American Discount Plumbing

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Unclog a Drain DIY


We are always happy to make a service call to our customers when they need us. Having said that, we’re also willing to help customers avoid a service call if there is something they can do to fix a plumbing issue on their own. Case in point: the slow or clogged drain. If you're courageous enough to try to unclog it on your own, here are a few tips:

Put the Heat on It

One of the things which happens is that soap scum, grease, hair, shaving cream, and other plumbing cholesterol begins to clog the drain. When this happens, we beg you not to go for the commercial drain cleaner. Harsh chemicals are the nuclear bomb of plumbing. 

When your sink gets slow, squeeze a big squirt of Dawn (or other grease-cutting dish soap) down your slow sink. Then, take a huge kettle of boiling water and pour that down the sink, as well. You may need to repeat the water flush two or three times. Be careful! Boiling water is dangerous. But, the hot water combines with the dish soap and softens the soap scum and grease, which then clears away. 


A Coke and a Smile!

Sometimes, a big (2 liter) bottle of Coke, full of phosphoric acid, is just what your drain needs. Simply chug the entire thing down the drain (at room temperature), and follow it with a chaser of hot water about an hour later. The acid in the coke eats grease.

Kitchen Basics

Take one cup of baking soda, dump it down the sink. Follow with a ½-1 C vinegar chaser. The magic is in the foam. Here is a guy who uses the foam and boiling water method.  

Take the Plunge

Do you know the difference between your plungers? A flange plunger is made for a toilet. A standard plunger is made for the others--sinks, the bathtub, etc.  And the primary force of a plunger is water, so make sure there is enough in the sink or tube to be able to force it down the drain. The pressure of the water is what dislodges the clog. Make sure the drain is completely covered by the water. Push, pull in a pumping action. If you lose some of your water, fill it up again. If you lose a lot, you’ve got it!

Snake the Lake

If you have a snake and you don’t mind using it, attach it to the drill and fire it up. If you don’t have one/don’t want one/did that and it didn’t work, it’s time to call in the pros. If you got this far, you’ve done yeoman service, and it might be a tree root or something way down the line you don't have the tools to repair. We’ve got the heavy-duty equipment, the plumbing line camera, and we’d be proud to follow you in the quest to get your drain back in order.

If you need a licensed plumber for a repair or any other plumbing in your Phoenix, Arizona home, you can schedule an American Discount Plumbing expert online or give us a call at 602-883-2787

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