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What You Should Know About Unclogging a Sink or Bathtub Drain


With all of our time spent dealing with work, family, and bills, homeowners in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have little time to deal with plumbing issues. So, when plumbing issues do arise in a home, a few little tricks can go a long way to relieving headaches.

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If you do find yourself struggling with a clogged sink or bathtub drain, try this list of “quick fixes” before calling a plumber, having him come out to your home in Burlington County or another area of South Jersey, and investing money in something you can first try to address on your own.

  • Remove strainer/stopper – The first place a clog can form is at your drain’s strainer/stopper. This is the piece located over (or in) the drain, which stops larger items from going down the drain. However, larger items, along with hair, can quickly clog the drain. (screwdriver may be required)
  • Once removed, wipe & clean the area – Any items or hair that get through the strainer/stopper may first collect here. Though clogs rarely occur here, the “gunk” you find here is usually the cause of your next Prevent future issues now!
  • Use a drain stick or hanger to clear the trap – Your drain connects to a trap, which is the piece of your home’s plumbing system that makes indoor plumbing possible. It’s also the piece that will most frequently clog. Use a drain-stick or piece of hanger (gently) to try and clear any clogs in your trap. Hair, etc., can start to clog within a few months.
  • Clean #1 – Plunger – Using your freshly cleaned drain and trap, fill the tub/sink with a few inches of water, or use a wet towel to cover any over-flow drains in the sink. (Tip: place towels down now: less clean up later.) Apply plunger and start plunging: after 5-10 plunges remove the plunger. You should see dirty water/gunk coming out of the drain and the water should drain. If the water doesn’t drain, consider plunging with more force, or, move onto . . .
  • Clean #2 – Baking soda & vinegar – If physically removing the clog (above) failed, it’s now time to try a “chemical” solution. First, boil water in a kettle and pour it down the drain. Next, pour some vinegar down the drain and then baking powder. Wait 20 minutes. Boil more water in a kettle and pour it down the drain. If this household chemical treatment doesn’t remove the clog, then it may be time to escalate to . . .
  • Clean #3 – Store-bought chemicals – While this may seem like the simplest and easiest thing to do, store-bought chemicals do not come in a “one size fits all” product. Different chemicals work with various types of building materials in different applications, and require different amounts of cleaner to be used (is your drain PVC or copper; what is your sewer main made of?) Make sure to check the back and READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before use.
  • Call a professional – If you’ve poured one chemical down your drain and it’s still clogged, now is the time to call a professional. Mixing chemicals is dangerous, even if you’re Walter White: don’t do it!

If you’ve reached this point, and still have a clog, then it’s time to call Hutchinson, and trust our award-winning, professional, services. Our company’s plumbers and HVAC technicians that serve Gloucester and other areas are available now for any services you may need. Call 866-953-8728 today to schedule your appointment.