Not another drain clog! Yes, these are persistent and common plumbing problems, and every home has to deal with them at some point or another. You can take steps to prevent them—we strongly recommend you schedule drain cleaning as a routine annual service with our professionals—but there’s no way to stop every single one.

What do you do when you run into a drain clog? You have some options in your home you can try. Below we’ve listed the three methods of drain unclogging you can attempt on your own. These methods may work, and they are also harmless for the piping and won’t present any dangers to you or your household.

The Plunger

We hope you already own both a sink and toilet plunger. (The toilet plunger has a longer extension at the end to better fit into the toilet’s drain.) These are immensely helpful, simple tools that can solve basic clogs. Apply the plunger to the drain until it forms a seal, and press firmly but not too fast a few times to force water down the drain until the clog vanishes.

The Drain Auger

Also called a drain snake, this handy tool resembles a wire coil connected to a hand-crank. You insert the coil down into the clogged drain, then rotate the wires with the crank. This will drill into a clog and break it apart. There are also augers that have a surface like Velcro that is handy at picking up hair clogs from sink and shower drains to pull them out. Augers can often take care of what plungers cannot.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is a drain cleaning formula people have used since the start of indoor plumbing. First pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Next, pour a solution of one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain. Put a cover over the drain (if there is one) and wait for 15 minutes. Then uncover the drain and pour boiling water down the drain again. This natural acidic action of the vinegar and baking soda can often eat through clogs, particularly organic clogs.

You may need to call for drain cleaning in Bethesda, MD when you’ve exhausted these options. Attempting more methods can lead to damage to the plumbing and may even create health hazards in your house.

What methods are potentially dangerous? Here are two:

Chemical Drain Cleaners

These acidic chemicals are terrible for drains, and no plumber recommends using them. Leave them on the store shelves unless you want toxic fumes in your home and corroded drainpipes.

Motorized Drain Snakes

You may think of these as “rooters,” the powered version of the drain snake attached to a motor. Professional plumbers do use these tools for unclogging drains, but they are specially trained to handle them. Amateur attempts to use these devices can damage the drains and may end up hurting the user.

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we vow to exceed expectations at every turn. Call us for fast drain unclogging and thorough drain cleaning.