How to Unclog Bathroom Sink Naturally

Broken water pipes, clogged bathroom sinks and tubs, these are just some of the common problems homeowners encounter every now and then. Although these can be frustrating at times, simple concerns like a slow draining bathroom sink is easy to manage. With items you can find in the house, in the kitchen, for example, removing still water in the sink and clearing the clog can be a do-it-yourself home repair project. Did you know that you can unclog your bathroom sink the natural way without using harmful chemicals? Here are effective ways to solve your bathroom sink clogging problem.

1. Use a Plunger.

One of the first techniques to use is the good old plunger. If there is a stopper, remove it first. You might want to use rubber gloves since you will have to deal with standing water. If there is no pool of water present, get a rag and cover the sink overflow drain and turn on the water. After this, place the plunger on top of the drain, push and pull it for about six times and this should do the trick. You might also want to pour hot water to loosen the scum and wash it down the pipe.

2. Pour Baking Soda And Vinegar.

Another miracle solution for a bathroom sink clogging problem is a combination of baking soda and vinegar. All you need to do is pour at least ½ cup of baking soda into the drain. This will attach to the gunk and dirt build up that might be causing the problem. After doing so, pour ½ cup of vinegar. You will notice a fizzle which is a chemical reaction between the two. This combination will loosen the materials stuck on the drain pipe. Follow this by pouring hot water several times until the clog is removed. By the way, other people use Alka Seltzer instead if baking soda is not available. It is said to have the same fizzle effect when combined with white vinegar. You might also want to give this a try.

3. Bend a Wire Hanger.

If there are solid materials clogging the drain such as toothpaste caps, piece of soap or even children’s toys, this problem might need an alternative solution other than baking soda and vinegar. Here, you will improvise and turn a wire hanger into a hooking tool. If you have one of those hangers from the cleaners, this is the best material to use since it can easily be bent. Straighten the hanger and leave the tip that is shaped as a hook. If the end of the hanger is too big to fit the hole, use pliers to adjust its size. Next, using a flashlight, try to get the object that has been stuck. Once you have removed the material, you might want to pour hot water to loosen the gunk and grime on the pipe.

These are just three effective ways you can try if you are faced with a slow draining bathroom sink or sink with standing water problem. If these techniques don’t work, a plumber’s snake can also be used if you have one in the house. Why call and pay a plumber when you can fix the problem on your own?

How to Unclog a Floor Drain

Clogged floor drains can be a huge hassle. Since they don’t let water drain properly, they keep your floor wet and put you and your family at risk of slips and falls. They also expose you to bacteria and other harmful organisms since the water stands and becomes a breeding ground for germs. Luckily, you don’t have to put up with a blocked floor drain since you can do something to fix it ASAP.

Before you start, gather all the right tools and materials. Get a plunger and an auger (you can buy these from your local hardware store if you don’t yet have them on hand) as well as a metal coat hanger, a flashlight, a bucket, and several rags or sponges. Don’t forget to wear goggles and a pair of rubber gloves.

Removing Visible Obstructions

If your drain has standing water, use rags or sponges to remove the water (you can wring them into the bucket as you go along). Once the drain is clear, take out its cover and shine the flashlight around the opening. Look around to see if you can spot the item that’s clogging the drain; if it’s visible and you can easily reach it, remove it using your hand (make sure you’re wearing your gloves) or the coat hanger (straighten it beforehand so it forms a long metal wire).

If you don’t see anything, stick the hanger deeper into the drain and feel for any obstructions. Once you reach a blockage, push to dislodge it or pull to try to bring up whatever is clogging the drain.

Using Your Tools To Unclog The Drain

If your coat hanger doesn’t remove the blockage, it’s time to use your tools. Get your plunger and position it so it completely covers the drain opening. Add some water to help the rubber bell seal with the floor, and start vigorously working the plunger up and down. Six to ten pumps or twenty seconds of pumping will do. Remove the plunger quickly to create a pressure that will further help dislodge the clog, and pour water down the drain to see if it flows. If the water level rises or stays the same, use the plunger again until the blockage is dislodged.

If you have a major clog, your plunger may not be enough to remove it. If this is the case, you’ll need to use your auger. Thread its cable through the opening until you reach an obstruction; when you do, push down and pull up the cable to break down the blockage. The cable will most likely be covered in scum when you pull it up, so wipe it with a rag.

