Attempting to cook, shower, or even flush the toilet with a partially clogged drain is no fun for busy families. Even worse is the fact that clogged drain issues seem to occur most when life is most hectic, such as when families are hosting overnight guests or cooking for a dinner party or holiday get-together. If you find yourself dealing with a partially clogged drain and need immediate relief, the following tips may help you deal with the situation until a real repair can be made.
Keep a snake on hand
An inexpensive plumber's snake is a simple tool that can be used to manually extract and manipulate clogs several feet into your drain system. Composed of an auger-type handle and a flexible cable, the plumber's snake is inserted into the offending drain, and then the handle is cranked to extend the cable.
When a clog is encountered, the snake can be wiggled to help dislodge it and push the debris on through, freeing up the clog. If the snake includes a coiled wire on the end, it can also be used to catch debris and pull it back up through the drain opening to remove it.
Heat can be your friend
If the clog is likely caused by greasy liquids that accumulate in the drain and then harden to form a clog, using heat may help loosen and dissolve the obstruction. To attempt to unclog your drain with heat, first try using hot water. When using hot water, first add a few drops of a dish liquid that has a degreasing action to the drain opening. Then heat a two-quart saucepan full of water until it reaches the boiling point. Then turn off the heat, and slowly trickle the water into the drain to help dissolve the hardened grease.
Another way to use heat to help unclog a grease-based clog is to carefully use a hair dryer to warm the pipe in the area where the clog is located. This works best when the clog is near the drain opening or in the area of the trap.
While these tips can be very helpful in dealing with some types of clogs, those that are more serious should be referred to a professional drain cleaning service. These experts have an arsenal of weapons for attacking and clearing roots, clogs, and accumulated debris from your drains so that your showers, sinks, and toilets once again drain freely.