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How to Fix a Clogged Drain

…And when to call for help

Clogged drain cleared by person with plunger

Are you seeing standing water in the shower or sink in your home? Maybe your toilet won’t fully flush? You’re probably dealing with a clogged drain, but you don’t have to reach for the phone and call your friendly neighborhood Brooklyn plumber just yet. There are solutions for clogged drains that you can try yourself, saving you time and money.

Here are a few DIY fixes for clogged drains.


You probably reach for this classic tool when your toilet is clogged, but did you know it works for other drains in your home? If you’re using it on a double sink, be sure to plug the other drain with a wet cloth. If you’re using it in the shower or bathroom sink, plug the overflow drain. Be sure to get a good seal and plunge in a regular rhythm. It’s worthwhile to invest in a high-quality plunger, as it’s easier to get a good seal.

Boiling Water

If your kitchen or bathroom sink is slow to drain, it’s possible that there is a buildup of grease, fat or soap in the drain pipe. Slowly pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain can help dissolve that buildup and clear the way. For a little more power without harsh chemicals, add salt to the water.

Wire Hanger

Grab a wire hanger from your closet and unbend it, but keep the hook at the end. You can use the hook to snag obstructions and pull them out of the drain.

Shop Vac

If you have one, a wet/dry shop vac can help you remove tougher sink or shower clogs. Put the nozzle on the drain and get as tight of a seal as you can. You could even remove the rubber part of an old plunger and insert the shop vac nozzle in the hole to get a better seal.


Following some home drain best practices can prevent a lot of clogs. Put these tips into everyday use to avoid the hassle of a clog.

  • “Flushable” wipes aren’t flushable, and they will clog your drain system. If you use these, dispose of them in the trash, not down in the toilet.
  • Don’t pour fats, grease or oil down the drain, even if you follow it with hot water. These substances cool and coat your pipes, eventually clogging them. Store grease in a container in the refrigerator, then throw it away once it’s cooled.
  • Once a month, slowly pour boiling water down your kitchen drains to prevent build-up.

If these tips don’t work to unclog your drain, or if you just need help, the service experts at Petri Plumbing & Heating are ready to assist you. We have the experience and know-how to get your plumbing back in good working order. Contact us online or call (718) 748-1254 for immediate assistance.

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