Clogged Drains

SAFETY TIP # 1: Do not pour caustic liquid drain cleaner into a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients can get trapped in your pipes and cause severe damage.

SAFETY TIP #2: Do not use a plunger on a drain if you have poured caustic drain cleaner into it. Caustic chemicals in the pipes could splash up during plunging.

If you haven’t poured caustic drain cleaner down the clogged drain, you can try unclogging it by using a time-honored drain opener, the rubber plunger. This inexpensive tool will usually break up the clog and allow it to float away. Remember though, it may take more than a few plunges to do the trick.

1. Fill the drain or toilet with enough water to cover the cup of the plunger. (If you have a double sink, make sure that you plug up the other sink drain with a stopper or wet rag.)

2. Put the plunger in the water, making sure to let all the air out of the cup. A plunger works only when the entire cup is completely filled with water.

3. Press the cup flat against the sink or toilet to form a seal.

4. Plunge up and down rapidly. If you are not feeling much resistance or if you hear the water sloshing around inside and you are working on a double sink, make sure that the other drain is plugged.

5. If you are plunging a sink, once the clog has been loosened, run hot water through the drain to flush it out.

6. If plunging didn’t do the trick, drop a handful of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain, followed by 6 cups boiling water. Let this mixture sit overnight. In the morning flush with more water.

7. An enzyme drain cleaner (available in stores) may also unclog your drain.

8. To read about other reasons for clogged drains, you can also see our section on Rusted Pipes.

If your efforts have not met with success, you can call us for advice or you can schedule a service call to have one of our expert technicians evaluate the problem.