Through everyday living, your bathroom sink can easily become backed up with hair, toothpaste, and soap scum. When your sink stops draining quickly, you likely have a clog to address. In some cases, you may be able to handle the problem on your own if guided by a professional. You may be tempted to use a chemical drain cleaner to remove drain clogs. When using this method, be sure to follow all safety instructions, use according to the directions, and make sure you are wearing goggles and rubber gloves.  If you use a chemical unsuccessfully and decide to call a professional, please always inform them of what you used, when, and how much.  Some of the chemicals sold are very dangerous to skin and eyes.  They can also damage your drainage system, which is why we do not recommend this method. Follow the instructions below for the best method to remove your clogs at-home:

**Before attempting anything mentioned below, please review the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog.

Step 1: Remove the Trap and Check for Clogs—When a lavatory sink becomes slow draining, the homeowner can often easily remove the trap below the sink and will find it full of hair, scale, etc.  Be sure to put a catch basin of some type below the trap as you will surely spill some water.  The same can be done with a kitchen sink drain.  Most modern traps are relatively easy to remove without special tools, but a pair of groove-lock pliers is very handy to have.  Be sure not to over-tighten the slip nuts when you reconnect the trap. If the clog remains, continue with the next step.

Step 2: Try a Good Plunger—Using the plunger to create a good vacuum and force air into the drain could be enough to eliminate the clog. This is the simplest solution so best to try it before moving on to something more complicated. If the clog is particularly stubborn, you may need to try the snake instead.

Step 2: Purchase a Snake—Also known as a drain auger, this tool is only shaped like a snake. It is a long ¼ inch thick bendable coil, available in metal and plastic varieties, which can be used to maneuver in your pipes. Some drain augers can be used manually and there are some which are power tools. Basically, the snake is forced down the drain and designed to put pressure on the clog to alleviate the blockage. Metal varieties are best used with caution, so you do not damage your pipes. Plastic snakes can accomplish the same goal without risking your pipes.

Step 3: Use the Snake–Before you attempt to use the snake, get a bucket to gather the gunk into and wear eye protection, especially if you have already attempted a chemical solution like Drano. Once prepped, carefully push the snake down the drain utilizing the crank. When the snake gets to the clog, the turning of the snake will encourage the clog to wrap around the snake for easy removal.

Step 4: Test the drain—If the snake worked properly, the drain should clear completely when you run the water. In the event that your drain is still clogged, you may need professional help.

Step 5: Call FitzGerald and Sons—Our team of professionals utilize specialized equipment, such as professional augers and video pipe inspection, which can reach beyond the typical homeowner’s snake. We can find the clog safely without damaging your pipes. Call today for a professional and experienced plumbing solution!


**Prior to attempting any at-home maintenance, review the following disclaimer. FitzGerald & Sons Plumbing Co. takes no responsibility for any actions of the homeowner and is not liable for any losses or damages incurred. If damage occurs from attempting home maintenance, FitzGerald & Sons Plumbing Co. is not responsible for fixing the issue, unless hired at our normal service rate to address the issue. Before attempting to resolve any plumbing issues, we recommend carefully consulting any instructions or manuals which may have been included. If the work requires an experienced and licensed professional plumber, our staff is available 24/7 to help.