These are the DIY steps you can take to remove blockages from your floor drain. If you’ve done all of these but still have a clog, you may want to rent a drain-cleaning machine and use it to drill through the clog and retrieve items that may be causing the blockage. But take note that this drill can be difficult to operate so, if you’re not confident with your skills or don’t have the time for it, it’s best to get the help of a professional plumber.

How to Unclog a Shower Head

We use our showers each and every day. Sometimes, we even use it two or three times in a single day. And depending on the size of your household, you may not even know how many times in just one day your showers get used.

Let’s admit that there is a certain group in the population that want to feel clean all the time. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with cleanliness. The point trying to be made here is that the more showers are used, the more mineral deposits build up.

You see, water contains calcium and other mineral deposits. Eventually, with much use, these deposits cause your shower heads to clog up. When you start noticing that the water spouted isn’t as strong as before, then you have a clogged shower head. While the buildup of minerals on your shower head isn’t necessarily harmful, it does affect the flow of water.

Now, the unclogging of shower heads isn’t a process that requires you to expend much energy. In fact, unclogging a shower head is one of the simplest among all the clogs. That said, it can take a long while before the fruits of your labor reaps rewards. Shower heads can be unclogged using any of the following methods.

Method #1: Soaking The Shower Head In Vinegar

1) Know why the clog happened.
The screening material and disk of your shower head is made up of fine mesh and holes. As water keeps pouring, a buildup of mineral deposits collects in the mesh and holes over time. When a problem occurs, you’ll notice that your shower head has hardened lime and particulate matter in them.

2) Remove the swivel nut ball connecting the shower head to the mounting collar.
Your shower head can be removed and some models have a swivel ball nut that can be unscrewed so you can clear the blockage in your shower head. Although the internal parts can be removed fairly easy, you will need the help of a wrench to get the shower head off the pipe.

3) Keep note of how the shower head was assembled.
The last thing you want is to solve the problem of the clogged shower head only to have none because you forgot how everything went together. If you really want to be sure, you can draw a diagram so you know how it looks when it is put together. But if you’re fine with just your memory, just make sure that you remember everything clearly. You don’t want to be frustrated and waste a lot more hours in your day just putting back a shower head.

4) Soak the parts in a solution.
Although the section mentioned soaking the shower head in vinegar – white vinegar to be exact – you can also use a lime cleaning solution. If the buildup of lime is quite massive, heat the vinegar prior to soaking the shower head parts until they are hot to the touch. Since the soaking process will take about five to six hours to take effect, make sure you do this when the shower won’t be in use (probably when you’re headed to bed and everyone has done their business in the bathroom). Although soaking the shower head in solution will dissolve much of the lime, not everything will be removed. In fact, some residue might still be in the mesh of the screen, in the threads and in the small holes around the disk.

5) Use a small wire brush to scrub lime that didn’t dissolve.
As mentioned earlier, some lime deposits will not completely dissolve even when you’ve soaked the shower head for more than five hours. What you can do is use a wire brush to remove them. If you don’t have a wire brush, the straightened end of a paper clip will do. After doing this, soak the items once again to give it that final touch – but just for a few minutes this time. Rinse the items after getting them out of the soak.

6) Reassemble the shower head and test.
You don’t just expect your shower head to work once you screw it back on. So once you successfully assemble your shower head, check the water flow and check for leaks as well.

Lastly, don’t wait for years before taking action on your shower heads. Don’t wait until the water flows slowly before you look up and realize a ton of lime deposit has formed. Even when these deposits haven’t made their mark, try to clean your shower head as many times as possible throughout the year. If you can’t supply the time, try making it a yearly habit.

Method #2: Boiling The Shower Head In Vinegar

  • Remove the shower head from the hose.
  • Fill a large pan with a solution that is half water, half vinegar. For extreme cases, add a whole lot of vinegar.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil then soak the shower head into it.
  • Keep this boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes. You may have to burn longer if the deposit is too large, but if you have a plastic shower head, don’t boil for more than 20 minutes. Or, you can take the shower head every couple of minutes to cool it down.
  • Rinse the shower head then assemble it again.

What if the Shower Head Can’t Be Removed?

