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Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service

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Phone: 925-383-6100

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best way to unclog your drain

5 Effective Ways To Unclog A Drain

A clogged drain in the home can quickly progress from ‘inconvenient’ to ‘catastrophic’. You may notice that the drains are slow to empty or that there is standing water in your bathtub, shower or sink, but if the blockage worsens you could find that waste is backing up to the sink or floors. There are many ways that you can attempt to unclog a drain, but not all of them are effective or safe for your pipes. Of course, it’s always best to take preventative measures where possible to stop the drain from becoming fully clogged when the problem is only starting. But if you are already at the point where water is taking a long time to drain or not draining at all, there are a number of things you can do to begin to correct the problem and get your drains working again.


If you happen to know your blockage is in a large pipe, or one of the sewage or water mains, your best bet is to go straight to a professional plumbing and rooter service for their assistance in clearing the blockage. Of course, they can also provide expert assistance on smaller blockages or in cases where the blockage needs to be cleared more delicately (for example, if you have old or plastic pipes).

Rooter service can quickly and effectively remove larger blockages and even tree roots that might have grown into the drain or pipes, so you can get your plumbing functioning smoothly again.


A plunger can be an effective, chemical-free way to clear small blockages in your clogged toilet, drain or sink. Plungers come in a range of sizes to match the size of your pipes and drains as well. Plungers work by building up pressure behind the blockage to gently push it through the drain and move it through the pipes. The larger the plunger, the greater the pressure that will be produced with each ‘push’ of the plunger.

Plungers are an easy, no mess and inexpensive way to work on a blockage, but may not be as effective for large blockages.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For a natural way to clean out drains (and remove any unpleasant smells) baking soda and vinegar make a great combination for safe home cleaning. While this method is better for maintenance and may not shift those stubborn plumbing blockages, the benefits are that it is easy to do and most people have the equipment on hand already.

Place a substantial amount of baking soda in the drain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour 3 times the amount of vinegar mixed with some warm water into the drain and let sit for 20 minutes. Run more warm water down the drain to wash away the mixture and the blockage. Instructions for this method often require the use of boiling water, but boiling water can often damage pipes, especially plastic pipes, so take care with the heat of the water used.

Wire Hanger

While this method may not reach clogs that are further down in the drain, it is an effective method for removing hair and debris that is caught closer to the top of the drain. Simply unwind a wire coat hanger leaving the hook on the end of the wire. This is what you will use to remove the clog.

Remove the drain cover and place the hook carefully in the drain, but not so deep that you lose you grip (you don’t need a hanger clogging your drain as well!). When you pull the hook back up you will have cleaned any nasty clogs out of the top part of your drain. While not a very pleasant method, it can be very effective.

Call A Plumber

If you’re unsure about how to remove blockages safely, you’ve tried the home methods and they haven’t worked, or you’d simply rather not have to do the dirty work, you should call a professional plumber as soon as possible to inspect your pipes and establish the safest and most effective way to remove the blockage. Sometimes the symptoms of a clogged drain can be similar to the symptoms of damaged pipes or tree root invasion, and rooter service or repiping may be needed. For best results on tough clogs, call your plumber in to take a look.

With these tips you can remove a simple clog or take care of a major blockage and get your plumbing back to normal in no time.