When a sink or tub suddenly stops draining, it's tempting to reach for the drain cleaner. Though drain cleaners -- actually powerful, corrosive chemicals -- can work when drains have trivial clogs, they aren't effective against bigger problems. Not only that, they can wreak havoc on your pipes and are terrible for the environment.
Instead, recommends Mother Earth Living
take a little time to get a better understanding of how your drain system works
, and you'll be able to beat clogs at their source.
Tools you might need:
- a sink plunger
- a bucket
- a pipe wrench
- a flexible wire (like a wire coat hanger twisted out of shape)
- a drain snake
Learn how to get started after the break, but if you're squeamish, don't forget to put on your rubber gloves!
Mother Earth Living has the fine details.
But basically, you'll start by pulling out the drain plug, removing any debris, then sticking your finger down the drain to try and locate the clog. If that doesn't work, the next step is a drain plunger. If that
doesn't work, it's under the sink for you to remove the trap.
Those three steps will clear up most clogged drains, but if they don't, you may have a main drain problem
. Still, most household clogs (even toilets
) can be handled without the use of drain cleaners or by calling an expensive plumber.
Want to read more? Learn how to prevent clogged drains
, how to unclog a toilet
, and how to stop stinky sewer gas
from coming out of your pipes.