There are a number of plumbing difficulties that need immediate attention or repair, especially if your drain does not work or gets clogged. Clogging is the most common and frequent problem in drain pipes, either in the kitchen sink or toilet. Other main issues are blocked pipes that could lead to the disassembly of the parts and replacement of the damaged pipe with a new one.
Everybody hates the annoyance and delay that a slow drain entails. But even so, some people could still wait for the drain pipe to stop from functioning completely before taking drain repair measures. There are simple homemade remedies in unclogging the drain pipe. However, it is ideal for checking the cause of the clogging and for seeking professional help as pipes might get more damaged if not done well.
There are scenarios that tell your drain pipe is clogged. The drain could show different signs that mean differently from each other. These are indicators of the gravity of the clogging. Here are some of the scenarios that indicate clogging.
- Water flows back up in the sink and could also cause leaks in other parts and pipes.
- Water stays in the sink or the toilet bowl and does not move or drain the liquid.
- Bad odour escapes from the pipes below the sink or toilet bowl and the smell can be traced to the pipe where the liquid stays or where the leak is.
- The pipes make gurgling sounds and are noisy when flushing the toilet or when draining the sink.
- The faucet does not release any water at all even when fully opened.
- The water pressure in the sink or toilet bowl is minimal, disallowing fluids to stay for hours.
- Water in the sink or the liquid in the toilet emits bad odour and appears dirty or contaminated.
When you are experiencing these indicators, you may unclog the pipe with these drain repair measures.
Cover the Overflow Vents.
Cover the vent with a wet cloth. In homes with two bathrooms adjacent to each other, both vents are connected to the same drain pipe. In such a situation, the sink must be plugged with a wet cloth at both its drain and its overflow vent. Cover them all with wet cloth so that the rubber plunger can work properly, which is done in the next step below.
Use a Rubber Plunger or Pump.
Fill the clogged sink or toilet with water up to the top part of the rubber plunger, excluding the handle. Lather the rim of the rubber plunger with petroleum jelly to help the rubber perform a stronger suction. Submerge the rubber plunger with the rim of its cup over the drain opening. Pump the plunger up and down vigorously enough to create a strong suction force. You should feel the water pumping out of the drain. Do 12 counts of pumping and then abruptly unplug the plunger upwards to suck the fluids out. The maneuver should unclog the drain pipe. If the maneuver did not unclog the drain pipe effectively, repeat the same steps for two to three more attempts.
Use a Chemical Cleaner and Auger Wire.
If the rubber plunger does not work after two to three attempts, the blockage could be worse than a simple clogging. This situation calls for another alternative which uses a drain chemical cleaner you can usually buy from a store. The pipes under a kitchen sink or toilet bowl have a main clean-out that you can open. Advisably, this is where you should put the chemical because some ingredients are too strong, damaging your sink or toilet.
If the main clean-out opening is absent, you may use the drain opening as your last option. Together with the chemical, use an auger wire to pump the drain opening enabling the clogging to weaken and allow water pressure to remove the blockage.