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How Do You Clear a Slow Drain?

Slow drains in your kitchen or bathroom indicate that something is most likely clogging your pipes, causing the backup. A slow drain is a frustrating issue that can become more severe, eventually leading to a full backup into your sink, tub, or shower. Worse, it could cause your pipes to burst. Let’s look at how to clear a slow drain and when to call Mainstream Home Services for help.

Why Does My Sink Drain So Slowly?

A slow drain is often caused by a clog formed from the buildup of soap scum, hair, grease, or other materials. There could be a few things causing slow drains in your home, such as:

  • Clogged garbage disposal: If you have a garbage disposal, it could also be caused by something caught in the blades. 
  • P-trap issues: Another possibility is that the P-trap (the U-shaped pipe under the sink that holds water) needs to be installed correctly or is blocked.
  • Shower gunk: Hair, soap scum, and other debris from the shower or tub could accumulate over time, causing standing water and slow draining.

Anything not meant to go down a drain eventually leads to water draining slower than it should. Whatever you put down a drain coats the pipes, leading to everything else getting stuck, blocking the drain, and causing a clog. A slow drain is just a symptom of that blockage building.

How Do You Fix a Slow-Draining Drain?

You can use several methods to try and fix a slow draining drain yourself. Luckily, many of these fixes are quick, inexpensive, or do not need a plumber. However, if you’re not comfortable with trying to fix it yourself or what you’re trying doesn’t help – it’s time to call Mainstream.

Flush with Hot Water

Flushing your sink with hot water should be your first option. By hot water, we mean boiling hot water. Get a kettle for a quick start, or wait for the water to boil on the stove. Once ready, pour the hot water slowly down the drain. Wait about 30 seconds to one minute. If this works, your sink will drain quickly. Sometimes, what is clogging the sink can be melted away with the hot water.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remember the volcano you made in elementary school science class? Well, it has real-world applications! This option can work side-by-side with flushing your drain with hot water. Grab a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar and then a cup of hot water. Make sure you plug your drain as well. Wait about ten minutes and repeat the process if necessary.

Try a Plunger

Not a surprise here – it all starts with a plunger. First, fill the sink with enough water to cover the plunger. Then, put the plunger over the drain and ensure a good seal. From there, pump the plunger up and down a few times. If the water starts draining, keep going until the drain is clear.

Check the P-trap

The p-trap is the curved section of piping underneath a sink that attaches to the drain. Sometimes, you’ll need to inspect it if your sink drains slowly. First, place a bucket under the p-trap to catch any water that might drain out. Next, you’ll want to unscrew the p-trap from the drain and sink pipes. Detaching the p-trap will allow you to inspect it for any blockages and remove them. Once completed, rinse out the p-trap and reattach it to the drainpipe and sink.

Snake It Yourself

A drain snake can remove a clog thanks to sheer force. However, it is easy to damage the pipes with a snake if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you have a drain snake handy, remove the drain cover and carefully maneuver the snake down the bathroom sink drainpipe. If you hit resistance, pull the drain snake out of the drain and inspect it for any debris that may be stuck. This is the last resort before you call a plumber like us to clear a slow drain.

What is the Best Product to Clear a Slow Drain?

Unfortunately, there is no genuine “best product” to clear a slow drain. Many people swear by drain cleaners as the cure-all fix. If you ask us, though, we’d prefer you avoid using them.

Chemical drain cleaners are typically the most effective at unclogging pipes. However, they are also the most dangerous to use. Chemical drain cleaners are caustic and can damage your pipes – if you use them too often, they can eat through the pipe and cause a leak.

If you decide to use a drain cleaner, follow the directions carefully. Only use the recommended amount; remember that they are not a long-term solution.

Slow Drains Slowing You Down? Contact Mainstream Today

If you’re still wondering how to clear a slow drain. There’s always another option: calling a licensed plumber. Your friends at Mainstream Home Services can handle any stubborn plumbing issue, including slow drains. Contact us today – we’re here to help you. 

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