Quick Cures for Clogged Drains

6/15/16
By: Karli Willden

Indoor plumbing is quite an amazing system. Water and sewage is directed and maneuvered inside and out of the house through pipes in the walls and ceiling. It works so well it is almost easy to forget about and take for granted, but plumbing has a way of reminding us it is there. Clogged drains, for example, remind you the hard way why it’s important to maintain your plumbing to function properly and last through the years. A little maintenance today could save you a lot of problems tomorrow. If you already have clogged drains in your home, see if you can use some of our quick fix solutions below, or maybe you need to call a plumber.

Where Do Most Clogged Drains Occur?

Clogged drains can occur in any part of the house at any time. Depending on the care and past maintenance of the plumbing, a plumbing issue could arise with the kitchen sink disposal, the bathroom toilet, the bathtub or the shower drain. Often the drains which are mostly likely to get clogged are those which get used the most. Seems logical enough, right? This might be different for your household, but generally the most common clogged drains occur in kitchen drain or toilets. Read on below to see what you need to do for  your common household clogged drains.

Need to Know & Have

  1. Toilet Plunger: Use on toilet drain
  2. Cup-style Plunger: Use on any drain, except toilet drain
  3. Drain Snake or Drain Stick
  4. Avoid chemical drain cleaners

Tub/Shower Drain Clogs

Ever been in a bathroom shower or tub that had a clogged drain? If you have, you know what it feels like to be the second person in line, patiently waiting to use the shower or tub. Then, once it is finally your turn, the realization hits you are going to have to wait for the water to slowly drain, or wade in it during your bath or shower. With some easy fixes, however, these drains can be restored to its normal flow. One of the first culprits of a clogged shower or drain is the hair. According to AAD.org, a person normally sheds between 50-100 hairs per day! If you live in a family where several individuals have long hair, you can only imagine it wouldn’t take long for there to be a clogged drain due to hair.  

Tips to Unclog: Remove the hair causing the drain to clog with a drain stick, spring-steel snake, or wire hanger. By using these tools, large clumps of hair causing the plug can be removed.

How to Prevent: Clean hair out of the tub before pulling the plug. As you make this a habit, you would be shocked at how much hair you prevented from going down the drain.

Toilet Drain Clogs

One of the most dreaded clogged drains to have in the house is a clogged toilet. A few common culprits for a clogged toilet might include feminine hygiene products, thick toilet paper, paper towels, dental floss, baby wipes, cotton balls/swabs, and, well, you know the rest. Anything other than toilet paper and natural waste that is flushed can cause significant damage to the plumbing system.

How to Prevent:  Make sure only waste and toilet paper are flushed down the toilet, and none of the following below:

  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Thick Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Dental Floss
  • Baby Wipes
  • Cotton Balls/Swabs

Tips to Unclog: If the only items flushed were TP and waste, a toilet plunger could work fine. If any of the other items have been flushed, your best bet is to call a plumber. Feminine hygiene products are not made to break up, and they must be removed from the plumbing system. Call a plumber to see if he will need to come out and remove the obstruction in the pipe, before the situation gets worse.  

Kitchen Sink Clogs

Sink clogs are all too common in the kitchen. Grease and meal leftovers are often rinsed and washed down the sink, instead of making its way into the trash. Common causes of sink drains include, food, grease and oils.

How to Prevent: Always make sure to throw away grease, oils, shells and skins in the trash and not down the sink.  

Tips to Unclog: Use a plunger to work drain, while holding a stopper with your other hand in the other side of the sink. By doing this the right amount of pressure will be created to unstop the clog. If you have a bigger blockage caused by potato skins or eggshells, those can be removed by disassembling the elbow under the sink and removing them. Avoid pouring any chemicals down the drains to unclog the blockage, as it is hard on the pipes. If your kitchen clog issues still persist, give Matthews Plumbing a call at (208) 357-3439 for more detailed instructions.