After extended use it is common for a drain to become clogged.  Hair and soap scum are the most common causes, and can cause your sink or shower to drain very slowly.

It is not usually too difficult to fix a clogged drain.  Try these 3 tips listed below and avoid these common mistakes!

3 Tips

• Stuck stopper

Your sink or shower area may have a stuck stopper or trip lever that is causing your drain to clog.  Check to see that everything is functioning properly before you dig into anything else.

• Fish with a snake or a hanger

A plumber’s snake is a long and flexible cable made of steel that is wound around on a handle.

To use a snake, remove the stopper or trip lever plate and fish the snake down the opening twisting the snake as you go. This helps move the head of the snake along and helps the snake grab any hair or gook it may come in contact with.  Keep pushing and twisting as you pull the snake back up.  This will help to break up any clogs in the drain.  Sometimes, bending a metal clothes hanger and twisting that down the drain is as effective as a snake. This is most effective when the clog is contained to the drain trap.

• Pump that plunger

Most people only associate plungers with unclogging toilets, but they are also very effective on drains.

To proceed, make sure there is enough water over the drain to cover the bottom of the plunger’s head.  Use an old towel or rag to block the opening of the overflow outlet.  With the plunger covering the drain, use a pumping motion down and up at least five times. The pressure created should dislodge the clog in the drain.

Common Mistakes:

• Liquid Drainer

Don’t bother trying to unclog a drain using drain cleaner liquid you can pick up at your local grocery store.  If you’re lucky, it may eat through the clog, but it can be dangerous to use and can damage your pipes.  Even if it does work, the fix is usually very temporary and you’ll be back at the store buying more a month or so later.

• Boiling water

NEVER pour boiling water down the drain in an attempt melt the clog or hoping the heat will dislodge the clog.  Pipes aren’t designed to handle water that hot and the water can damage seals, rubber gaskets, as well as weaken pipe joints.

To find out more information about Clogged Drains, give us a call 215.326.9097

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