Clogged Drain Repair: What You Need to Know to Fix Blocked Drains

Posted by on May 12/2023 | 0 Comments

Few plumbing problems are more common — and more frustrating — than a clogged drain. Are you currently suffering from the effects of soft blockage build-up? Do you need some professional drain cleaning tips? Are you wondering what options exist for decreasing your future blockage risk? All of that information is essential for everyone with toilets, sinks, and utility drains.

Drain clogs affect all properties in Southern Ontario. Older buildings are certainly more susceptible, but every local property owner is at risk. Nobody is safe from bad pipe jams, no matter what type of building you live in or where you live. Every property with plumbing in Ontario and Canada is vulnerable to the effects of obstructions.

Stubborn clogs are a way of life for many people, but bad blockage doesn’t have to be a daily bother. Hy-Pro is here to help you solve those problems with tips for how to do it yourself and advice for how to stop them from returning. Of course, we’re also always available to clear away stubborn drain clogs, if you need our help.

Despite the fact that clogged drains are a regular problem in Ontario, many homeowners aren’t prepared to properly resolve that issue — and prevent it from making future appearances. If you find yourself making an appointment for plumbing service too often, or you’re wondering what professional plumbers use to handle severe sewer blockage, you’ll benefit from reading a few clogged drain tips.

How To Fix a Clogged Drain

Don’t worry about that sink full of water in your kitchen or that toilet threatening to overflow. Many people are capable of clearing clogs on their own. If you own a plunger, you’re already half-way done. If you don’t own a plunger, now is the time to buy one.

Initial Inspection:

Professional drain repair services often start with an inspection. DIY drain repairs should start there too. It doesn’t take long, and if the standing water in your shower is being caused by something simple like a buildup of hair twisted around your cover, you’ll be glad you took the time to check.

Start your inspection by removing your drain stopper, strainer, or cover. If your standing water immediately flows away, that’s a clear sign your cover needs a scrub. Ensure all grime, slime, and sludge is removed and return it to its resting place until it needs another cleaning.

If you’re unlucky enough to have a clogged drain that isn’t caused by a grimy cover, then you’ll need a more thorough unclogging method. Luckily, you have several options! Your trusty plunger is the best place to start, but some homeowners manage to clear clogs with just a few basic household items.

Clogged Drain Repair Methods:

Using a Plunger: Clearing blockage with a plunger is simple and intuitive. Just place your plunger over the opening, thrust back and forth, and wait for your standing water to clear away. Ensure that there’s enough water in your fixture to cover the rim of your plunger, otherwise you’ll struggle to create an effective seal.

Using Hot Water, Vinegar, & Baking Soda: If you don’t have a plunger, a mixture of white vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water might be enough to remove your built-up blockage. Use equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda, one half to one full cup at most.

The easiest method to get them down the drain is by using a funnel. Pour in the baking soda, then the vinegar. Wait for the reaction to stop, then wait another five minutes. Flush everything out with hot water, and repeat as needed.

Using a Drain Snake: Snaking a drain is another option for dealing with a sink clog in Ontario. You’ll want gloves for this, because a plumbing snake is designed to grab grime and pull it out. You should probably move your toothbrush away from the sink too.

To use a manual snake, simply insert the bristled end into your pipe, push it down until it hits the blockage, twist it around to grab everything in your drain pipe, and pull it out. Be ready for a little mess to come with it.

Clogged Drain Repair Tips: 

  • If you’re having trouble creating a seal with your cup plunger, try rubbing a little petroleum jelly around the rim.
  • If one side of your double sink is backed-up, make sure you plug the other side before you start.
  • Cover the overflow hole in your bathroom sink with plumber’s tape or jam it with a wet rag to get better suction.
  • Avoid using boiling water in porcelain fixtures, as sudden temperature changes could create cracks.
  • A regular plumbing snake may scratch your toilet bowl; plumbing professionals use toilet augers instead.
  • Drano and other chemical cleaners damage fixtures and pipes with repeated use, and they aren’t effective for removing tougher clogs.
  • Bleach will disinfect blockage, but it won’t remove it.
  • Never mix bleach and vinegar, two different drain cleaners, or any other household cleaning products.

How to Stop Future Clogs

The Cause

Stopping a problem should always start at the source. Unfortunately, the cause of plumbing blockage is inside Ontario’s water. It’s also probably sitting in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room right now. There are two types of pipe obstructions: hard blockage and soft blockage. Hard blockage refers to larger debris like tree roots, stones, and even toys. Soft blockage is caused by smaller debris — and it builds-up naturally over time.

Soap scum, minerals in Ontario’s water, and everything else you flush all contributes to soft blockage. If you flush harmful food waste like bacon grease or problematic materials like paper towels, then soft blockage becomes much worse — yet avoiding those materials won’t stop it from growing. Unless you stop using soap, soap scum will always build-up inside your pipes alongside natural minerals and everyday slime.

The Solution:

Just because soft blockage is inevitable, doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. There are many methods for fighting slime and preventing future plumbing issues in Ontario. All you need is a little knowledge, a little time, a few basic components, and preventative maintenance from a skilled Ontario plumber.

