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How to Clean Clogged Drains

People face the problem of clogged drains every day and everywhere: work, school, theater, etc. But if talking about the home this problem appears to be very important to solve. The easiest way to avoid any drains is to install a sump pump, but if not we have prepared an article for you to explain the easiest ways of solving this vital problem on the example of sink drain.

Step 1: Tools

Clogged drains in the kitchen sink can destroy your life. They usually get blocked in the most inappropriate moments when there is simply no time to repair or clean them! To avoid such situations you can install a sump pump not to appear in a situation when you stare at a sink full of ugly stuff thinking of calling a plumber and spending a big sum of money. If you still faced this horrible situation and you did not get a sump pump then you still have a way out with the following inexpensive tools and a little practice.

This article will explain you how to deal with such a situation having a plunger and snake to clean clogged drain. You can get a plunger at any home center or hardware store. Do not get a very big one because you will need to apply enough of force to it.

A snake which sometimes can be called a hand auger has a big variety in prices depending on its length, size, and turning mechanism. The best purchase for any kind of clogged drains is 3/8-in. model with a length of about 20 ft. You will also need to get a bucket or a bin that can fit under the clogged drain, regular rubber gloves and a flashlight.

Step 2: Clear the blockage

First of all check where the problem is, if it is not in the disposer, then you can use a plunger. If the problem is more complicated you should call a plumber to install a sump pump to solve the plumbing issue as fast as possible.

So let’s consider an option when the situation is light and you can handle it yourself. First of all, clamp the drain hose in case you have a dishwasher. Then you will need to fill the sink with water to make sure that your plunger perfectly seals around the drain. It is essential to hold a wet rag very tightly over the other drain opening in the double sinks or if you do not want to touch it you can use the basket strainer to seal it.

Then start to plunge away. Then try to roll the head of the plunger into the water and force water into the clogged drain. Pump strongly. On your last move, take the plunger away from the mouth of the drain very sharply to add extra pressure. If you see that the water does not swirl properly down the drain, you need to continue plunging for a couple of minutes.

A very important fact here is not to plunge or snake any clogged drains if you have used any drain cleaner before. Some chemicals can lead to serious burns in case of the contact with your skin. You can use such special cleaners only if the drain is not completely clogged or the sink drains very slowly.

Step 3: Clean the P-trap

A lot of clogs taking place in the P-trap or trap arm of the drain occur when coffee or grease grounds get stuck. If you have already tried intensive plunging and it did not help then you need to clean the P-trap.

Start from cleaning the water from the sink and by that means reduce the flow of the sink when pulling off the trap. Do not forget to put your bucket underneath to let dirty water flow out freely. If you have old drains then they are likely to be metal and it is a little harder to clean them as compared to modern plastic ones. In any case you can use slip-joint pliers to break them. Then you will need only to loose them and avoid any cracking of the trap assembly.

Then you need to unscrew the slip nut and if you find the trap clogged then clean it. After cleaning reinstall it and test with warm water. Never over-tighten the slip nuts.

If your P-trap is not clogged, then you need to remove the trap arm and clean it. If the previous actions do not help then you will need to use snake for the clogged drains!

Step 4: Snake

Start from loosening the setscrew and pulling out cable on 6 to 10 in. Then you will need to tighten the setscrew and begin spinning the snake down into your drain line. Sometimes you may feel some obstruction, but as a rule this occurs only when the snake turns around a corner of the drain. Then loose the setscrew and pull out another part of the cable (6 to 10 in.) after which you can continue to push the snake into the line.

As said above, you may feel some obstruction so do not worry and simply go on pushing and cranking the cable through the clog until you feel the tip goes through. This should be obvious because the cable tension will drop. When you finally get through the clog in the drain, you need to turn the crank counterclockwise and then you can pull the cable out. Clean the cable as you pull. Now repeat the whole process until you do not feel the blockage anymore and then run plenty of warm water to clean the line completely.

After you have cleaned your clogged drains with special tools complete the process with pouring half of baking soda cup and 1/2 cup of vinegar into the drain. Then leave this mix for a few minutes and run another gallon of warm water behind it to flush everything out. This mixture will clean all the leftovers from the drain and the drains will now smell fresh. The main idea – even if you do not have a special sump pump you will always be able to work out any difficulties!

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