Drain Cleaning Tips

I grew up watching many old commercials. Those in my generation all know what I’m talking about when I mention “plop, plop, fizz,fizz” or “ancient Chinese secret.” One of the most familiar was a Liquid Plumber commercial. Then it made me giggle. But since becoming a plumber many years ago I can tell you that plumbers don’t mind missing out on drain cleaning work. The implication of the commercial was that the plumber didn’t want you knowing about the drain cleaning product because you wouldn’t call him. I try to help my customers help themselves all the time. And I’d love it if all my customers knew how to unclog their own drains. So,  here are some drain cleaning tips from your friends at Advocate Master Plumbing.

Kitchen sink drain clogs

clogged kitchen sink
Plunger for a kitchen drain clog

Whenever I approach customers with  kitchen sink drain clogs a garbage disposal is usually the cause of the problem.  Lets see if we can use it to solve the problem. Follow the following instructions and you may be able to avoid an unnecessary plumbing visit. Fill both sides of your kitchen sink half full of water. Plug the side of the sink without the garbage disposal attached. I normally use the garbage disposal stopper for this. Then turn on the garbage disposal. Run it for about 10 to 20 seconds and then shut it off. Be prepared for water gushing up out of the disposal if it doesn’t work the first time. Do this a few times. It will sometimes unclog the drain for you.

Another drain cleaning tip is to plug the drain after filling both sides and use the plunger  technique instead of the garbage disposal to unclog the drain.

Plunger technique

Anytime you use a plunger you need to be sure you have one that seals completely around the opening of the plumbing fixture drain opening. If there is more than one opening you must plug all openings except the one you’re plunging. Then vigorously and quickly move the plunger up and down in an attempt to create a vibrating wave through the water. Do this multiple times until the clog is open.

Other drain cleaning tips

drain cleaning
Zip it drain cleaning tool

Some other drain cleaning tips would include the old standby vinegar and baking soda. This will sometimes open a small clog in a drain p-trap. A wire hanger or Zip it drain cleaning tool for small hair clogs. A water bladder for larger drain problems is discussed in my Unclog Drains Yourself plumbing article.

When to call your local Lees Summit plumber

If these drain cleaning tips don’t work I would recommend calling Advocate Master Plumbing. We’ll promptly and professionally unclog your drain and inform you of the cause of the problems so that you may avoid them in the future. And remember that at Advocate Master Plumbing we have your plumbing needs in mind, not our bottom line.