Anytime there's a clog or blockage in a plumbing drain, most people's natural inclination is to reach for a plunger as their first remedy. What about in situations, however, where no plunger is available and you have to utilize an alternative to clear a drain clog?
At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're happy to offer drain cleaning and numerous other plumbing services to clients around Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Park City, Sugar House and other parts of Utah. Here are some methods that may do the trick for unclogging any drain without a plunger, whether on your own or with help from our plumbers wherever needed.
If you have a bit of time available and can wait 30 or 40 minutes, dish soap can be an effective tool in unclogging any drain. Simply pour one cup of liquid dish soap into the clogged drain, followed by about four to five cups of boiling water.
From here, wait 30 or 40 minutes - but if this is a toilet, don't flush just yet! Before that, check to see whether the water level of the clog has dropped in your bowl, as this will give you an idea of whether the soap is actually helping dislodge the clog. If so, feel free to flush - if not, you may have to try something else.
In other cases, you may have a clog that's easily dislodged with just a bit of hot water. This is especially true for some kitchen sinks, where the clog won't be so deep or severe that boiling water is necessary.
Try pouring one to two gallons of hot (but not boiling) water down the drain to see whether this helps clear out the clog. You may want to repeat the process multiple times, to make sure all the buildup inside your drain is removed.
Why should water not quite be boiling here? Well, because boiling water can actually damage the pipes of your drain, and may not be necessary for a mild clog. In addition, if the clog has resulted from grease buildup, pouring boiling water might actually make the problem worse.
For those looking to use a minor chemical reaction to clear out a clog, Epsom salt is your friend. Similar to dish soap, you'll want to pour one cup of Epsom salt into your clogged drain, followed by about four cups of boiling water.
The Epsom salt will help break down the buildup in the pipe and drive it away from the clog - and if everything works out, you should have restored functionality to your drain in no time.
Moving to slightly more involved methods, including those that will often require a professional plumber to handle safely, you may need to use a snake or auger to clear out your drain.
A snake is basically a coil of metal that can be inserted into the drain and twisted around until it reaches the clog - from here, you can then remove the debris that's causing the blockage. An auger is similar in many respects, but this tool will often have a corkscrew-like design that can be used to bite into the clog and break it apart.
In either scenario, know that you may need professional assistance - which is where Neighborly Plumbing & Services comes in.
For particularly stubborn clogs, you may need to rely on jetting. This is a powerful technique in which high-pressure streams of water are sent through the pipes to break up the clog and clear it away.
Jetting requires specialized equipment that's best handled by experienced professionals - but with Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we'll be glad to provide this and related services if needed.
One quick note on a drain cleaning method you should generally steer clear of, if possible: chemical cleaners.
Sure, they might be able to dislodge a clog and restore functionality to your drain - but the harsh chemicals in such cleaners can also cause considerable damage to your pipes over the years. As such, you'll want to avoid these products whenever possible, using natural or gentle methods instead.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to unclog a drain - and if you need help with this or any other plumbing area in SLC, Millcreek, Sugar House or Park City, don't hesitate to call on Neighborly Plumbing & Services. We'll be ready to lend a hand and get your pipes back in working order.
Holladay | West Jordan | Salt Lake City | Millcreek | Sugar House | Sandy | South Jordan | West Valley City | Midvale | Draper | Lehi | Riverton | Orem | Bountiful | Layton | Bluffdale | Centerville | American Fork | Pleasant Grove | Taylorsville | Kearns| Highland | Springville | Lindon | Kaysville | Syracuse | Farmington