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Blocked Drain Removal Tips

Blocked drains can happen in any home, no matter how well taken care of the plumbing system is. Understanding how drains work and how plumbers unclog a drain can help homeowners better understand their options. In this article, local plumbing experts offer insight into the drain cleaning process, and also share a home solution that may temporarily help.

What Is Snaking and How Can It Help?Plumber Working Under Sink

One of the first techniques that plumbers may try to unclog a blocked drain is snaking it. Snaking involves using a tool called a drain auger, which has a quarter-inch metal coil that is fed slowly into the drain until it hits a point of resistance. Once the “snake” is in the pipes, a handle at the end is rotated, which uncoils it. 

As the snake unwinds, it catches and breaks up the clog by essentially tearing it apart. Once it is broken up, it can pass back through the pipes. The plumber will then retract the snake and flush the pipes.

Snaking works best on minor blocked drains. If the clog appears to be deeper in the drain line or consists of a solid object, hydrojetting may be a better option.

Is Hydrojetting Useful for a Deep Blocked Drain?

Diagram of Hoses in Pipes

Hydrojetting is another popular option to help unclog a blocked drain. With hydrojetting, plumbers use a machine to blast high pressured water into the pipes. Instead of breaking up the clog, hydrojetting actually pushes the clog through. To ensure that the obstruction is not one that could potentially damage the pipe, many plumbers use hydrojetting in tandem with a camera to see the blocked drain as they do the procedure.

Hydrojetting is best for removing an obstruction that may be further down in the pipes. It can also help clean the inside of the pipes and clear out any buildup that may exist along the pipe walls.

Is There Any Truth to the Baking Soda and Vinegar Trick?Baking Soda and Vinegar

Before calling a plumber to handle a blocked drain, many homeowners may wonder if there is anything they can do about the problem themselves.

There is an easy trick that homeowners can try while waiting for a plumber to come and evaluate their blocked drain. It even involves products most people already have in their homes - baking soda and white vinegar!

Start by boiling a pot of water. In another container, mix one cup of water and one of vinegar. Then, pour the boiling water down the blocked drain. Next, add a cup of baking soda down the drain, and follow that up with the half water, half white vinegar mixture. Cover the drain, if possible, and let the mixture sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, pour another pot of boiling water down the drain to flush everything out.

It’s important to note that this is only a temporary fix to keep you going until a plumber can come out and unblock it. It should always be followed up with professional plumbing care.

About Allens Plumbing 

Allens Plumbing has been a trusted plumbing business in Aiea and Oahu, Hawaii, since 1982. They perform both residential and commercial plumbing and pipe cleaning services with expert workmanship and leave no mess behind. Allens Plumbing can also provide same-day and even emergency services.