How to Fix a Clogged or Slow-Moving Sink or Bathtub Drain
Slow-moving and clogged drains can interrupt daily life in Sacramento homes and businesses, disrupting routines, hampering productivity and negatively impacting profits. Sink drains and bathroom drains are the most commonly clogged drains. Hair, soap residue, jewelry and debris can get caught in the drain, sometimes on the pivot or stopper rod, and block water flow. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy problem to fix, and there are trusted Sacramento plumbers to help when the job’s too big or complicated to fix on your own.
A popular, and often effective, remedy for clearing a clogged drain involves pouring ½ cup baking soda, and then 1 cup white vinegar, into the drain. Let that mixture foam for five minutes to loosen minor clogs. Then run hot water for 30 seconds to check the drain. If it isn’t clear yet, move on to these more involved solutions to clear your clogged Sacramento sink or bathtub drain.
Follow These 4 Steps to Unclog Your Sink Drain:
- First, try using a simple drain plunger. Often, this will clear any minor clogs and clear your drain. Run a little water into the sink. If there are two sink bowls, or an overflow hole, stuff them with a damp rag before plunging. Plunge the drain vigorously several times and then test the drain. If water flows down easily, you’re done! If the plunger doesn’t work, move to step 2.
- Next you’ll want to a plumber’s snake or cable auger, a flexible steel cable that’s coiled on a spool. First, remove the sink trap under the sink, either by hand or with a pipe wrench. Empty any water from the trap into a bucket and check it for clogs. Extending from the pipe stubout in the wall (a few inches of pipe extending from the wall) is a horizontal trap arm you’ll want to remove as well (the short section of pipe from which you removed the sink trap).
- Now feed the plumber’s snake into that pipe stubout to the point that you feel resistance. Remove about 1 ½ feet of cable and tighten the lock screw. Turn the cable crank while you press forward to push cable deeper into the pipe. Repeat that process until the drain clog is cleared.
- Return the cable to its coil and replace the trap arm and sink trap. Run hot water to be sure it flows easily. If it doesn’t, try using the plunger again to clear any loose debris from the original clog you cleared.
Follow These 6 Steps to Unclog Your Bathtub Drain:
- First, remove the drain cover, screen or pop-up. With a bent wire, hook any loose hair or debris that’s close to the opening. Next, clean the pop-up of any soap scum and try running water again. If this doesn’t solve the problem, move to step 2.
- Next, try using the drain plunger. Press a rag against the overflow plate first. Plunge the drain and then run water again to test for smooth draining. If it’s still clogged, or drains sluggishly, move to step 3.
- Remove the overflow plate and feed 2 ½ feet of plumber’s snake into the overflow tube.
- Crank the cable while simultaneously pressing forward, through any resistance you feel, until it passes through the P-trap under the tub (an S-shaped section of pipe).
- Remove the plumber’s snake and run a few gallons of hot water down the drain.
- Replace the overflow plate and drain cover, screen or pop-up.
If these solutions haven’t cleared your sink or bathtub drain of clogs, or you prefer to let a professional handle this job, call the Sacramento plumbing experts at McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve been clearing clogged drains in Sacramento since 1957, always with a smile and at prices that you’ll like.