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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lockwood Plumbing

Do's & Don'ts of Handling a Clogged Drain

If a shower or sink in your home isn't draining as quickly as it should, there could be a clog somewhere in the pipeline. While it may be tempting to clear it yourself, plumbing is more complex than most people realize, and most clogs are best left to professionals. The following tips can help you avoid doing more harm than good when you have a clogged drain.


Install a debris catcher.

It's wise to avoid using the fixture at all until it's cleared to keep the clog from getting worse. If that's not an option, you can prevent further debris from getting stuck by installing a filter. These universal devices sit over drains and let water flow through while catching soap scum, hair, and food waste before they enter the pipes.

Pour boiling water down the drain.

If the clog most likely consists of food debris or greasy gunk, boiling water may dislodge it. Pour a kettle full of hot water down the drain, and then run the faucet. If the water drains a bit faster, pour another kettle down the drain, and test it again. Repeat until the water drains at a usual pace.


Snake the drain yourself.

If hot water wasn't enough to dislodge the clog, you might try to loosen it yourself. However, since one wrong move could damage the plumbing—or even lead to flooding—it's best to call a professional. In the same respect, it's best not to attempt disassembling the pipes, either. Even the handiest homeowner is generally not equipped to tackle complicated plumbing jobs.

Use a chemical formula.

Chemical drain cleaners may be powerful enough to disintegrate moderate clogs, but they can corrode the pipes in the process. Their formulas are so harsh that, with frequent use, they usually do a lot more harm than good. They're also damaging to the environment, and they can throw off the delicate balance of bacteria in septic systems.

If one of your drains is clogged and hot water hasn't cleared it, turn to John Lockwood Plumbing. Operating out of Ontario, NY, this family-owned business has served homeowners and businesses across the area since 1973. A full-service plumbing contractor, there's no job too small or too large for their team to tackle. From installation and upgrades to repairs and preventive maintenance, they do it all. Visit the website to learn more about their residential offerings, or call (585) 265-0736 to schedule service.

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