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Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Plumbing Clogs in your Home

Many people turn to chemical solutions when it comes to plumbing clogs in the home, particularly toilets and sinks. While you can achieve some success with the chemical approach, sometimes it is only a temporary solution or sometimes does not work at all. What you are left with is plumbing pipes with harmful pollutants.

If you have a clog, your first solution should be to use a natural clog remover, particularly for clogged sink pipes. Boil three or four cups of water until it is roiling then mix a cup of baking soda in it. Next, pour the solution down the pipes and allow a few minutes for it to work. For simple clogs, you should find this “green” solution works great, but if not, there are a few things you can try before going the chemical route or calling a plumber.

Clogged Toilets

When your toilet won’t flush due to a clog, typically the cause is a blockage due to large amount of toilet tissue. However, children are just as likely to cause a clog by flushing toys or something equally inappropriate. You will discover several different types of clogs. A partial clog involves the water moving slowly when you flush while a full clog involves the toilet bowl filling with water because the waste and toilet tissue won’t do down and stay down. The rising level of water tends to make people reach for the handle again to flush in the hopes the clog will clear itself but that is the last thing you should do.

To clear a toilet clog, you will need to arm yourself with some towels to mop up any potential messes. A cup is needed to scoop out excess water to dump into a bucket, leaving a few inches of water in the bowl. Next, a plunger is needed so that you can plunge multiple times as this creates a suction that will build up the water pressure enough to dislodge the log.  It may take repeated attempts before success.

If the plunger route does not work, the next line of defense is a roto rooter tool called an auger or snake. It is a long flexible metal tool with a corkscrew-type of end which you feed into the toilet bowl’s opening so that it can “snake” down the drain pipe. When feeding the auger down the pipe, you twist the handle in a clockwise rotation until you meet the blockage. Keep turning this snake-like tool so that the corkscrew tip works its way into the blockage as this can break it up and clear the pipe or sometimes, when you pull the tool back out, the blockage comes out with it.

A plunger and auger are the only do-it-yourself tools that can help unclog a toilet. If you are still experiencing trouble, a plumber will have to be called as they can provide a diagnosis, plus they have better tools. You would use similar methods for unclogging bathtub or sink drains as well. In the case of a sink, you should be armed with a bucket to place under the plumbing pipes as you remove the trap to clean out any trapped debris before trying an auger.