There are instances when a shower head can’t be removed or you’re too scared of breaking it. In that case, what you can do is the following:

  • Look for a plastic bag that is large enough to fit your shower head.
  • Mix 1/3 cup baking soda with one cup white vinegar in the bag. Baking soda reacts with vinegar causing it to bubble. Since that is the case, do this on a sink.
  • Attach the bag to your shower head using a rubber band. Make sure that every inch of the shower head is covered by the bag. Vinegar is acidic and that acid reacts with the sodium bicarbonate contained in baking soda. The result is a strong cleaning agent called carbonic acid.
  • Let the bag stay on the shower head overnight.
  • Remove the bag and wipe the shower head with water until the solution sticking to it is gone. Run the water to make sure everything is fine.

How to Unclog a Septic Tank

A septic system is a self-contained, underground wastewater treatment system. This kind of system is mostly employed in rural areas because the distance between houses is quite far apart making centralized sewer systems not very economical. They are used to dispose of household waste on site and are simple in design making them less expensive to install and maintain. In fact, they are usually installed in a homeowner’s backyard and as such, don’t require the use of sewer lines thereby making them not that disruptive to the environment.

There are two main parts to the septic system:

The Septic Tank – a watertight box that is usually made of concrete fiberglass and has an inlet and outlet pipe. Wastewater from the home flows through the sewer pipe into the septic tank. The wastewater is then treated by the tank naturally by holding it in – this process causes the separation of solids from liquids.

Three layers of wastewater is formed inside the tank: solid lighter than water (e.g. grease and oil; float to the top and forms a layer of scum), solids heavier than water (drop to the bottom to form a layer of sludge, and the middle layer (partially clarified wastewater).

The sludge and scum layers remain inside the tank where bacteria that is naturally found in wastewater break down the solids. Sludge and scum that cannot be broken down remain in the tank until it gets pumped. The clarified liquid mentioned earlier flows from the tank to the drainfield or distribution device.

Drainfield – also known as a leachfield, disposal field or soil absorption field. This is a series of trenches or just a bed lined with gravel or course sand that is buried about one to three feet below the surface of the ground. Wastewate is distributed through perforated pipes or drain tiles that run through the trenches. Also, a drainfield treats wastewater by letting it flow from the pipes into the gravel then further down into the soil. In other worlds, the gravel and soil serve as biological filters.

Although this system is effective, it is prone to break (particularly if not much attention is being paid to it). Signs that your system is having problems include:

  • Constant overflowing of the toilet.
  • Strange gurgling noises are made by the drains.
  • Emptying a sink results in it backing up the shower or bathtub.
  • An overflow is present where your washing machine is located.
  • Foul smells permeate the air or you see waste showing up on land.
  • Your drains release a stinky odor.
  • Your toilets are too slow when flushing.
  • Streams and ditches located nearby become polluted.
  • You’ll find dips in the soil located close to the soakway drain or close to the septic tank.

How to Solve a Septic Tank Clogging Problem

Yes, septic tank issues may arise from time to time but you don’t always have to dig up your tank or drainfield to solve the issue. The last thing you want is for your yard to be filled up with mess that will take days to get rid of when you dig up your septic tank. That said, here are some steps to help you unclog your septic tank:

1: Find out the reason for the clog.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t always have to dig out your tank when you have a clog. Not all clogs cause your system to break down. In fact, your problem may just be waste that needs to be cleared up after accumulating over time.

The simplest way to find out if you have a problem is to hire a professional. They can use equipment to determine whether there really is something wrong with your system.

2: Determine if your problem is not mechanical.
If your problem is not mechanical, then you won’t need those machines to get rid of the issue. You can simply add bacteria to clear the mess up. Bacteria can be used to clear blockages because it acts like an acid.

While some may recommend the use of chemicals, it is highly discouraged at this point. Adding chemicals into the mix will indeed free up sludge but it will also allow that sludge to go into your system which in turn makes things so much more worse.

3: Find the most aggressive bacteria.
You can go online to find dealers who sell bacteria. Make sure you get bacteria that is really aggressive and order more than the recommended dosage. Why should that be? Something strong will be able to get into your system much more faster and help clear out issues.

4: Let bacteria do its job.
It may take a few days and even a few weeks before bacteria starts breaking down blockage. This is because you don’t know just how much sludge you have in your tank, as well as in the lines and field. Although bacteria can multiply rapidly, it takes time for them to get to work, particularly in old systems that have been neglected. Bacteria is often preferred as the solution of choice because they are organic and will not harm systems the way chemicals do. What bacteria do is that they multiply and eat anything organic that is in their path.

