Clearing A Clogged Bathroom Drain

Fixing a clogged drain, or determining if a plumber is needed.

That stopped up drain in the kitchen or bathroom can do more than cause aggravation. It can eventually cost you a great deal of money. Plumbers are not cheap. If the problem is more than a grease or hair clog the sooner you have the plumber fix it the less it will cost you.

Presumably you have already tried using the standard drain cleaners that are poured down the drain. If they have only worked marginally, then you probably have a problem that you can fix. You can try pouring a root removal liquid down the drain, but be aware they are not always effective. You will probably need a plumber if there are roots clogging the drain, since the pipe will more than possibly need replacing.

Determining what type of clog you have is fairly simple. You will need a bucket, a wrench, and some rags. You will also need, when you are done, some pipe tape. Empty the sink of any standing water using a bail, and rags to get as much water out as possible. Next, remove anything from under the sink. You will be removing the U shaped trap from under the sink; there will be some water in the trap. Make sure you have the pail and rags underneath to catch the water.

To remove the trap, you will need to loosen two nuts, the one at the top and the one at the other end. They should both be little more than hand tight. There will also be a gasket that fits where the U trap meets the pipe coming from the wall, and probably one coming down from the sink. Once the nuts are loose you should be able to wiggle the U trap loose. Be prepared for the water in the trap to spill.

Check the pipe from the drain to the trap, and clean it as necessary. Sometimes this is all that is needed. If it is, still continue with the rest of the steps, since clogs don't always come one at a time.

Examine the trap, if it is clogged with grease or hair, remove it. A screwdriver or small brush works wonders, as does a good grease-cutting agent such as ammonia. If you don't see an excessive amount of grease or other clog, then your problem is probably a little further down the pipe. You can try running a plumbers snake, or flexible auger down to see if you can remove or break up the clog.

If are unable to break the clog up, you will need to call a plumber. If you decide to try more aggressive means, be aware that you risk damaging pipes and causing a great deal of damage from water leaks.

Clean the joints of any tape, or other gunk. Put the U trap back, being careful not to tighten more than hand tight. If you find a small amount of water leaking, wrap the threads with plumber's tape before tightening up the joint. It should stop the leaks. Now simply clean up any water and run some hot water into your drain. The water should now run freely down the drain. You should also check for leaks. If needed retighten the nuts around the trap a little more using your hand.

If the drain in your tub or shower is clogged, you should be able to use a screwdriver to scrape the hair from the surface of the drain. This will usually solve the problem, if it doesn't then you will need the services of a plumber.

If you decide that you do need a plumber then be sure to shop around, the prices a plumber charge can vary drastically from company to company.

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