Fixing Leaks And Unclogging Drains Without Calling A Plumber

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems. Luckily, there are several DIY ways to fix your clogged drain without calling a plumber.

Whether it’s in the kitchen sink or bathtub, most drain clogs are caused by soap, food, dirt, or hair build-up. Using these simple methods will help to unclog the drain and prevent future problems. Click here at to learn more.

The humble plunger is an easy-to-use tool that is indispensable in any homeowner’s arsenal. A standard cup plunger can be used on sinks and tub drains, while a flange plunger works best on toilets. While it may seem tempting to reach for chemical drain cleaners, using a plunger is an environmentally friendly alternative that can save you money and avoid damage to your pipes.

The way a plunger works is simple: when the rubber cup seals tightly over the drain opening, hydraulic suction, and pressure combine to dislodge most clogs. To plunge a drain, use quick, forceful strokes throughout five or six pumping cycles. During each cycle, the handle is pushed down and then pulled up sharply, while ensuring that the cup seals tightly. Repeat the process a few times until the clog is fully dislodged.

To plunge correctly, make sure the drain is completely uncovered and that the water level is deep enough to cover the entire rubber cup of your plunger. Also, be sure that the plunger is positioned directly over the drain opening and not tilted in any way. Finally, a layer of petroleum jelly applied to the rim of the plunger can help create a better seal, which in turn will lead to more successful plunging.

If you have a very stubborn clog, don’t be afraid to try different plunger sizes. Larger rubber bells deliver more thrust and are better suited for heavy-duty work. However, most homeowners find that a standard size will work just fine for their needs.

If plunging a drain doesn’t work, a more advanced method is a wire snake (also known as a hand auger). This long, serpentine tool can be fed down the pipe and turned to cut or break through most clogs. Some models feature hooks for pulling out clogs or other attachments for more thorough cleaning. Regardless of what kind of snake you choose, it is always recommended to run water down the drain while the clog is being broken up to flush the pipes. This will prevent the loosened clog from just returning in a few days.

Wire Snake

Sometimes, a plunger or a concoction of baking soda and vinegar isn’t enough to clear the blockage in your drain. That’s when you need a snake – the ultimate weapon in your plumbing arsenal! This nifty tool is designed to fit inside your pipes and grab onto whatever is blocking the flow, whether it’s hair, grease, or even a piece of drywall. Before you begin snaking, put on some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and place old towels down beneath the sink where you will be working. It’s also a good idea to remove the P-trap, which is a curved pipe that connects your sink to your home’s main sewer line. This will help prevent any nasty sewer gas from seeping up through your sink and into your living space.

There are several different types of snakes available on the market, but a basic manual cable snake should do the trick for most homeowners. This snake is typically 25-50 feet long and can be coiled up when not in use. It has a hook at the end that you can feed down the drain to grab onto whatever is causing it to clog. The best part is that it’s fairly inexpensive and can usually be found at most hardware stores.

If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn clog, consider investing in a longer, more powerful wire snake that features more aggressive tips for breaking up and hooking a clog so it can be pulled away from the pipe walls. These snakes can be purchased at most hardware stores as well.

Before using the snake, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s important not to force the snake into your piping because you could damage it or cause an additional clog. Once you’ve snagged the clog, be sure to pull the snake out and run water down the drain at full blast for a few minutes to ensure the clog is completely gone. If it’s still slow to drain or seems to be recurring, it may be time to call in a professional plumber.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you’ve ever used vinegar and baking soda in a science experiment or even in a home clean-up, you know that they are a powerful combination. This kitchen staple is also a safe, affordable, and eco-friendly alternative to store-bought drain cleaners. It works to dissolve clogs, eliminate bad smells, and even prevent future clogs when regularly used.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a weak base that reacts with acid to create carbonic gas, which can dislodge and break down organic material like hair, grease, and food waste. When mixed with warm water, it becomes a safe, effective, and environmentally friendly drain cleaner. Unlike commercial drain cleaners, it doesn’t contain toxic sodium hydroxide or other harmful chemicals.

Pour about 1/2 c of baking soda down the drain and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Next, pour a mixture of 1 c of vinegar and 1 c of hot water down the drain. The chemical reaction that takes place is pretty cool to watch! The fizzing action will physically agitate the clog and dissolve any organic matter. After a few minutes, flush the drain with boiling water to wash away any residue left behind.

Although this is a great solution for minor clogs, it may not be enough to clear a serious clog that’s formed deep within the pipes. It may be necessary to use a plunger or drain snake, or even remove your drain trap to disassemble and dislodge the blockage. Additionally, vinegar can damage some types of pipes over time due to its high acid content.

Another downside to this DIY method is that it can be messy and time-consuming. It is also not as efficient as professional drain cleaning services. If your clog is severe, you’ll probably need to call a plumber for more professional help.

Boiling Water

Clogged drains are a common occurrence in homes, especially when you’re not taking proper precautionary measures to keep food and other debris out of your home’s drains. Fortunately, there are several life hacks that you can use to fix or prevent them from occurring in the first place!

A simple and effective way to deal with a minor drain clog is to pour boiling water down the drain. This can help break down soap scum, grease, hair, and other organic matter that might be causing the clog. The boiling water also helps to flush out any leftover material and can help clear away even the most stubborn clogs without damaging your pipes.

For a more serious clog, you can try baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda is mildly abrasive and when mixed with vinegar creates a chemical reaction that can dislodge and dissolve organic matter that can cause drain clogs. To do this, simply pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by half a cup of white vinegar. You should hear and see a chemical reaction occur, and this will likely loosen and dissolve the clog enough to allow for proper drainage. After letting the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, flush it out with boiling water.

Another option is to use a snake or auger. Snakes and augers are long, thin tools with a hooked end that can grab onto clogs and pull them out of your drain. They’re generally easy to operate and do not require any special tools or knowledge. However, if your clog is especially stubborn or you are worried about damage to your pipes, it may be best to call in a professional.

There are also many store-bought products specifically formulated to deal with tough drain clogs. However, these often contain chemicals that are much harsher than boiling water and can cause your pipes to weaken over time. In addition, they can be harmful to your skin and eyes and may cause chemical burns if splashed on your body. A professional plumber will know how to safely and effectively handle your clogged drains and pipes.