The Ultimate Guide To Fixing a Clogged Drain: Tips, Tricks, and Prevention

June 6, 2024

When your sinks, toilets, and other home appliances become clogged, it can easily disrupt your daily routine. At T. Webber, we understand the frustration that comes with clogged drains and are here to help. In this blog we will go over reasons why drains clog, DIY tips on how to clear them, and ways to prevent drain clogs in the future. Addressing plumbing issues promptly will save money down the line by preventing further damages and repair costs.

Need Help With a Clogged Drain ASAP? Get Same-Day Emergency Drain Services.

Why Is My Drain Clogged?

To better understand why drains clog in your home or business, here are some common culprits we often come across here in the Hudson Valley:

Accumulation of Debris or Food Waste

When you’re busy washing dishes, it’s common for small food particles to find their way down the kitchen sink drain. While seemingly harmless, these food scraps are a primary cause of drain clogs.

A Buildup of Grease and Fat

Even though cooking fats and oils are liquid initially, they will solidify over time. Once grease, oils, and other fats harden in your drains, they become thick obstructions.

Hair and Soap Scum

Hair accumulation ranks among the top contributors to drain clogs, particularly in shower drains. If you don’t have a hair catcher in your shower drain it’s important to get one and to clean it after every use. 

Foreign Objects

Many drain blockages are caused by items never intended for drainage. Disposable diapers and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down toilets. Additionally, be careful that razor and shampoo caps don’t accidentally wash down shower drains.

Aging Plumbing Infrastructure

Over time, rust or corrosion can compromise the integrity of your sewer line, affecting the overall performance of your plumbing system. The severity of corrosion may require simple repairs or a complete replacement. Damaged, crushed, or broken pipes increase the likelihood of collecting debris, creating tough clogs.

5. DIY Tips on How to Clear a Clogged Drain

Fixing a clogged drain may be simple—so before you call a T. Webber plumber, try these do-it-yourself tips and tricks first:

1. The Plunger Method

Start by plugging the overflow hole in the tub or basin or blocking one side of a double sink with a cloth or stopper to create a tight seal. Plunge vigorously several times, then flush the drain with warm water.

2. Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are best for occasional use in slow drains. They may work for minor clogs like soap scum or grease buildup, but they’re ineffective against serious blockages like collapsed pipes or tree roots. Additionally, they can harm the environment and damage metal pipes.

3. Natural Remedies

Try pouring half a cup of table salt followed by boiling water down the drain, or a mixture of one cup each of baking soda and vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes before flushing with boiling water. Another option is a mix of baking soda and salt left to sit for several hours before flushing with boiling water.

4. Plumbing Snake

Use a larger wire snake to break up or remove the clog. Feed the snake through the drain until the clog cleats. It’s helpful to run water through the pipes while snaking to flush out loosened buildup.

5. Cleaning the P-Trap

Locate the P-trap under the sink and place a bucket underneath to catch water and debris. Loosen the slip nut and gently remove the trap assembly. Clear any obstructions and reinstall, ensuring not to over-tighten the slip nuts.

Consider Hydro Jetting Services

If you’ve tried all that you can and you’re still facing clogged drains, it’s time to reach out to a professional. Some clogged drains may be more stubborn than others and could benefit from a hydro jetting service

Hydro jetting, also called water jetting, works by shooting a high-pressure stream of water into the pipes to clear out blockages, such as grease and debris. The pressure is so strong that it can break up tough clogs and flush them away. This method is popular for deep cleaning drains and sewer lines, ensuring they stay clear and problem-free. So, if you’re dealing with stubborn clogs or want to prevent future blockages, hydro jetting is a smart choice for keeping your plumbing in good shape.

Preventing Future Drain Clogs

Most plumbing systems operate out of sight, behind walls and beneath floors, making it easy to overlook the importance of preventative maintenance. However, neglecting your drains can lead to costly repairs and disruptions to your daily life. To keep your drains flowing freely, here are some proactive steps you can take:

1. Implement a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Just like any other part of your home, drains require regular cleaning to prevent buildup. Incorporate drain cleaning into your routine housekeeping tasks to keep them free from debris and grime.

2. Properly Disposing of Waste 

Since food, grease, grime, and other non-degradable items are the most common reasons behind clogged drains, it’s important to dispose of waste appropriately. 

3. Use of Drain Guards

Installing drain guards or strainers in your sinks and shower drains can effectively catch hair, soap scum, and other particles before they have a chance to accumulate and cause a blockage.

4. Hot Water Flush

Regularly flushing your drains with hot water can help dissolve grease and soap residue that may be clinging to the pipe walls. This simple practice can go a long way in preventing buildup and keeping your drains clear.

5. Monthly Maintenance Routine

Set aside time each month to perform preventive maintenance on your drains. This may include using natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar to break up stubborn clogs or using a plumber’s snake to remove any blockages that have formed.

By taking these proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing recurring drain clogs. However, if you find yourself dealing with persistent issues, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional. At T. Webber, we specialize in plumbing services and can provide expert assistance to keep your drains flowing smoothly. 

Get Expert Plumbing Services at T. Webber Today

For top-notch plumbing solutions, turn to T. Webber. Our expert services include drain snaking, sewer camera inspections, and hydro jetting to swiftly clear any clogs in your kitchen and bath drains. Don’t wait until a clog becomes a problem—contact us at the first sign of trouble for prompt and reliable service.

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