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Ken's Plumbing | Blog

Plumbing Hacks: Fix Draining Problems Like a Boss!

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Jun 28, 2018 1:53:00 PM

unclogging your toilet and bathroom drainsClogged drains and other plumbing problems are never a fun thing to deal with -- especially if you have to pay out the nose to get them fixed.

Many times a clogged toilet and simple drain can be fixed with a few DIY methods that can save you from spending a lot of money on a service call that only lasts a few minutes. In today's blog post we're going to look at a few plumbing hacks that can get your draining problems fixed and help save your budget too!

Unclogging a Toilet Without a Plunger

So you're at a friend's house or a party and you need to use the bathroom. You finish up your business, flush the toilet, and get ready to wash your hands when you hear a faint gurgling noise and your heart sinks. The toilet is clogged. You look around for the plunger and to your dismay, there isn't one stored in this bathroom and there's no way you're about to go lose your dignity asking for one. 

What do you do now?

While using a plunger is everyone's first resort when it comes to clogged toilets, there are a few things you can try when the plunger is nowhere to be found. To do the trick you'll just need hot water and a trashcan or large cup.

Before you get started, (and this rings true for any plumbing fix) you'll want to shut the water source to the toilet off. For this particular problem, you can do it one of two ways. Turn off the valve on the underside of the toilet, or close the flapper in the toilet tank.

To close the flapper in the tank you'll need to remove the toilet tank cover and disconnect the chain that tugs the flap open when you press down on the flush handle. (Side note: when your toilet won't stop running the flap can often be the culprit). The water in the toilet tank is clean so you don't have to worry about any nasty germs that would be in the toilet bowl.

Once you've stopped the flow of water to the toilet bowl itself, you'll want to fill up the large cup or wastebasket with the hottest water you can get. Hot water can help break down the extra toilet paper (or shall we just call it other waste) that is clogging the toilet, and if successful, your toilet will be unclogged without a plunger!

If the hot water alone isn't doing the trick, you can try adding soap to the water to assist in breaking down the waste. If that doesn't work, you may have to just swallow your pride and ask for a plunger. 

Naturally Unclogging Your Bathroom Sink or Shower Drain

Thankfully, much less embarrassing than a clogged toilet, but unfortunately more difficult to fix is a clogged or slow draining sink or shower drain. Fixing this problem will require a little bit more time and know-how, but you can still save yourself some money by learning how to do it yourself!

Most of the time, clogs in your bathroom shower and sink drains are caused by hair or soap scum getting caught and building up on the pivot rod or stopper. To take care of the clog, you'll want to remove the stopper from the sink and fish out the hair and other debris with a wire hook. You can even make your own hook with a wire clothes hanger. This process should work for both your shower drain and bathroom sink, but if your sink drain uses a pivot rod, it will require one additional step.

For sinks with a pivot rod, you'll need to remove the rod before you can pull the stopper out. The pivot rod is connected from the wall, through the back of the sink, and to the sink stopper and is held in place by a pivot rod nut. Simply loosen the pivot rod nut with your fingers or a set of pliers and then pull out the pivot rod. You should then be able to slide the sink stopper out and use your wire hook to remove any hair, soap scum, or other debris from the stopper and drain.

Voila! Now the drains in your bathroom should be unclogged and draining correctly. As an added bonus, here are some helpful tips to avoid ever dealing with clogged bathroom drains!

For both clogged toilets and clogged bathroom drains, you never want to allow the problem to last too long. If the DIY methods talked about here don't work for you, then it's possible the problem is with the internal workings of your plumbing system, and in that case, you should definitely call in a professional to take a look. Putting off plumbing fixes can end up costing way more in the long run than if you handle them as soon as they surface.

If you need help with a clogged toilet, bathroom drain, or any other plumbing problem, Ken's Plumbing is here for you! We're known as the Picky People's Plumber for a reason and that's because we get the job done right with no extra hassle for you. You can reach us by phone at (864) 242-5511 or contact us online!

Drain Service

Topics: Toilets, Drains & Sewers