How do you clear a severely clogged drain?

clogged sink and issues

Preventing clogs

While cleaning up from that turkey dinner last week, did you notice the kitchen sink draining a little slow? Then come Friday morning on your way out for Black Friday specials, you had a clogged drain, kitchen sink was backed up from the dishwasher and garbage disposal? Seasons greetings as you’re attempting to clear clogged drain, cleaning the sink full of dishes. 

Seems like the entire household is malfunctioning when the sink drain is clogged in kitchen doesn’t it? Or maybe it isn’t the drain, but something else that is causing water to back up in the kitchen sink? When there isn’t any clogged drain cleaner getting the job done, maybe it is something more.  Keep reading as we answer common questions and address certain concerns about kitchen sinks and clogged drain cleaning. 

How do you know if your drain is clogged?

A common call that plumbers get is for clogged drain cleaning. If it isn’t in the bathroom, then it is the kitchen. How do you know if it isn’t a sewer line broke or clogged, or drain in the kitchen or bathroom is the problem? 

Regardless what it is, this always seems to happen and a bad time and becomes more of a headache with each passing hour. Oh, and the mess from a clogged drain, cleaning that mess is an unplanned and can be a major headache.  

Some indications that will tell you that you have a clogged drain, cleaning it out may fix it and may need the service of a professional plumber. Some of the plumbing issues that are caused by clogged drains or slow drains are indicated by any of the following:  

  • Bubbling toilet
  • Water backs up in the bathtub, shower,  sink, or toilet
  • Water is seeping out from  beneath the toilet
  • Water draining slow from bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet
  • Four odor emitting from the drains
  • Puddles of water near bathtub, shower, sink, shower, or laundry room
  • Water backing up from clean out outside

Now that you know what is telling you have a clogged drain, cleaning up after it isn’t going to help. What causes these clogs? 

  • The kitchen sink: Food, grease, and soap build-up in the drain and after enough buildup, the water can’t go anywhere, including the water draining from the dishwasher. 
  • The bathroom sink or tub: The culprit here is the hair, soap, and toothpaste building up, so much that eventually, the water has nowhere to go. 
  • The toilet: Toilet paper is a big part of the build-up in the toilet, but other things that can clog a toilet are diapers, feminine hygiene items, paper towels, and wipes. If you have children in the house, there could any number of things flushed in the toilet that causes it to clog. 
  • The Condensation drain from air conditioner: The water that drains from your air conditioner will build-up in the drain pan and when it isn’t emptied on a regular basis, algae, mildew, minerals, and mold build up in the drain lines. 

How do you unclog a main drain without a snake?     

Homes are either on municipal sewer or septic tank. With the municipal sewer, your wastewater. With a septic system, it is dispersed through a sprinkler type system and scattered about the land around it. When the bathroom  or kitchen sink isn’t draining, it really doesn’t matter how it supposed to work , the wastewater can’t get through the drainpipe and to the sewer.

So, it begins backing up in the shower, sink, toilet, and/or tub, even the washing machine or dishwasher may get the back up, they probably aren’t draining either. This one of those household issues that you can’t ignore either, especially if any of drains are in the basement. So, what can you do besides call a plumber for clogged drain cleaning when you don’t have a plumber snake? Here are three clogged drain fixes you can try before calling the plumber:  

1) Hot Water: Let hot water run for ten minutes and if it is the toilet clogged, drain the tank from the bottom and fill it with hot water then use a force-ball plunger to flush it. 

2) Chemical Cleaner:  The shelves are full of these, choose the one that looks the best to you, not necessarily the expensive one, and follow the label instructions.

3) Force-Ball Plunger: These plungers have a ball-like top with a long part at the bottom that fits down into the toilet bowl. Making sure the toilet bowl has water, plunge up and down several times until the clog breaks.


When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain? And What do plumbers use to clean drains that a homeowner can’t, or shouldn’t? 

A clogged and backed up drain can become a homeowner’s nightmare quick. They usually come about on holidays, weekends, or evening hours, leading to the temptation to fix it yourself and save that after hour charge. However, some DIY repairs can do irreversible damage. 

The main drains used in a home is the bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet. The hair, soap scum, and toothpaste can clog a drain to the point that your home remedies aren’t working a clogged drain cleaning. When you call a plumber, they will use cable augers, closet augers, angle shafts, and/or plungers. While you can purchase these tools at your local big box home improvement store, they don’t come with the experience in using them that a plumber will have. 

The kitchen sink is the next more frequent clogged drain, cleaning it out isn’t always easy either, especially when there is a dishwasher and/or garbage disposal connected. The garbage disposal adds more food waste to the drain, which forces more wastewater through the pipes, cause the drain to back up. 

You can use a chemical clogged drain cleaning product from the local home improvement store, but this is often only a band aid and the problem is still there. Again, using all the tools we listed above are possible, but without the experience and knowledge a plumber has, you could do more damage than good. You’ll end up calling the plumber anyway and the repair may cost more than it would have originally. 

Clogged drains are a hassle and can upset the household. While panic and urgency may overcome you, keeping a level head and realize when you’re limited at your abilities with the tools you have. Plumbers are not always cheap, but the damage you could do trying to do your own clogged drain cleaning could be even more expensive. Call 817-244-4370 today.