need to work at it from different angles. If the problem persists, better call Armstrong! Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric has trained plumbers ready to clean your drain quickly and efficiently.

Flush with Hot Water:

  • After you’ve removed the clog, run hot water down the drain for a few minutes.
  • Hot water can help flush out any remaining debris and ensure your drain is clear.

Clean and Replace the Drain Cover:

  • Clean the drain cover thoroughly before putting it back in place.
  • Tighten any screws or clips to secure it.

Check for Proper Drainage:

  • Turn on the faucet or fill the sink or tub to check if the water drains properly.
  • If it does, congratulations – you’ve successfully unclogged the drain!
  • If not, contact Armstrong today! We can clear your drain, and we will clean up the mess!

Preventative Measures

If you successfully cleared your drain, it’s essential to take some preventative measures to avoid future clogs. Here are a few tips:

1. Use Drain Screens: Place drain screens or strainers over your sink and bathtub drains to catch hair and debris before they go down the drain.

2. Regular Cleaning: Once a month, flush your drains with hot water to help prevent buildup.

3. Avoid Pouring Grease Down the Drain: Grease can solidify and create stubborn clogs. Dispose of it in the trash instead.

4. Don’t Overload Your Garbage Disposal: Be mindful of what you put in your garbage disposal and avoid putting large or tough items down it.

Same Day Drain Cleaning

Unclogging a drain without using retail products is not as complicated as it may seem and it’s better for your pipes. With the simple method of snaking the drain, you can tackle most clogs effectively using tools you already have at home. Remember to be patient and gentle when working on your drain, and always prioritize safety. By following these steps and taking preventative measures, you can keep your drains clean and free-flowing, saving you time and money in the long run. 

If DIY is not your thing, call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric. Armstrong provides complete same day drain cleaning and sewer cleaning services. Since every clog is a pain in the neck, no drain stoppage is too small. Whenever something’s wrong, better call Armstrong!