How to clear a clogged drain

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Beautiful Homes -

YOU are wash­ing your veg­eta­bles and sud­denly the sink starts over­flow­ing with wa­ter. Be­fore you panic and call a plumber, try these tips.

Hot wa­ter to clear nat­u­ral plugs: If you’ve been cook­ing oily food, and you’ve emp­tied the pan down the sink, you may have in­ad­ver­tently cre­ated a plug of so­lid­i­fied oil and grease. The eas­i­est way to clean this is to boil a ket­tle of wa­ter and pour the hot wa­ter down the sink.

Power chem­i­cals for stub­born plugs: If hot wa­ter trick­les through but doesn’t do the trick com­pletely, then you can use a chem­i­cal drain cleaner mix. Fol­low in­struc­tions on the side of the pack. Note: if your sink is full of wa­ter, don’t try this method. Chem­i­cals like these tend to froth and you don’t want them slosh­ing over your sur­faces and floors.

Use suc­tion: For this you need a plunger with mouth that’s wide enough to cover the drain. Don’t worry about that wa­ter from the ket­tle; you need this to help you cre­ate suc­tion. Place plunger over the drain, push down to ex­pel air, and then pull up. You should feel the wa­ter slosh­ing up and down as the plug shifts.

Tip: If you have a dou­ble sink, or an over­flow gap, cover these with a wet rag. Re­mem­ber, the aim is to cre­ate vac­uum suc­tion.

Use an auger: Not the Ro­man priest who used to in­spect the in­side of chick­ens to see if gen­er­als should go to war, but the one with an “e” that is a thin, sup­ple wire with a weighted end that drops down into the drain, hope­fully bang­ing loose or clear­ing what­ever is down there. You can get these from any hard­ware shop.

Still noth­ing? Then you have to re­move the clean-out plug from un­der the sink and push the auger up­wards to clear the block­age. If this still doesn’t work, gather up all your spare cash, and call your plumber.

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