When you encounter a clogged sink or bathtub drain at home, you don't necessarily have to call a plumber right away. Although this professional can certainly fix the issue for you, it's ideal to see if you can handle it on your own. You don't need to have much expertise to work on this job -- but you will need the right equipment to get the task done properly.
Here are three ways to tackle the clogged drain by yourself. If you can't resolve the problem or you're starting to get concerned that you're worsening the situation, stop what you're doing and get a plumber on the phone.
A drain snake is an inexpensive tool that is handy to have around for dealing with clogged or slow-draining drains. It's long and thin with several barbs on each side of the body. Place your finger through the ring on the end and gently guide the snake into the drain as far as you can.
Then, slowly pull on the ring to retrieve the snake. As it comes back up, the barbs will collect anything that's blocking the drain, such as clumps of hair. Repeat the process and check if it's helped the situation.
Although many people associate the use of a plunger with fixing a clogged toilet, it can also help you deal with a clogged drain. Place the plunger directly over the drain and cover the overflow drain with a towel to make the drain airtight. Then, plunge up and down a couple times and check to see if the clog is still in place.
In many cases, the vigorous plunging will break up the clog. A word of advice -- for sanitary reasons, it's ideal to buy a plunger that you can specifically use for fixing clogged drains. Don't use your toilet plunger on your sink.
When you're having trouble dealing with a clog manually, often letting a drain cleaner do the work for you can be beneficial. Buy a cleaner at a home improvement store and carefully read the instructions on the package.
Although the instructions can vary slightly according to the product, the general approach is to pour some of the chemical into the drain, put the drain stopped in place and wait for few minutes while the cleaner works its magic. You'll often open the drain, run some water and see that the fixture is draining properly.