Tried These Drain Cleaning DIYs and Still Having Trouble?

A slow drain can be a nuisance in your home. Water pools in your sink and makes doing simple tasks like brushing your teeth or washing dishes a hassle. If you’ve been trying drain cleaning DIYs to correct your clogged or slow drain and only ending up with a mess and wasted time, check out these solutions.

Why Your Sink is Not Draining

A slow drain is when your drain doesn’t clog, but it drains much slower than it should. The water pools and it may take minutes for your sink to empty, which is caused by everything from soap scum and food particles to grease and hair. While a slow drain is annoying, most homeowners ignore them until they become a full clog. It’s better to fix the problem when it starts and save yourself the trouble of dealing with bigger problems.

Use the Zip-It Tool

If you want to try to resolve the clog on your own, the Zip-it is an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool that anyone can use. You can use the tool to capture the hair or debris and bring it up safely, eliminating the backup in your drain. This can be used on drains with and without pop-ups, so invest in one for your DIY needs.

Take out the P and U Traps

Pipes have a U-shaped bend that you can see if you open the cabinet below your sink in your kitchen or bathroom. This bend is designed to keep a small pool of water in the pipes at all times, preventing sewer gasses from backing up into your home. These gasses not only stink, but they can be toxic to humans and pets. The area where water pools is a prime location for loose change, lost rings, small toys, hair clumps, and other debris to accumulate, clogging your pipes over time.
Here’s how you can clear your P and U traps:
  • Turn off the water supply to your sink and remove the items you store in the cabinet below. Use only a bucket to catch any dirty water that may come out of the pipe.
  • The P-trap is secured with slip nuts at the ends of the pipe’s curvature. Depending on when your plumbing was installed, it may be chrome or plastic.
  • You can try removing the slip nuts with your fingers, but you may need a wrench for tight slip nuts. Turn them counterclockwise.
  • Once you have the slip nuts removed, you can take out the P-trap section of the pipe.
  • With gloved fingers or a stiff brush, push out the clogged debris to clear the pipe.
  • When you’ve cleared the pipe, replace the P-trap section and retighten the slip nuts.
  • Turn the water supply back on and replace the items in your cabinet.

Use the Plunger

Most households have a plunger to deal with toilet clogs. Plungers also work on kitchen and bathroom sink clogs, but you need a smaller plunger. Here’s how to unclog your sink drain with a plunger:
  • Remove the stopper or sinkhole cover from your drain. Most stoppers will pop out if you pull them upward and turn them. After you remove the stopper, put it somewhere safe and out of reach.
  • Fill the sink with about an inch of water. Don’t fill the entire basin – only leave enough water to create a seal.
  • Center the plunger over the drain and apply pressure to create a strong seal. Pump the plunger up and down while keeping the seal.
  • Remove the plunger periodically to see if the water will drain. Once the clog is removed, the water should drain rapidly.
  • If necessary, check the inside of the pipe with a flashlight to see if the clog is visible. Test your drain to see if it continues to empty smoothly. You may need to plunge more for stubborn clogs.

What Not to Use

Chemical Cleaners

A chemical drain cleaner is most homeowners’ solution to a clogged drain. These caustic substances can remove clogs, but they also pose a risk to your PVC or metal pipes.
In addition, the chemicals in drain cleaners are toxic to humans and animals. Just a little on your skin or splashed in your eyes can cause severe burning.

Wire Hanger

An unbent wire coat hanger is one of the best-known DIY solutions for clogs, but it’s far from the best. Most clogs are found too deep in the pipes for a coat hanger to reach. Plus, jamming a coat hanger into your pipes without knowing where you’re poking can damage PVC or metal pipes. And, if the hanger gets stuck, now you have a bigger hassle than a clog.

Time to Call the Professionals

If you’re not getting anywhere with your DIY solutions, or you’re simply tired of making a mess with no results, call the pros! Moore Home Services can get your slow or clogged drain running like new in no time!