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Badly clogged drain in a residential bathroom.

Essential Information about Clogged Drains in Ottawa

Clogged drains are a nuisance, making it difficult to get daily chores done, have a shower or flush your toilet. But beyond that, issues with your plumbing system like blockages can also be a sign of a more serious problem. For instance, multiple clogs in your home might indicate an issue with your main sewer line.

Whether a small clog in your kitchen sink is stopping dirty water from emptying or you suspect there's a serious problem deep in your plumbing system, our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa can help. Each of our plumbers possess years of experience cleaning drains and getting rid of blockages throughout Ottawa and nearby areas. Our team will diagnose the problem and use the best tool for the job to get rid of it quickly and effectively.

That said, as a homeowner you'll likely want to educate yourself further about clogs and what you can do about them. To that end, our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa put together this helpful guide. Read on to learn more about blocked pipes and how to get rid of the problem once and for all.

How Did that Clog Form?

A small clog every now and then is a completely normal occurrence for most Ottawa homeowners. Again, when multiple drain pipes are blocked, then you might have a more serious problem on your hands. In either case, clogged drains are usually caused by a buildup of debris in your plumbing systems. This could include:

  • Soap scum

  • Hair

  • Food waste, like egg shells

  • Grease/oil

  • Objects like toys or jewellery

  • Wipes

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Paper towel

  • Toilet paper

  • Buildup from minerals in water

How Can I Clear a Clogged Drain?

Depending on that blockage's severity, it might be best to call experts like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa toclear out the clogged drain. However, if it's only a small issue or you're keen to eliminate it yourself, we suggest the following methods:

Use Your Hands

Wearing protective gloves, you might be able to remove a clog with just your hands. Removing the drain cap, see if you can scoop up accessible debris with your fingers. Dispose of it in a garbage bag and run hot tap water down the pipe until clear.

Hot Water

Boiling water can be an efficient way to remove residue and buildup from your plumbing system, although this technique will not work on serious clogs. To try the hot water method, heat up a litre of water in a kettle—or a cooking pot—and pour it down the kitchen sink drain or shower drain. (We do not advise using this method on a clogged toilet.) Let the water sit for 5-10 minutes and see if it starts to empty. If so, pour another litre into the affected area. It may take a few tries until the pipe clears.

Baking Soda and White Vinegar

To step it up a notch without using plumbing tools, you can create a chemical reaction with baking soda and vinegar. Just like your child's science fair project, the combination of these two agents will create a forceful reaction that pushes debris through the plumbing system. Follow these steps to try this method:

  1. Pour a cup of baking soda into the pipe. Press it down with a wooden spoon or spatula so it's close to the debris.

  2. With the drain stopper in hand, pour a cup of vinegar into the pipe.

  3. Quickly put the cap on, this forces the reaction down your plumbing system.

  4. Let the solution sit for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Follow with one litre of boiling water to get rid of any remaining residue.

Plunger

If non-invasive techniques don't work, your remaining options—aside from calling a professional plumber—are to use simple tools to get the job done. The first that comes to mind, and the option that's easier to use, is a plunger. There are many different types of plungers suitable for sinks, toilets and shower pans respectively.

Types of Plungers:

  • Sink/standard plunger: This is what may come to mind when you think about a plunger. It works best on a flat surface, although it can be used to clear debris in another plumbing fixture, like the toilet.

  • Toilet plunger/flange plunger: Similar to a sink plunger, this tool also has a soft rubber flap that folds inside the cup. This is designed to fit inside the toilet drain opening.

  • Accordion plunger: This tool should really only be used to clear backed-up toilets. While it produces a fair bit of force, it's quite difficult to use.

  • Taze plunger: Usually, this tool is only used by professionals to clear large pipes. It's not usually used on household drains.

How to Use a Plunger:

  1. Empty as much water from the plumbing fixture as possible with a bucket or pump.

  2. Place towels around the fixture to prevent spillage from damaging your floors.

  3. In the sink, tub or shower, add a few inches of water. This improves the plunger's suction.

  4. Pump between 6 and 12 times, increasing in intensity with each pump.

  5. Repeat until the clog is cleared.

Wire Coat Hanger

The last tool homeowners may reach for is an adapted wire hanger. Straighten out your hanger until it forms a straight line, and bend a small hook into one end. This essentially makes a plumber's snake, also called a drain snake. It can be used to access debris that's hard to reach. Simply position the wire hanger down the pipe and fish around until you feel the blockage. Pull up as much as you can and dispose of it in a garbage bag. You could follow this with boiling water or baking soda and vinegar after manually clearing as much of the debris as possible.

How to Prevent Clogged Drains?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—and that rings true for clogged drains as well. Although minor clogs are a part of life, they can be prevented with annual drain cleaning services. Not only will regularly cleaning your drains help prevent future blockages, but it will also increase your system's longevity and reduce the risk of an emergency—such as a backed-up sewer or burst pipe.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa, we use the most cutting-edge technology on the market to blast away even the most stubborn clog: HydroScrub® Jetting. This tool uses an exceptionally high-pressured stream of water to safely clear your home's pipes, without the use of harsh chemical drain cleaners that could damage your pipes or be harmful for your family.

Hire the Pros at Ottawa Clogged Drain Pros Today!

Are you ready to get rid of clogged drains with professional drain cleaning service? Or perhaps you need help with an urgent situation, like a clogged toilet? Give the experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa a call today. Each of our plumbers are highly trained and have years of experience solving plumbing problems for clients throughout Ottawa and the surrounding areas. For instance, we've helped homeowners in Vanier, New Edinburgh and Gloucester.

To get started today, we invite you to call one of our friendly customer service representatives at 613-746-0000. We look forward to your call and assisting you with your plumbing problems!