When faced with a slow draining sink, shower, or tub, it can be hard to hold yourself back from pouring the strongest cleaners straight down the pipes. This moment can feel like a catch-22. If you pour too many harsh chemicals down your drain, you can end up causing more damage than the original problem you set out to solve. But it can be just as frustrating to call a plumber for a slightly clogged drain only to find out it was a quick and easy fix you could have done yourself. That said, this guide isn’t intended to replace the need for drain cleaners or plumbers—both of which are crucial in the maintenance of a home’s plumbing. Instead, these triage tricks can help you assess whether your slow drain is an easy fix or if you should call in professional help.
Plunge/Snake Your Drain
The first step to solving your problem is to try and manually remove any clogs that may be obstructing the flow of water through your pipes. Two options to try are plunging and snaking your drain. By plunging the sink, you can loosen clogs through suction, and a snake is great for removing hair from shower drains.
DIY Drain Cleaner
Drains that still seem slow after your attempts at plunging or snaking may have a clog further in than your tool is able to reach. In this case, a safe method to try is a simple “do-it-yourself” (DIY) solution. Cleaning your drain with a mixture of baking soda, white distilled vinegar, and boiling water is a mild, environmentally friendly alternative to stronger drain cleaners. The alkaline baking soda reacts with the acidic vinegar to create a fizz that helps loosen and dissolve clogs. Borax can even be an effective option, and it takes care of rust along the way.
Store-Bought Drain Cleaner
If, after trying all of the above methods, your slow drain has still not budged, it can be okay to use a store-bought drain cleaner. Just be careful not to choose a product with hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, which, if handled incorrectly, can damage stainless steel, porcelain, aluminum, and more.
For more stubborn drains, call the experts at Plumb Doctor. We’ll assess your issue and find the solution that works for your needs. Schedule an appointment today at (770) 293-7080.