Treating Your Plumbing for Clogged Drains 3

Treating Your Clogged Drains

When your drain runs slowly or isn't running, it's tempting to try many different tricks you've heard about over the years to unclog your drain. Use the suggestions below for addressing your clogged drain and to avoid making the problem worse.


  • If you live in an apartment, you should always make sure that no one else nearby is experiencing a slow drain or drains that are backing up, especially if the drain isn't working in your bathtub, the lowest drain in your home. Sometimes clogs that are further down the drainage line outside of your home can be the cause of your drainage problems which means that your landlord will have to address the problem.
  • Make sure to have a couple of different size plungers in your home. A larger plunger is used for toilets that are clogged and a smaller plunger is used for sinks. You will have to remove the drain cap on a sink before plunging it to try to remove a clog which makes using a plunger for a sink more difficult than using it for the toilet.

Different Plungers Modern Process Plumbing

  • For a clogged toilet, don't continue to flush if the water's not going down to avoid overflowing. If the water is not slowly draining to its normal levels then you'll have to use the plunger through the higher water in your toilet. Use towels around the toilet for splashes. After you press down and up which creates a vacuum, you'll continue to pump until the toilet drains.
  • You can choose from sink-size or toilet-size snakes that are available for home use, usually for under $20 to clear your clogged drains. For sinks, snakes are helpful because you don't have to remove drain caps to use them. When you use a snake, use it carefully and work it down your pipes. If you meet resistance make sure it's because you reached the clog and not because you reached a curve in the pipe.

drain snake modern Process Plumbing

  • If you have trouble moving a snake further down the pipe and when you remove it hair or other debris is on its end, clean it before putting it back in the drain; this shows that you've reached the clog. Removing any debris that you pull out using the snake will prevent the snake from re-clogging your drain as it's pushed further down the pipe.
  • If you decide to use a chemical de-clogger, use a professionally designed product rather than home remedies to avoid caking and making a clog worse. Be sure to read all package directions so that you don't negatively impact either the surface of your sink or toilet or pipes.
  • Call a plumber for a clogged drain if you're unsure of what approach to take or if you're unsure about whether you'll damage your pipes because the expense of having your drain unclogged will be much less than the expense of having pipes repaired.

Unclogging your drain can sometimes be accomplished without the services of a plumber. Use the suggestions above to try to unclog your drain before calling a plumber.

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3 thoughts on “Treating Your Plumbing for Clogged Drains

  • Drew

    It’s actually pretty surprising how many people don’t know the difference between a sink and toilet plunger. I’m so glad that you explained the difference! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nash Rich

    I used to live in an old apartment that probably had had so much food shoved down the drain. It would get clogged sometimes and though we didn’t have a plunger, I found that one of those rubber drain stoppers worked pretty good. I’m sure if it’s a really bad clog, it may not work as good.

  • Maggie Allen

    It’s really nice that there are snakes available to help unclog your drains without removing the drain caps. Since I have drain caps that cannot be removed, I can’t use a plunger at all to help me out with clogs! However, if a drain snake doesn’t help me out with the clog in my shower, I’ll just go straight to calling a professional. I don’t want to risk making the problem worse by using a chemical drain cleaner.