March 2018 (106)
How to Clear a Clog
When the plunger doesn't get the job done, then what? It depends on the line that is plugged. If it is a kitchen sink, you have a P-trap underneath that you can take off, clean out and get that going again. But if it is the toilet, you are really going to want to run a "snake" down through the toilet. What is a "snake"? It's nothing more than a cable that spins as it is going in. Now you have to be extremely careful when doing a toilet, because it will scar the porcelain down there and that scar will stay forever. Use something that has a plastic coating on it, so you can get it far enough in there where the scarring doesn't show. It's really a cable, and as it is spinning, it is cutting through whatever is blocking the pipe. Once the water starts flowing again your clog is taken care of. 
What is a P-trap?
The reason for the P-trap, and why we don't just run the water straight out, is it keeps the sewer gas from being able to back up into the home. It is basically a safety issue. The P-trap is a common place for blockage but is easy to take off and clean. However, always run water in bathrooms, kitchens, and showers at least once a month to keep water in that P-trap and keep sewer gas out of your home. 
What is a Snake?
Snaking a drain is performed with an auger, a coiled "snake" piece with a handle on one end. There are two types of plumbing snakes: drain augers, which are more common, and closet augers, which are smaller and mostly used by plumbers to unclog toilets. 
What about chemical drain cleaners?  
Have you been thinking about using some liquid drain cleaner? Well, let me save you some money. Don't waste your time. It is not going to work. Liquid drain cleaners are supposed to go down and dissolve what is in the pipe....to make it start flowing again. I have yet to see one that does what it advertises to do. So save your money and snake the line instead.....and you will have it going much quicker. 
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