Whether you’re stepping out of the shower, draining the bathtub, or washing your face in the sink, you might notice water draining a bit slower than normal. If this happens repeatedly, there might be something obstructing your plumbing system. Fortunately, there are some DIY solutions you can use to unclog a drain before calling a professional. These quick fixes usually only work against minor blockages, but they can save you some time and money.
Mix baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are the swiss army knives of kitchen essentials. They come in handy for a variety of DIY projects, including unclogging a stubborn drain. When combined, these ingredients have the ability to break down a lot of the causes of plumbing build-up such as grease, scum, fat, and oil.
Start off by pouring some boiling water down the drain followed by a cup of baking soda. Wait around 10 minutes before dumping a cup of vinegar. The interaction between these substances causes a fizzling, bubbling reaction that’s strong enough to clear some instances of clogged drains.
Use a drain plunger
You’re most likely familiar with toilet plungers for clearing clogged toilets. But, what about sink plungers? Not as many Boston homeowners are privy to these handy tools. They work the same as their larger, toilet-specific counterparts by creating a vacuum of pressure that forces water up the piping, hopefully loosening up the blockage.
Using a sink plunger is a cinch. Simply place the rubber portion over the compromised drain and move the handle up and down in a slow and controlled fashion. Make sure the plunger is sealed without any gaps between it and the sink so the suction can work its magic. If you hear a rushing sound upon releasing the plumber, you’re in business!
Remove and clean the stopper
Most household drains are equipped with stoppers that prevent large objects from falling down the drain. Ironically, these crucial pieces occasionally become the cause of a clogged drain. Over time, small bits of debris that make it past the top part of the stopper can get stuck on its base, eventually impeding water flow.
Hair is the most common culprit as it gets tangled up in the stopper. To make matters worse, junk ends up getting caught in the web of loose hair, leading to serious blockage. Since this build-up happens beneath the top of a stopper, it’s not immediately visible. But, the problem is pretty easy to solve. Simply unscrew the stopper by spinning it counterclockwise and pulling out all the hair before placing it back.
Use a wet/dry vacuum
For truly stubborn blockages that don’t seem to budge with any of the aforementioned tips, you might have to break out the big guns in the form of a wet/dry vacuum. Just as its name suggests, this vacuum can handle both dry debris and liquids. Plus, they pack a lot of power. These attributes combined make we/dry vacuums the perfect solution for tough drains.
Start by placing a circular attachment on the vacuum that fits over the drain. You want it to completely cover the drain hole to create sufficient pressure. Next, remove the stopper and plug up the overflow hole to increase the suction effect. Once you have the attachment firmly over the drain, switch on the vacuum to its lowest setting. Gradually increase the power setting until the drain blockage is cleared.
When it’s time to call a plumbing professional
If no DIY strategies work for clearing a slow drain, it’s best to call a professional plumber. These experts have the right tools and know-how to assess the problem properly and restore your drain to working order quickly and efficiently. If you’re experiencing slow drainage at home, reach out to the experts at Boston Standard Plumbing. We offer comprehensive, emergency plumbing services to solve your plumbing issues right away. You can schedule an appointment today!