3 Lesser Known Tips for Unclogging a Drain

From build - up of hair in the shower, to cooking grease down the kitchen sink, a clogged drain can happen at any time. What is the best way to unclog a drain? Here are a few simple tips to get your drains working again:

A drain snake

A drain snake is basically a metal rope or cable with a cutting blade on the tip. A drain snake is ideal for getting hair out of a drain, which can be hard to remove with chemical cleaners. A drain snake is available at your local hardware store.

You can also make your own drain snake at home with a pipe cleaner or a wire hanger. Cut a 2-liter bottle into a spiral with "teeth" in it, which is a very effective and cheap alternative to store bought drain snakes.

Use a wet vacuum or “Shop Vac”

Wet and dry vacuums are powerful appliances with a lot of suction. Set a wet vacuum to "liquids" and cover the vent. Remember to create a very tight seal around the drain and cover the overflow tube with a finger or rag.

The power of a wet vacuum can often be enough to draw the clogged material up and unclog the drain. Check the bag for hair and grease in order to identify the source of the clog. A wet vacuum can also work well when trying to recover jewelry from a drain, as seen here.

At-home clog solution

Chemical drain cleaners can be expensive and aren't always good for you or the environment.  For an easy at-home solution, mix up salt and baking soda, pour it down the drain, wait 20 minutes and then chase it with boiling water.

Often, the ensuing chemical reaction from your at-home solution is enough to dissolve the blockage and repair your clogged drain. When you need help from the experts, call the professionals at Roto-Rooter for all of your residential plumbing needs.