How to Unclog a Drain

One of the greatest mysteries in the world is how to unclog your drain. Perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, actually.

However, it is still a major problem that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives. Though it is mainly a problem for those of us who have long hair, drains can clog for a variety of reasons.

Still, the question is not how we clog our drains, but rather, how we remove clogs that have already happened. Today, we will look at three different ways for you to unclog your piping.

The first is the snake method, the second is a plunger and the third is a chemical product. Depending on the HVAC company you choose to work with, you might find that they have a preferred method.

Snake Tool

The snake tool is the first item on our list because it is the most effective. Typically this is the tool you will see HVAC company technicians, like plumbers, reach for first, and there is a good reason for that.

We will see some of the disadvantages of the other tools later on, but for now, suffice it to say that the snake tool comes out ahead in most categories.

Essentially, the tool is just a malleable rod that can be inserted into the pipe and used to dislodge any stuck-on gunk or remove any blockages. Some models will also have a retractable grabber at the end, which can be helpful for removing slimy objects like hair clumps and other grossness.

Plunger Tool

The plunger is a symbol of the bathroom, but in our modern era, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as effective as it once was. Now it is much more common to see it as a prop for a funny gag than in actual use for clearing blockages in pipes. Still, when in a pinch it will do the job.

However, it does come with several drawbacks. Most notably is the spring-back of the rubber, which if unclearing an overflowing pipe can cause significant splashback during the process. You can reduce this by using a snake tool instead.

Chemical Snake

Finally, we have chemical snakes. These are pressurized canisters full of harsh chemicals. Their design is intended to fit into most piping systems and pushing on them releases the chemical mixture down into the clog, causing a corrosive reaction that may be effective in removing blockages.

Again, this will not function nearly as well as the plunger tool, but depending on the nature of your clog, it might help the process along. In a similar fashion, you should also be aware of the harsh chemical cocktail in use in your individual product.

Remember, whatever you put into your water system will eventually reach a water-processing facility. It should, at least, not be bad for the environment.

Understanding How Clogs Work

Now that you have seen the most common methods for addressing clogs, you are probably reading and raring to go out, get your tool and get to work. But before you do that, consider how clogs work, and more importantly, where they typically occur.

Most modern plumbing has a u-bend system almost immediately after the drain apparatus. The function of this u-bend is two-fold. First, a small reservoir of water sits in this bend which prevents the terribly unpleasant smells from leaking out into your home.

The second function is more minor, but it also helps to trap small heavy objects, like jewellery, from going into the main sewage system.

The u-bend is where you will typically see clogs occur, so make sure your tool is long enough to effectively work on them. If you are still not seeing results, consider using an HVAC company to remove the u-bend pipe section and clean it more effectively and thoroughly.


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