Reducing the Clogging of Septic Tanks

Maintenance is always key in making sure you don’t suffer when your septic tank clogs up. Yes, sludge builds up over time but taking good care of your system saves you trouble down the road. Although it is recommended to have your tanks cleared out on a yearly basis, how often you do this depends on these factors:

  • The number of people living in your home.
  • The amount of wastewater generated (the amount is of course dependent on the number of people your household has).
  • The volume of solids in the wastewater (for example, using a garbage disposal is a factor in how much solids is in wastewater).

The absorption field of your septic tank doesn’t need maintenance in general. However, that doesn’t mean you can just take it for granted. There are some things you can do to make sure it’s always functional and protected.

  • Don’t drive cars, trucks and heavy equipment over the field.
  • Don’t plant trees or shrubbery in the field because roots can get into the lines and cause blockage.
  • Don’t cover the field with hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt, etc). The best element you can use should you want cover is grass as it prevents erosion and removes excess water.
  • Don’t redirect surface runoff water from the field from driveways, roofs, patios and other areas.

How to Unclog Kitchen Sink Pipes

Having a clogged kitchen sink can be a huge hassle. For one thing, you can no longer cook your meals in a quick and easy manner since you can’t wash fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients without risking an overflowing sink. You also can’t wash your dishes, so you’ll have to put up with dirty plates, glasses, forks, and knives until you can remove the clog.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with a blocked kitchen sink for long since there are several ways to resolve it. Some of the most common (and most effective) solutions are outlined below:

1. Pouring Vinegar And Baking Soda Down The Drain

You probably clean your glass windows with vinegar and remove unpleasant odor from your clothes with baking soda. But did you know that these two materials can also be used to remove clogs from your sink? That’s right; they’re highly effective in cleaning pipes and removing most things that may be clogging them.

If you opt to use the vinegar-and-baking soda method, the first thing you should do is to remove any standing water (which will dilute the substances you’ll be using and make them less effective) in your sink. Make sure to wear a pair of rubber gloves when doing so. Once you’re done, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain; if the drain is too blocked, push the powder in with a wooden stick or a spatula. Follow it up with a cup of vinegar. Wait for ten minutes, then run hot water down the drain to see if the clog has disappeared.

2. Pumping a Plunger Over Your Drain

The best thing about using a plunger is that you no longer need to remove any standing water in your sink. This comes from the fact that plungers work best when they’re surrounded by water because it seals the rubber bell around the drain opening.

If your kitchen doesn’t have any standing water, fill it halfway with hot water. Once it’s filled, place the plunger directly above the drain and make sure that it completely covers the opening. When it’s in place, work the plunger up and down vigorously for twenty seconds or around six to ten times. Once you’re done, pull the plunger quickly to create additional pressure and remove the clog. See if the water swirls down the drain; if it doesn’t, repeat the steps above until the blockage has disappeared.

3. Working On Your Sink’s Trap And Drain Line

If you’ve tried the first and second solutions but to no avail, you probably need to reach deeper into your drain to remove the clog. You can do this by detaching the trap (the curved pipe that connects your vertical sink pipe with the horizontal pipe) using slip-joint pliers to unscrew the nut that keeps in place. Once you’ve detached the pipe, checked if it’s clogged and clean it if it is.

After cleaning the trap, take out the horizontal pipe to expose the pipe that’s set in the wall. Get your auger and push the cable tip in until it reaches an obstruction; when it does, turn the handle clockwise to ensure it catches on the blockage. Push and pull to break the clog apart, then reattach the pipes and run water to see if your sink now drains properly.

These DIY steps should only be a done as a first-aid solution. If you’ve done everything you could but your kitchen sink stays clogged, have it checked and repaired by an expert plumber.

How to Unclog a Main Drain Line

Having a clog in your main drain line can be a huge hassle. For one thing, it can cause serious damage to your property, especially when water backs up into your basement, causes mold and mildew, and eventually destroys your house’s foundation. It can also make your place smell like sewage, causing you and your family to feel sick. You can even actually become sick, particularly if you’ll get exposed to the bacteria and other microorganisms are present in the raw sewage that will enter your home.

Signs and Causes of Main Drain Clogs

But why does your main drain line get clogged? Well, there are several possible reasons, and some of the most common are feminine products and thick toilet paper that get flushed down your toilet. These items can block pipes on their own, but they can cause a bigger damage when they clump together and create a big clog. If you have trees in your garden, their roots can also be a cause of blockage in your main sewer line if they reach and penetrate your pipes.

