Clogged pipes can occur from a number of reasons, like hair going down the tub drain, or food particles going down the kitchen sink. Clogs are common enough, so why call the plumber every time? You can try to fix the clog yourself through a few easy steps, and if you can’t fix it – pay someone who can!

Remove The Clog By Hand

Put on some gloves (the ones that go past your wrist) and remove the drain cover. Pull out any debris that you can reach. Try using a pair of pliers to reach further than your fingers can. Once the debris has been removed, test the drain to see if it is draining properly. To avoid future clogs in the tub, purchase a drain cover that catches hair but still allows water to drain.

Take It Apart

If the clog is in the sink, remove the U-shaped pipe from under the sink and clean it out. Be sure to turn off the water and have a bucket underneath the pipe to catch any leaks. Replace the pipe and test the sink, and see if the clog has been removed. To avoid future clogs in the sink, mesh drain covers are available that can catch small food particles.

Try a Plunger or Auger

Plungers with a flat base can be used in a sink or the tub. Make sure the plunger is sealed around the drain completely, and pump the plunger for about 30 seconds. The plunger should help loosen the clog and get it moving through the pipes. Another option is using an auger, which is a plumbing snake, to break up the clog and pull it out. Both plungers and augers can be found for a reasonable price at your local hardware store. Some grocery stores may even carry them in their cleaning product aisle.

Try these different ways to unclog a drain before resorting to store bought clog removers. Chemical clog removers can actually be harmful to your pipes, especially if you use them often. Drains that are completely blocked leave the chemicals to sit in the pipes, wearing away at them. And using multiple chemicals to unclog a drain can cause a noxious combination that can travel back up through your pipes. This is harmful to you and your family, so if one chemical doesn’t work, don’t add another.

If clogs keep returning, especially from the same sink or tub, you may want to reach out to a professional to see why.

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