Clogged pipes are a hassle. Some clogs move more easily than others, but some can be especially stubborn. Fortunately, you have options. Consider the pipe clearing methods below and enjoy the satisfaction of beating any clog that thought it was there to stay.
Using a plunger to try to move a clog is an uncomplicated method to start with. Using the alternating forces of suction and compression is a quick method that won’t cause any damage to your pipes. Every house should have a toilet plunger. Simply put the plunger over the clogged drain, cover the overflow drain, and apply a little elbow grease to get your clog moving. Unfortunately, stubborn clogs may be able to resist this method, so you may need to move on to more powerful options.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
Using a chemical product is an inexpensive and easy way to try to dissolve a clog. These chemicals are effective on most clogs that consist of hair, grease, and food. Unfortunately, these products don’t work on solid objects or clogs consisting of mineral buildup. Also keep in mind that these chemicals are hard on the environment, hazardous to your skin, and potentially damaging to your pipes. If you find yourself turning to this option regularly, it might be time to talk to a plumber.
Drain snakes come in a variety of sizes. Small plastic snakes are inexpensive and available at almost every store that carries home goods. These simple snakes are only effective against smaller clogs, however. A larger hand-cranked or motorized snake is much more effective against a stubborn clog, but even if the obstruction moves, the snake may not do as thorough a job cleaning out the pipe to help stop the clog from coming back.
When you use hydro jetting against a stubborn clog, you’re subjecting that clog to extremely powerful jets of water that have enough pressure to blast through incredibly stubborn obstructions, cleaning the pipes of all waste buildup. This method is very effective against solid objects and accumulations of every type of material. Because the jet uses only water, you won’t be exposing your pipes to the same risk of physical damage from powered snakes or to the chemical damage that could result from commercial cleaners. Just keep in mind that the high pressure of hydro jetting is best used with caution and usually requires a professional.
Of course, once you’ve managed to remove the clog, your best bet is to focus on prevention. You don’t want the same clog coming back, so consider installing new screens or drain guards. Also be mindful about preventing solid material, such as hair or food waste, from going down your drains.
Consider the pros and cons of each pipe clearing method and choose the best fit for your situation. Take care of your drains and pipes. Remove any clogs as soon as they appear, and let your plumbing do the job it was built to do.