1. Don’t Flush Harmful Materials

What shouldn’t you flush? Truthfully, pretty much everything. Pipes are only supposed to transport three things: water, human waste, and toilet paper. Even too much toilet paper could create a clogged toilet. If you don’t want a jam, avoid everything on the list of harmful debris below. Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to never flush anything that isn’t water, waste, or toilet paper.

Harmful Materials Include:

  • Fats, oils, & grease
  • Paper towels, tissues, & so-called “flushable” wet wipes
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Cotton swabs & Q-tips
  • Dental floss
  • Hair
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Medication
  • Paint
  • Dirt, soil, & gravel
  • Bones & food scraps

2. Include Your Drains in Household Cleaning

While you’re cleaning the surfaces in your bathroom or kitchen, take a few minutes to pour a solution of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water into your sinks, showers, and tubs. Regularly cleaning your pipes will minimize the effects of soap scum, grease, and mineral build-up in your drain lines. 

Use this time to clean your coverings too. Clumps of tangled hair, food debris, and other waste caught in a drain trap are all common clog culprits. Strainers and covers are there to protect you. Cleaning off built-up grime helps them do their job well.

3. Install Strainers & Covers

Completely open drainage lines are easy opportunities for plumbing issues, not only from standard sources like soap scum, but also from hard blockage linked to dropped objects. You’d be surprised how many toys and cell phones end up inside Ontario pipes. 

Strainers, covers, and drain traps are most essential for stopping regular debris like hair and food waste, but they’ll also stop jewellery, toys, and smartphones from slipping out of someone’s hands and into a sewer pipe. A Ontario home without full protection is more at risk for emergency plumbing problems.

4. Get Professional Drain Cleaning Services

Nothing offers more protection or better results than professional service for clogged drain repairs. Skilled plumbers aren’t just great at removing tough clogs. They also provide outstanding cleaning service that eradicates all grime — from your toilet to your mainline.

Every Ontario homeowner should make a regular appointment for professional drain cleaning service. Home solutions are great for slowing sludge, but baking soda and vinegar won’t completely restore your lines. They definitely won’t remove tree roots from a buried sewer line — but professional drain cleaning will.

When Should You Call a Trusted Plumber for Clogged Drain Repair?

Plumbers are always available for anything you can’t handle yourself. If a tough clog in your kitchen sink drain just won’t go away — even after hours of plunging — consider calling a plumber. The advanced equipment used by licensed plumbers is more powerful than standard tools. When you pair that technology with the expertise of an experienced plumber, there isn’t a clog they can’t handle.

Signs You Need Emergency Service

Sometimes, a clog is more serious than just standard blockage. Some plumbing issues are signs of sewer blockage deep in your system. If you ever see any emergency warning signs, make an immediate call to your trusted plumber. Every second you wait could be increasing your risks for costly repairs.

Serious Warning Signs:

  • Revolting sewage odours
  • Gurgling toilets
  • Flushing toilets creates a backup somewhere else
  • Clogs in multiple fixtures at the same time
  • Wastewater or black sewage seeping into your tub
  • Isolated patches of sudden, lush growth in your lawn
  • Small puddles in your yard that don’t go away
  • Sinkholes in your yard
  • Cracks caused by a shifting foundation

An issue with your main sewage line will spread throughout your home because it connects to every other waste line. Toilets have the most direct connection to sewage mains, which is why issues with a mainline often affect them first. Tubs and other lower fixtures are also more vulnerable than higher fixtures like sinks. Always watch for early warning signs and request professional help when you see them.

How Do Plumbers Fix Clogged Drains?

Skilled plumbers have access to a wide range of potential options for clogged drain repairs, but they often start with a plunger. Where regular folks in South Ontario might be stuck with their standard cup plunger, plumbers utilize advanced options like toilet plungers and taze plungers. Plumbers rely on those essential tools first, and they move on to more advanced equipment if those basic solutions are ineffective.

Powered Augers & Toilet Augers

What is a toilet auger? It’s a specially designed industrial drain snake created just for clearing clogged toilets. Toilet augers have a long curved neck covered with a material that protects porcelain from scratches. Inside their long necks is an extendible, flexible cable that plumbers push into toilets and spin with a handle to remove bigger blockage.

Powered augers are similar, but they look more like power drills. Sometimes an electric drill is actually what powers the auger, but many powered augers have their own internal power source. In either case, a powered auger is a device that sends a cable into a plumbing line and removes debris. They come in different sizes, from handheld models for sink drains to larger units used for sewer systems.

Jetting Technology

Hydro jetting equipment like the jetting technology used by Hy-Pro is powerful enough to destroy all blockage in your waste lines. Using pressurized water that shoots out of a specially designed hose, hydro jets clean every inch of your interior pipe walls. That pressurized water is no joke. It can even cut away tree roots!

Hetting is a complete drain cleaning solution. By annihilating all clogs and eliminating every ounce of grime, hydro jetting leaves your pipes looking and working like they’re brand-new. Few options for plumbing repair provide as amazing results as hydro jetting. 

Are You Looking for Clogged Drain Repair?

You found Ontario’s trusted plumbing experts! Hy-Pro Plumbing provides convenient appointments and 24/7 emergency services at no extra charge. Whether you need routine maintenance or immediate assistance with your clogged drain, our courteous, uniformed professionals are here to help!

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