Many homeowners turn to chemical drain cleaners for their drain cleaning needs. Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners have many disadvantages. In addition to being bad for the environment and toxic for humans and pets, chemical drain cleaners can be hard on pipes. While drain cleaners might do the job in a pinch, it's better to have a range of solutions that are better for your pipes and the members of your household.
While many people have used a plunger in the past, many people fail to use plungers properly. Good technique is critical to your success when using a plunger. Start by filling the sink enough so the water will come up over the lip of the plunger when you place it over the mouth of the drain. Water helps to create the seal that allows the plunger to force the clog from the pipe. If the sink is a double sink, or if the sink is connected to other sinks in adjoining rooms, stuff the drain of the other sink with a wet rag to plug the pipes and create a vacuum.
Place the plunger over the drain hole, then force the plunger up and down several times. Do this vigorously and rapidly, without removing the plunger from the drain hole. On the last plunge, jerk the plunger up out of the water forcefully. If this doesn't work, repeat the process.
An auger is similar to a plumbing snake that a plumber would use. However, snakes are usually powered by electricity, while augers rely on a manual crank to insert the cable into the pipe. Plumber's augers can easily be used by DIYers to help them clear basic clogs from their own drains. To use the auger, remove the sink's pop-up drain cover and insert the cable into the drain. If the drain cover can't be removed, use a plunger instead (see instructions above).
Once the cable is inside the pipe, use the crank to push the auger down into the drain until it reaches the clog. You'll know when the auger reaches the clog because any water in the basin will suddenly drain from the sink. When this happens, retract the cable. The clog should be stuck at the twisty, corkscrew-like end of the cable.
Following these tips, you may be able to clear your drain without help from chemical drain cleaner. If these methods don't work, professional drain cleaning may be necessary. For help, call a professional plumber today. Click here for more info on plumbing services.