When facing a clogged drain, most homeowners first reach for the Drano or some other chemical drain cleaner. Unfortunately, these compounds do not always work and further actions are necessary. There are three main areas where clogs will occur and each has a slightly different method for dealing with them.
A clogged drain in a bathroom sink or bathtub is usually due to a buildup of hair or some other foreign object. If Drano doesn’t solve the problem, removing the U-shaped “trap” underneath the drain and physically removing the clog or flushing it with water will solve the problem. Be sure to use a basin underneath to catch any water that remains in the line.
Drano is not usually recommended for clearing a clogged drain in a toilet as the chemical does not usually reach the clog to have an effect. Instead, use a plunger or a drain auger designed for toilets to physically clear the clog. In extreme cases such as when a plastic toy or other small object is flushed down the toilet, the entire toilet may have to be removed to get at the source of the problem.
Overuse of the garbage disposal or the disposal of large amounts of grease usually causes a clog in a drain in the kitchen. As before, a drain auger should be used to physically aid the clog in being removed. It is sometimes difficult to reach the clog from the drain in the sink. Most modern homes now have cleanout plugs that can be removed to more directly unclog the line. Look for these plugs underneath the sink or, sometimes on the outside of the building directly opposite the sink.
A clogged drain that results from damage to or an obstruction in the main sewage line is a major problem and is best left to a professional plumber. They have the proper tools, extensive expertise and years of experience. They can isolate, identify and resolve the problem far more efficiently and cost effectively than the vast majority of homeowners.
A professional plumbing company certainly offers the easiest solution for the homeowner who doesn’t have the time, energy or inclination to solve these problems. When in doubt or when in a hurry use a professional plumbing company to fix your clogged drain and have the peace of mind that the job is properly done.