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Maybe you notice the sink draining slowly. Or the water pooling in the shower. They both point to a slow moving or clogged drain. If you see these or other signs, it’s important to address the issue immediately. It won’t get better on its own. And it will in fact get worse, leading to more damage and costly repairs.

Here are some simple do-it-yourself methods for unclogging drains:

Tried and true and been around forever, the plunger uses pressure and suction to dislodge whatever’s clogging your pipe. Make sure you get a good air tight seal, then push down firmly. Pull up quickly and the suction can move the clog upward, freeing it.

If you’re plunging a clog in a double kitchen sink, be sure the other drain is sealed so pressure is created. And if plunging a bathroom sink, stick a wet washcloth in the vent to create suction as you plunge.

In the old days, a good tool for pulling up the door lock on your car when you left the keys in the ignition and shut yourself out. Straighten the hanger, bend a small hook in one end then fish it down the drain. If its been a long time, you’ll likely pull up a lot of hair and other gunky stuff, all of which is contributing to your slow drainage. Be sure to pull the debris toward you, not push it deeper into the pipe. Pushing could compact the clog and make the problem worse.

After you get out as much as you can, pour some hot water down to rinse the pipe and flush it out.

This one’s easy. Mix up one half cup baking soda with one half cup salt. Pour it down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then pour boiling water down the drain. It works to loosen tough clogs.

This works well for clogs in your bathtub drain. Pour two thirds cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour two thirds cup of vinegar down after it. Immediately put the plug in the drain as the soda and vinegar will be bubbling. Let it fizz in the pipe for an hour. Then fill the bathtub with water. After the tub is full, pull the plug. The weight of the water via gravity should move the clog along and out.

One plumbing task you can tackle on your own is to remove and clean the trap under your sink. It’s that U-shape piece of pipe under the sink. Using the appropriate wrench, disconnect the trap. Have a bucket handy for any water to drain into. Empty out the trap and give it a good scrubbing. An old toothbrush works just fine. Rinse and reconnect.

Spin with a piece of spiral wire on the end. As you crank it through the pipe it cuts into the clog.

As simple as it gets. Boiling water down the drain will help dissolve gunk and loosen clogs. It’s also an excellent preventive maintenance method. Pouring boiling water down your drains once a month washes out build up and helps keep your pipes clean.

Some problems you can handle yourself. For the ones that require a professional, call us here at Sinclair. We are equipped to solve your plumbing, heating and air conditioning problems. Call us today at 806-749-2665!

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