Methods of Fixing Blocked Drains at Home

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Blocked drains at home, whether it's your kitchen sink or bathtub that's clogged, don't always need the services of a plumber. In some cases you can address these on your own safely and easily. If you're not sure of how to do this, note the following steps, but remember that if you're not good with tools or these fixes don't address the problem, you want to call a professional.

Trying to handle plumbing repairs that are beyond your expertise can mean doing more damage and in turn, needing even more expensive repairs done down the road:

1. Baking soda and vinegar

One favorite trick for blocked drains is baking soda and vinegar. When these two substances are combined, they expand and begin to foam. This can dislodge a clog in a drain. To use these, sprinkle baking soda into the drain, then pour in vinegar.

You'll notice the foam coming back out of the drain; don't panic, as this is how it works. Once this foam begins to subside, run very hot water over the drain. You may need to try this trick a few times to dislodge the clog completely.

2. Removing the pipes

For a clog in a sink, you can remove the pipes under the sink and dislodge the clog. This is a messy job so have a bowl or pan ready, and unscrew the large connectors you see between the pipes under the sink. This should remove a curved pipe that is at the lowest point of the pipes you see, which is where the clog is probably located. You can tap the food particles or hair or other clogged materials into the trash and then replace the pipe.

3. Sewer snakes

Sewer snakes are somewhat cumbersome to use, so it's best to be careful about choosing this method for a blocked drain. You need to ensure you get the right size for the drain, and then also carefully work it through the clog, easing the snake back and forth to dislodge it. You don't want to try to force the snake through, as you may be getting caught on a connector of sorts and in turn, you could cause damage to the pipes.

In some cases, blocked drains are caused by clogs that are outside your home, such as when a pipe cracks and allows dirt to seep in. If quick fixes don't address the blocks, this too is another reason to call a plumber as it may not be the pipes right under the drain that are the issue.