All plumbing and piping systems will eventually develop clogs. There is simply no way to completely avoid it. Over time, you pipes and drains will need a little cleaning to get them going again, but don’t call the plumbers just yet. Most stopped-up drains and toilets can be easily fixed without any special help. All you need are the right tools and a little determination to successfully unclog drain pipe.
Let’s begin with the tools you’ll need. The first and the most important is the plunger. This is one useful tool and every homeowner should keep on handy. It clears most fixtures like sinks, toilets, and tubs. The next tool you’ll need is the cable auger. Use the auger to dislodge clogs stuck farther down the pipe. A cheaper alternative for the auger is the plumber’s snake. The snake accomplishes all tasks you can do with the auger, though the auger is more convenient to use. Aside from the cable auger, there are other specialized types of augers that you may need to use. The first is the closet auger for use on toilets. Closet augers are bent at precise points so it can maneuver through the tight curves of the toilet trap. The second is the electric powered auger, which is used to clear very large clogs trapped even farther down the pipes. It is powered by an electric motor and can effectively remove almost any clogs, even tangled tree roots. All of these tools are available in almost all hardware stores at very affordable price, with the exception of the electric auger but it can be rented from a cleaning company.
After acquiring the tools, all you need to learn now is how to use them to unclog drain pipe. The procedure is very simple and is basically similar for all types of drains.
Begin by using the plunger to loosen up the clog. To use the plunger, cover first any outlets such overflow openings then fill the tub or sink with enough water to cover the bottom part of the plunger. Plunge the drain in quick and sharp blows to dislodge whatever is blocking the drain pipe. Using the plunger is usually enough for most applications, but sometimes the blockage can be more severe that you now need to use the auger or the plumber’s snake, whichever you own. For the sink, the auger goes into the drain but for the tub, it must be feed through the overflow plate opening. Feed the auger or snake slowly with a continuous turning of the handle. You will feel resistance as you reach and dislodge the blockage.
These do it yourself techniques to unclog drain pipe can be very useful and can save a lot of money. But never try too hard on a very stubborn clog. If you still can’t get the job right after a several attempts, it is time to give the job to a drain cleaning service or a licensed plumber. Exerting too much effort on your fixtures may permanently damage them, and you wouldn’t want that to happen.