When your main drain line gets clogged, one of the first things that you’ll notice is that water backs up in your home when you use one of your plumbing fixtures. If you wash your hands in the bathroom sink, for example, you may see that the water level in your toilet rises. You may also hear strange sounds coming from your fixtures (such as gurgling noises when you flush your toilet) or smell an extremely unpleasant sewage odor wafting from your drains.

Steps to Unclog a Main Drain Line

Fortunately, if you notice that your main sewage line is clogged, there are several things you can do to remove the block. You can start by taking these steps:

1. Get an auger (aka a plumbing snake) and an adjustable wrench. Put on a pair of goggles and rubber gloves (to protect your eyes and hands from contamination).

2. Locate the clean-out plug. It’s usually on a large sewage pipe in your basement, garage, or the space in your yard near the your house.

3. Once you find the plug, place a bucket underneath it if it’s positioned vertically. The bucket will catch any waste water that will pour out of the plug.

4. Remove the plug using your adjustable wrench.

5. Once the plug is open, put the cable end of your auger into the opening. Push until you feel that it has reached an obstruction. Use the auger’s handle to ensure that the tip of the cable digs deep into the blockage.

6. When you’re sure that the tip of the auger has attached itself into the clog, push and pull to break the blockage.

7. Check your plumbing fixtures if they drain properly.

Remember: these steps won’t work if the clog in your main drain is caused by a tree root. You also have to take note that major clogs won’t be unblocked by just an auger. So, if you’ve taken the steps above but to no avail, it’s definitely the right time to call a professional plumber.

How to Unclog Kitchen Sink Grease

A clogged kitchen sink caused by hardened grease is one of the easiest drain problems to deal with. And often, you can find the solution inside your home. So, there’s no need to spend $100 for the plumber’s service nor rush to the store for the harmful chemical drain cleaner. All you need are these three simple tricks to get rid of the disgusting grease.

Tip: Before you get started, make sure to remove the clogged water out of the sink. You can simply sponge the water into bucket. You can also use a bowl or cup to remove the standing water from the sink. With the sink clear of water, you will be able to see what you are doing, most especially if you are going to disassemble the plumbing.

Pour ‘Em Some Hot Water

Grease, like most fats, easily dissolves with heat. So, there’s no need spend a few dollars for chemical cleaners. Just get the pot and boil a good amount of water. Pour the hot water down the drain and wait for a few minutes. For stubborn grease, you may need to keep pouring until the drain is unclogged.

Rinse the remaining grease by pouring a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the drain and running the faucet for at least a minute.

The Baking Soda And Vinegar Magic

Congealed grease can be extra stubborn that hot water may not be enough to kick them out. This situation calls for extra measure, the DIY-ers favorite – baking soda and vinegar mixture. This combination can unclog the toughest drains in less than 30 minutes.

Here’s How to Use Them Effectively:
Pour 1/2 cup of baking into the drain and let it set for about for 3-5 minutes. After which, mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of boiling hot water in bowl and pour this down on top of the baking soda. Let it sit and fizzle for five or minutes. The vinegar and baking soda will create a chemical reaction that will cause a bubble to erupt from the drain. Don’t panic when this happens. Allow the mixture to work their magic. Baking soda and vinegar, when mixed, can dissolve fatty acids, loosening up congealed grease or sludge that gathered at the bottom of your drain with ease.

After a few minutes, pour a hot water down the drain to rinse the remaining clog. Run the faucet to check if the water drains efficiently.

Alka-Seltzer And Vinegar Combo

If you run out of baking soda, check your medicine cabinet for a few Alka-Seltzer tablets. You only need a piece or two to deal with a clogged drain.

Begin by dropping down two Alka-Seltzer tablets down your kitchen drain; use four for a severe clog problem. Make sure to break the tablets into small pieces so they can travel deep down the hole.

Pour a cup of vinegar, preferably white vinegar, immediately after the Alka-Seltzer. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the items to interact. Let them fizzle and bubble for 5-10 minutes until you no longer observe a bubbling action. Rinse the drain with hot water after.

Repeat the process if the clog has not cleared in your first attempt.

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Garbage Disposal

There’s probably nothing as annoying as a drain clog. A congealed lump of grease, a slimy wad of hair, a discarded toy or a food buildup can block the drain and cause an unpleasant buildup of water in the sink. You have probably experienced this before and already probably have an idea what to do to resolve such a problem – by calling the plumber, of course – but we’ve gathered a few tips here to help you deal with a kitchen drain problem on your own, especially one that involves the garbage disposal.

