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Unclog a drain

The Best Strategy to Unclog A Drain

Are you tired of calling someone to get help with the clogged sinks and overflowing toilets in your home? Jams develop naturally in pipes over time, and they're caused by a variety of materials that enter systems and refuse to leave. These are common plumbing problems for all homeowners, especially if you've owned your home for many years. Blockage peril increases as buildings get older, and you're the first line of defence.

You're also the person best-positioned to properly propel problems away. An experienced, licensed Ottawa plumber from our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing is always available to help. But you can also unclog most drains yourself, and avoid blocks in the future. Knowing the habits to help halt hindrances, and the strategies to solve stuck pipe flow, will save you time and money.

Our years of industry experience has involved many professional drain cleaning jobs for satisfied customers. We know all the signs of clogs, the causes, and the solutions. You too should arm yourself with everything that's important to know about unclogging drains.

How Do You Unclog a Drain?

Since this is probably the question that brought you here in the first place, let's answer it right away. The best way to unclog a drain is with a plunger. If you just moved into a new building and you don't have a plunger, now is the time to buy one. Don't wait until your toilet is overflowing and you have to hurry out and get the first available option. If you don't have a plunger right now but you do have a blockage, there are some additional strategies to try before you make a call for drain cleaning service.

  • Drain Snake: Sometimes called a “zip-It” or plumbing snake, this is a long flexible wire that you push down openings to grab debris and pull it out. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes–plumbers even have powered options—but they're all well suited for clearing congestion in water and sewage fixtures.

  • Clean The Pop-Up: Some sinks have a pop-up that will catch sludge and other debris. Too much buildup causes slow drains and mild backups. You might be able to just pull it out, but you should also check behind the fixture for the nut that secures pop-ups in place. You'll need to remove it before you can take out the pop-up and clean it.

  • The Hot Water Solution: It's possible to mix together a home-brewed concoction to unclog a drain. You'll need boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar. There's a specific sequence of instructions that you need to follow for this solution to be effective.

  • Chemical Cleaners: Drano and other cleaning chemicals might seem like a good option, and they do provide occasional, short-term results. But we don't recommend this option because of the damage caused by corrosive drain cleaning chemicals. Mixing chemicals is also dangerous; even common household options like vinegar might result in serious harm.

  • Plungers: We're coming back to this again because it really is the most effective option. If you're trying to use one in a double-sink, make sure you plug the other side. If you're at a bathroom sink, you might need to plug the overflow hole. Did you know there are four different types of plungers? You might have more success with a version that's better suited for your particular needs.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

There are a lot of different external and internal factors that impact your water and sewage lines. You probably don't need to be told not to flush large foreign objects, but there are so many other materials that create disruptions. Plumbing is really only designed to handle three things: water, human waste, and toilet paper. Even that last one builds up and plugs lines if you use too much. The best way to unclog a drain is to maintain good habits that take care of your home's waste system—so you don't have to deal with blockages in the first place.

How Do You Avoid Having to Unclog A Drain?

Don't Flush F.O.G.

Fat, oil, and grease buildup are the most common perpetrators of plumbing problems. These FOG materials run down with the water in kitchen sinks and then solidify once they're deep within your system. Even in small amounts, they reduce flow and cause problems.

What Else Shouldn't You Flush?

If you have to ask about something, you shouldn't flush it. The only three things that should ever be in your pipes are water, toilet paper, and human waste. Even so-called “flushable” wipes aren't safe for your system.

Avoid of These Materials:

  • Tissues, paper towel, wet wipes and baby wipes

  • Sanitary bathroom products

  • Floss

  • Contact Lenses

  • Cotton Swabs

  • Medication

  • Gum

  • Clumps of Hair

  • Food Waste

  • Band-aids

  • Chemicals

  • General garbage

Do You Have A Serious Clog?

Sometimes you need to unclog a drain because of the natural buildup of soap scum, minerals, and other materials over time. Other times, blockage develops because tree roots have squeezed or penetrated your sewage mainline. Damage to your sewer lines is a serious issue that needs to be resolved immediately. Every homeowner in Ottawa should know about the signs of sewer line clogs.

What Are The Serious Signs:

  • All your toilets don't work properly

  • You have water backups in multiple areas

  • There is sewage backing up into your residence

  • Your fixtures make strange noises—“gurgling” is a common description of the sound

  • Running washing machines and dishwashers creates problems

  • Disgusting odours are wafting into your house

  • There are isolated pools of water on your lawn—especially if it hasn't rained recently

  • Isolated patches of grass are particularly green

Do You Need Professional Help to Unclog A Drain?

If you can't get the job done yourself, a professional plumber will help. The drain cleaning experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa are proud to serve our community. We have specialized tools and plumbing technology to deal with any problem. Our 24/7 service means we're here for you with conveniently scheduled appointments or with rapid, effective solutions for plumbing emergencies.


For answers to all your questions, immediate assistance and to book an appointment with one of our expert plumbers, call our friendly customer service representatives at 613-746-0000. You can also request an appointment online.
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