You have a clogged drain. Now what? Clogged drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Whether it’s a clogged toilet, sink or other drain, there are a lot of ways you could attempt to clear it. But here are three terrible ways to clear a clogged drain (in other words, here’s a list of what NOT to do.) Terrible idea #1: sticking sharp objects down the drain It can be really tempting to try to stick something down your drain to see if you can reach the clog to remove it. But this technique can backfire in a few ways, including:

  • You could puncture your pipe - now you not only have a clog, you have a leak!
  • You might drop the item - what happens when the object slips out of your hand?

Terrible idea #2 Using a chemical drain cleaner from the store This is most Atlanta-area homeowners’ go-to drain clearing method - “I’ll just buy a bottle of some chemical solution and pour it down the drain, and I’ll be good to go,” they think. But there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners:

  • You could burn or injure yourself - just read the warning label.
  • They can damage your drains - the same acidic chemicals that are supposed to clear the drain can also eat away at your pipes, causing a much bigger problem later on.

Plus, if you use a chemical drain cleaner and it doesn’t clear the clog, and you try to use a plunger next to get the clog out, the chemicals could splash in your face (and burn you.) If you’re going to use a drain cleaner, use one that is environmentally friendly and uses bio-enzymes instead of harsh chemicals. Terrible idea #3: Plunging the sink with a toilet plunger Alright, this drain clearing method is not so much terrible as it just plain won't work well. Did you know that there are two different kinds of plungers? The plungers made for your toilet have a cup-like bottom (the black one in the picture below) while sink plungers are a simple bowl shape (the orange-red plunger.)

Image source: Wikimedia Commons So while you could try to use your toilet plunger on your sink, it probably won’t work well because it will be difficult to get a good seal. Make sure you’re using the right tool for the job. Clearing a clog If you’re faced with a clog in your sink or toilet, there are many good solutions - but try to avoid these terrible ones. And if your Atlanta-area home’s clog is just too stubborn, Ragsdale Plumbing is only a phone call away. Contact us to set up your plumbing appointment.

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