Finding Plumbing Issues Early

3 Budget-Friendly Ways To Fix A Clogged Drain

by Chris Bowman

A clogged drain in your shower or sink is a common household issue that you'll likely encounter sometime in the future if you haven't already. Although it's often ideal to handle such a problem by calling a licensed plumber and arranging a visit, you can also roll up your sleeves and tackle the issue yourself. If you're on a budget, there are a number of ways you can address a clogged drain without spending much money. While the clog might still be severe enough to warrant a call to a plumber, it never hurts to see what you can do first. Here are three things to try.

Boiling Water

Over time, your drain can experience a build-up of slimy soap residue and, in the case of your shower, oils from your body that reduce the flow of water. A simple strategy to addressing this type of clog is to boil a kettle of water and pour the water down the drain. Do so as quickly as possible to ensure the water traveling through the drain is at its hottest. You often have to perform this approach three or four times to find success. Improve the job's efficiency by transporting your kettle to the room with the clogged drain, rather than heating the water in your kitchen and then carrying it through the house.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

If you remember experimenting with mixing baking soda and vinegar when you were a child, you'll remember the reaction the two substances create when mixed. The combination of baking soda and vinegar can cut through many types of clogs. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and then add the same amount of vinegar. Quickly put the plug in place to avoid the reacted substances from spilling into the tub or sink; the key is to have the reaction take place inside the drain. Wait between five and 10 minutes and then remove the drain and run the water as hot as it goes.

Plastic Drain Snake

Although expensive drain augers are often a valuable ally in your battle against a clogged drain, a plastic drain snake from the dollar store can often fix your clog. These tools are long and thin, with a finger loop at one end and barbs along the length of the shaft. Insert the pointed end into the drain and patiently push the entire tool as deep as you can, while still keeping your finger through the loop. Pull it back out and note what it brings up; the barbs typically pick up hair that is clogging the drain. Repeat the process as often as necessary.

Alternatively, you can always call a plumber like Doctor Fix-It for help.