A clogged drain can put a real kink in your day. If a clogged drain disrupts your daily routine, you might be tempted to call a plumber right away just so you can get your day back on track, but there are a few things that you should try on your own before you go to the professionals.
When you set out to clear a clogged drain, it is important to know what likely caused the clog in the first place. For example, if you are dealing with a kitchen drain, you are likely dealing with food scraps, grease, or a combination of the two. You should also know where the leak is most likely to form. In the case of pretty much any drain, the P trap is your most likely culprit.
What to Do about Grease in Your P Trap
A P trap is the section of your pipe where you have a U-shaped fitting that attaches to the vertical section of pipe directly under your sink. The purpose of this section of pipe is to create a vapor block so that odors from your sewer line do not enter your house through your drain. Unfortunately, grease and food scraps can also settle into the P trap and create a clog. To clear grease, you should boil a couple of quarts of water and then pour it down the drain. The heat from the water should melt the grease and clear your drain. If your drain does open after the boiling-water treatment, continue to flush the drain with hot water from your tap to make sure that the grease does not just coalesce again.
Remove the P Trap
If the boiling water doesn't work, undo do the fittings that hold the P trap in place and remove it. You should have a threaded collar on either side of the trap that you can undo by hand or with the aid of a pipe wrench. Make sure you place a bowl or bucket under your sink to catch any water trapped behind the clog before you undo the collars. With the section of pipe removed, you should be able to use a fork or dowel to clear the clog.
If you try both of these steps, and you still have a clog, it is time to throw in the towel. You may have a clog further down the line from your P trap, and your clog is likely not caused by grease. In either case, you will need the expertise of a professional to locate the clog and rid your home of it. Taking the time to do what you can on your own will cost you nothing more than a little bit of time, and it can save you money, so it is worth it to try your own repairs before you call the professionals. If you are looking for a professional drain cleaning company, try these guys.