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Clogged drains are common, occurring in almost every Sarasota home at one time or another. You may want to try clearing a clogged drain yourself before calling a professional. Take care, though, as there is a risk of damage. Here are some easy tips to try before you call for service.  

Take the plunge

One of the easiest means of clearing a clogged drain is with a plunger. Place a clamp on the dishwasher drain hose before proceeding, and run 3 to 4 inches of water in the sink. Hold a wet rag over the drain on the other side of the sink – or have someone else do it for you if you need both hands for the plunger. Plunge the bad drain, going up and down forcefully for about thirty seconds. If this doesn’t work, plunge again.

Clean the P-trap

If plunging fails, try removing and cleaning the P-trap. Bail excess water from the sink, and place a bucket under the trap. Loosen the slip nuts, carefully remove the trap, clean it out, and replace it.

Snake the drain

Extend the cable on the snake 6 to 10 inches by loosening the setscrew at the tip. Tighten the screw, and insert the tip of the snake into the drain stub-out below the sink. Spin the snake down the line and again loosen the setscrew to pull out another 6 to 10 inches of cable. Continue to feed the snake into the pipe.

If you encounter an obstruction, push through, then crank the handle counterclockwise to retract the cable. Clean debris from the cable as it comes out, and repeat the process until no blockage remains.

A clogged disposal is frequently the cause of a backup. First, use a plunger. If that fails, flip the disposer switch. A low humming sound indicates that your disposer is jammed. Turn off the power and unplug the unit. You can try inserting an Allen wrench to free up the blades. If the disposer doesn’t make any sound at all, the motor may be tripped. Push the reset button.

Although you might think you’re saving money by doing these fixes yourself, it might cost you in the end. You risk doing harm to your equipment, and you’ve wasted your time. Meanwhile, your sink, which you need, is still unusable. Why not call in a pro who can take care of the fix simply and quickly. If you need help clearing a clogged drain, call Aqua Plumbing & Air. Since 1974 we’ve served the residents of Sarasota and Bradenton.