Is there anything more disturbing and inconvenient than a clogged drain in a home? Well, chances are you may have encountered one or two. But you’ve got to admit that a blocked drain can be a real nuisance, especially when you’re in a hurry to get to work or school.

If you notice your kitchen sink or shower draining slowly, the best course of action is to have the issue fixed immediately. However, we have seen too many homeowners attempt to unclog blocked drains on their own, only to worsen the situation. Before we get to the seven tips on how to unclog a drain, you need to understand what causes the clogs.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

Clogged drains are a problem for any homeowner. They’re frustrating, unpredictable, and highly inconvenient. Before you grab the harshest chemical drain cleaner available in your cleaning arsenal, we think it’s crucial to understand the causes of clogged drains.

In the bathroom, the leading causes are:

  • Soap scum
  • Hair
  • Non-flushable objects in the toilet

When it comes to the kitchen, the primary culprits are:

  • Mineral deposits
  • Grease
  • Non-food items
  • Food waste

Now that you know what causes clogged drains, let’s look at some tips on how to unclog them.

1. Find the Obstruction

The first step is usually to remove any visible obstruction that’s easily identifiable. For this, the drain cap or foot plug will have to come out. Removing it will provide the In & Out Plumbing & Construction’s plumber with an unobstructed view of the plumbing system. If necessary, they may use a flashlight to provide a better glimpse of the clog. When the clog is easily visible, our plumber can remove it with a household tool or by hand. We advise against attempting to do so on your own, as this may expose you to harmful bacteria.

2. Boil Water

It sounds simple, right? Boiling water can, in some cases, break down the grease or soap scum that’s holding the clog together. If this works to clear the blockage, your water will begin flowing freely once again. However, this method doesn’t always work. It may do little to clear a difficult clog, especially one that contains matted hair and has built up over time.

3. Use a Drain Snake or Plumbing Snake

Drain snakes come in handy when dealing with most household blockages. These snakes come in varying styles, but they’re all long and flexible. Their length and flexibility make it easier to maneuver them into any offending drain pipe.

Our plumber will start by placing the snake in the plughole and pushing it forward as far as possible. The next step will be to force it into the clog using the available handle while rotating it back and forth to free up the congestion. As the material breaks down and the flow resumes, our plumber will withdraw the snake and run clean water into the drain until the clog is gone.

4. Use a Plunger

A plunger is probably the first tool you reached for when you noticed the slow drainage. In the right hands, a plunger is an effective tool for unclogging drainage. What you may not have realized is that it can work on your kitchen sink just as well as it works for your bathroom drainage. If you must use a plunger on your own, take care not to plunge the sink after pouring hot water or any drain cleaner down it.

We recommend letting our plumber do the plunging, as they know how to do it successfully and safely. By the way, as effective as a plunger is, it can’t work in a sink with two drains.

5. Use a Wire Coat Hanger

Also known as a “hook,” this is one of the oldest methods for fixing clogged drains. It’s an effective alternative to the plunger and is a tool that has a very high success rate. We love it because it can remove any blockage caused by a clump of hair or a small object.

For clogs caused by mineral buildup, this method won’t work, and the plumber will have to find an alternative. Moreover, it works for kitchen and bathroom sinks but not for toilets. A toilet auger will be needed to unclog the mineral buildup.

6. Try a Chemical Drain Cleaner

Most supermarkets and hardware stores today stock different types of chemical cleaners, some of which can be used to unclog drains. However, the chemical solution is not one we recommend, as chemicals are destructive and can cause injuries if not handled with care.

Our plumbers use chemicals only as a last resort, as they understand that they can cause damage to kitchen sinks and drainage pipes if used repeatedly. Also, failure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer can lead to personal injuries and property damage.

7. Call a Professional Plumber

All the above-listed methods will work well for simple clogs. But as we mentioned earlier, it’s not always advisable to try to handle any plumbing or drainage issues on your own. If the blockage is severe, the first thing you should do is call our plumbing experts at In & Out Plumbing & Construction.

A professional drain unclogging plumber will help you deal with any issue affecting your plumbing and may use a combination of methods to get the job done. Besides saving time, hiring a plumber comes with the assurance that the job will be done correctly to minimize chances of a recurrence – contact us for plumbing repair.

Why Hire In & Out Plumbing & Construction for Your Drain Unclogging Needs?

Since 1999, In & Out Plumbing & Construction has been a trusted name in South San Francisco, CA, for delivering reliable plumbing services. Our service team is committed to providing excellence in all our undertakings, and we have a strong track record of meeting customer expectations.

In every job that we take on, we bring with us 20+ years of expertise in plumbing projects, guaranteeing efficiency, quality, and a clog-free drain! From plumbing installations to drain cleaning, you can trust that we’ll meet your needs promptly. Besides plumbing and drain cleaning, we offer other services.

Water Heater Installation

The raging debate between traditional and tankless water heaters is one that has left many property owners confused about which is better. At In & Out Plumbing & Construction, we have skilled plumbers who will help you make the right decision based on your water heating needs.

Gas Line Installation and Repair

Gas line problems can range from leaks to issues on the appliance end. Considering their sensitive nature, you’ll want to ensure that only the best pros handle your installation, repair, and maintenance needs. Our gas line team can help improve its safety and reduce your gas bills.

Leak Detection

Are you concerned about leaks at your home or business? At In & Out Plumbing & Construction, we offer professional leak detection services and can help you identify various types of leaks, including independent leak detection, residential leak detection, and rain leak detection.

To learn more about our plumbing services, contact In & Out Plumbing & Construction today!

Atef Abbas


Atef Abbas is the proud owner of In & Out Plumbing & Construction and has 20 years of experience in the industry.
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