Step 1:

If you suspect that the drainage problem is caused by fat buildup or food residue, try pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. After which, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes. Follow it with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup of hot water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes and allow the bubble to erupt from your drain. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar will loosen up any stubborn slime or sludge that gathered at the bottom of the drain. Give the drain a final hot-water rinse to wash off the clog goodbye, and then run your garbage disposal for 5 to 10 seconds.

Step 2:

If the clog is in the garbage disposal unit, especially the blade area and won’t go away with the baking soda-vinegar combo, roll up your sleeves, put your gloves on and remove the clog yourself.

  • Begin by unplugging the garbage disposal from the electrical outlet.
  • Get a flashflight and shine it into the clogged drain sink.
  • Look for any foreign objects that may have caused the blockage, such as a meat bone, a toy, a plastic, or pulverized banana peel. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised to see stuff in there that shouldn’t be, such as toys and baby spoons.
  • Pull the object from the drain using needle-nose pliers or a pair of tongs. You can also large tweezers and even your hand – just make sure the unit is unplugged! Carefully reach inside and pull out whatever that shouldn’t be in there.

Turn on the garbage disposal and run it for a few seconds to check if the drain runs clear. If it is still clogged, the problem could in the dishwater drain pipe that connects to the garbage disposal.

Step 3:

You will know that the clog is in the drain pipe if the water won’t drain out of the sink even when the garbage disposal blades run perfectly. This situation calls for a plunger.

  • Begin by clamping the end of the dishwater drain line where it enters the garbage disposal (particularly the disposal nozzle). This is to prevent the drain hose of the dishwater from popping off the disposal nozzle when you plunge the sink drain later.
  • Place the plunger over the sink drain, making sure that it completely covers the drain basket. Run the faucet to cover the plunger with at least 1/2 inch of water. Push and pull the plunger vigorously for 6-8 times. Lift the plunger and check to see if the drain is clear. Repeat the steps until the clog is removed.
  • Pour a pot of hot water down the drain to clear any residue.

How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Hair

A clogged bathtub can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t mean that you need to call a plumber every time you encounter one. The problem is often caused by a sticky, slimy thick wad of hair that collects inside the drain. It is easy to remove if you know how. So, read on and learn how to fix a clogged or slow draining tub drain in less than 30 minutes.

Familiarize The Drain’s Construction

First thing first, know the drain’s anatomy. Take note that all drains have the same construction. At their bottom, you will find a curved pipe section called a trap. In bathtubs, this is called a P trap since it is shaped like the letter “P”. As the name implies, the trap was there to “trap” some water in the drain line in order to keep sewer gases from coming up the pipe and causing the house to smell. Over time, however, the trap gets clogged with things like hair and soap scums, preventing efficient water drainage and, sometimes, completely blocking the drain.

Another part of the bathtub drain where clogging can occur are the crossbars, just a few inches under the stopper. Most drains, especially the older ones, have a stopper located inside the drain and overflow tube; these have a screen over the drain and a lever on the overflow tube. The screen was designed to keep the hair out of the drain; however, some gets through and collects at the crossbars, causing the drain to clog.

Clearing Out The Blockage

Tools: screwdriver, stiff wire or bent coat hanger (a pair of tweezers or long nose pliers also works)

The first step in unclogging a drain is to open it and see if you can spot the thing blocking it. Begin by unscrewing the drain’s stopper and sliding it off the shaft. Once opened, use the stiff wire or bent coat hanger to remove the hair. Try rolling the wire between your hands in order to coil the hair around it. Pull the hair out. Repeat the process until all the hairs that gathered on the crossbars are removed.

Using a Plunger

If you can’t see the hair clogging your bathtub’s drain, try using a plunger. Follow these steps:

  • Pour water to the bathtub; it should be enough to cover the bottom of the plunger.
  • Put the plunger over the drain, and push and pull sharply for several times (at least 5 times). The pressure should push the clog down. When you’re satisfied with the amount of pressure you exerted, lift the plunger and see if the water drains quickly.

Using a Snake

If none of the above methods work, get on all fours and try snaking up the drain. For this step, you will need a long flexible steel cable wound on a handle. Begin by feeding about 3 feet of the snake down through the overflow plate opening. You will feel some resistance when you reach the P trap under the drain. You can twist and turn the handle in order to push the cable through the trap. Doing so will clear the clog by either pushing it through or hook the hair unto to the snake and make it easier for you to pull it out.

Clearing a blocked bathtub drain is not hard, but it’s not fun either. So, why not prevent a clog from happening in the first place. It’s no doubt easier.

How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain

It’s common in many homes to have all drain pipes lead to the basement floor drain. But when garbage disposal debris, grit from snow-covered cars, laundry lint and soap scum build up, the main floor drain experiences blockage. In times like these, you always think about calling a plumber straightaway. But before you do, there are some things you can do before you spend some money on a professional.

The Use of Basement Floor Drains

Basement floor drains in homes help with removing water from central air conditioning, washing machines and water heaters. But as time goes in, the debris that builds up is enough to clog your floor drain. As such, it might cause flooding in your own home. This is something you dread because you don’t want any part of your home damaged by something you can actually prevent.

Your basement floor drain is the final destination of all the pipes in your home. So it is not unusual for it to get clogged given what flows through your pipes. But even if that is the case, there are ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Then again, there are moments when what you dread happens and there’s nothing for you to do then to try and fix it.

A Guide on Unclogging a Basement Floor Drain

Here’s a simple guide to follow when attempting to unclog a basement floor drain by yourself:

1: Wear the Proper Gear
Clearing a drain is not a glamorous thing to do. It is messy and it is dirty, and you will be sweaty as well. What this simply means is that you need to have proper clothes on. And by proper, this means using your oldest clothes in case it gets ruined by your unclogging efforts.

Apart from wearing old clothes, make sure to have a pair of gloves for your hands. As mentioned earlier, clearing drains isn’t a clean affair and you might have to scoop up some nasty stuff. So wear those gloves to keep your hands protected.

In addition to gloves, boots are a must have when unclogging your basement floor drain. It wouldn’t make sense to go barefoot doing this because let’s face it, this is a dirty business. As such, you need to be as protected as you can.

Another important item you will need is a bucket. This is where you’ll dump all the water that you can scoop up. Equally important thing to remember when doing this: don’t turn on any taps so you don’t add further problems to the one you’re already having.

2: Find the Access Point
Basement drains are large but have an access point in the drain line. Finding this access line makes rodding the drain with a plumber’s road so much easier. In addition, the access hatch lets you handle blockage without having to find the sharp bend that is located between the drain and the pipe.

3: Rod the Drain
This involves pushing the road down the drain while letting a bit of water run down. As you continue to rod the drain, try to push it a bit further each time. In fact, you should try to push it to a point where it won’t go any further. The water should be on for this stage because it helps wash out whatever is causing the blockage.

In case you’re using a snake instead of a plumbing rod, you can use the snake’s handle and turn it so you can get the snake further down the drain. You might just be able to catch debris while you go further and hopefully remove a lot of them with ease.

4: Repeat This Process
After removing a fair amount of clog, try running water to see if there is still a problem to deal with. If so, repeat the process outlined above until you have gotten rid of what’s causing the blockage. But if you feel that you’ve done everything and still can’t solve the problem of the clogged floor drain, then it’s time to move on to another solution: calling a professional plumber.

How to Prevent Future Basement Floor Drain Blockage

It’s always better to put measures in place so you don’t have to deal with problems in the future. Here are some tips to prevent basement floor drain blockage in the future:

1) Use natural ingredients to clear soap deposits.
The earlier you notice the signs of a blockage, the better. This way, you can still deal with it yourself without resorting to the use of machinery or calling a professional plumber. With early signs of blockage, you can use hot water and vinegar to try and break down the soap deposits.

2) Don’t use too much soap when washing clothes.
Be it shower drains or basement floor drains, soap is listed as a culprit for clogs happening. To help minimize this issue with your basement floor drain, try not to use too much soap when doing your laundry. It’s always best to follow the specified amount of soap to use for the load you have rather than going overboard.

3) Set rules on what can be thrown down the drain.
Not everything should be tossed down the kitchen drain. For example, fat should never be thrown down the drain. Instead, it should be tossed in the trash. Listing down what you can or cannot throw down the drain prevents future blockage problems.

It’s always good to remember that regular maintenance does help things from breaking. You don’t just live in a home and neglect all its parts – you also have to care for it. And one of the simplest ways to care is to know what not to do to your drains. Be it laying down rules on what can and can’t be thrown down a drain to making sure you’re using the right amount of soap, keeping these things in mind helps prevent problems that you don’t want to deal with.