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21 common mistakes homeowners make when unclogging drains

Do you have drains that are clogged in your house? If you’re one of the homeowners, who probably have to deal with a clogged drain at some point. While unclogging drains is not the hardest task to accomplish, there are still many people who make mistakes and don’t know how to go about doing it properly. Here’s a list of 21 common mistakes homeowners make when they try to unclog their own drains:

Common Mistakes Homeowners make while Unclogging Drains

1. Using harsh chemicals

Remember that harsh chemicals can damage both your pipes as well as yourself if mishandled. Therefore, if you really need to use harsh chemicals in order to unclog your drain, call Toronto Plumbers for professional assistance.

2. Letting the water flow without catching it

If you’re dealing with a clogged drain and notice that your bathtub is filling up with water, try not to just let it keep on flowing in order for the pressure to unclog the drain. After all, don’t you want to avoid flooding your bathroom? You can still use the water to take a bath, but try catching it first so that you can reuse it for other purposes until you are able to unclogging drains. After all, if left unchecked, flooding could cause serious damage not only to your bathroom or kitchen, but also to your home as whole.

3. Plunging without using the right method

You need to make sure that you know how to use a plunger. You don’t want your clogs to worsen as a result of how you used it. Don’t let the water level get too high and maintain an air gap by adjusting the drain plug accordingly. Some clogs may be too tough to handle with a plunger, but there are other tools that you can use like an auger or drain cleaning chemicals. If plunging doesn’t work after repeated attempts, it might be time to call Toronto Plumbers for assistance.

4. Letting the water sit in the sink

When plunging doesn’t clear the drain and you can see that the water is draining, but at a much slower rate than usual, there’s a tendency to leave it like this until one has more time. However, doing this will just create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold which could cause further problems such as bad odors and skin irritation. What you need to do is remove the clog fast because the longer you let it sit, the harder it will be to get rid of.

5. Using homemade solutions

When looking up various ways on how to unclog your drain, chances are that you will come across remedies made of common household items. While some of these remedies might work for certain types of clogs, it is still best to ask for assistance from a professional. For example, baking soda and vinegar work well in unclogging drains with organic clogs , but there are some that require high-pressure water jetting or the use of certain chemicals.

6. Disregarding the warning signs

There are various warning signs that you should be aware of when it comes to clogged drains, especially if they’re happening more frequently than usual. Warning signs like slow draining water, bad smells coming out of your drain, or random gurgling noises can all indicate that there’s an obstruction in one of your pipes somewhere. If you fail to address this quickly, there’s a chance that it could lead to bigger problems such as blocked drains. Other signs of drain issues include water level changes in your bathtub or sink; hard water stains on your fixtures and ceilings, reduced water pressure, and noises coming from the plumbing.

7. Rinsing your sink instead of plunging it

If you have a clogged drain in your bathroom, don’t just rinse out the sink or tub to try and unclog it. You may actually be pushing more debris down the pipe which could make things worse. Instead, remove any standing water and hair using a sponge or dishrag before using a plunger. If you rinse away anything that could help break up the clog, you risk making it harder to get rid of in the long run.

8. Not keeping a plunger on hand

Keeping a plunger can be quite helpful if you need to unclogging drains at any time. This is especially true for toilets since they tend to clog more often than not. Be sure that you choose a plunger with a flange or cup design, as this will make it easier for you to create an airtight seal over the opening of your drain.

9. Not using enough water and plunging force

When plunging your drain, be sure that you use enough water and plunging force to break up the clog. If you find that these aren’t enough, then it’s time to bring in Toronto plumbers instead.

10. Plunging with a dirty plunger

A plunger should only be used if it is clean and dry before every use. Otherwise, this could cause more problems instead of actually solving the issue. It could even make your plunger unusable since you would be pushing bacteria and dirt back into the drain instead of removing it.

11. Not using hot water when plunging your sink

If your sink is clogged, the use of hot water can help melt and soften any grease that may be causing the obstruction. It will also help to move any debris that is stuck in your pipes and prevent it from re-clogging.

12. Not using enough water when washing your hair

When shampooing or rinsing your hair, make sure that you use enough water to avoid creating a clog inside the pipe. If the drain isn’t moving as quickly as usual, this could indicate that there may be a build up of hair and other debris in the pipe.

13. Not using enough baking soda and vinegar

Using too much baking soda or vinegar could cause an overflow if your sink is already full, which could lead to a mess on the countertop and floor. While unclogging drains, this could also result in some seepage around the base. If you prefer to use baking soda and vinegar in your drains, be sure that you only use about half a cup each since this is usually enough to unclog it.

14. Flushing cotton balls down the toilet

Cotton balls are made up of fibers which can clog your drainpipe, especially if you have one that is made out of PVC. Other things that you probably shouldn’t flush down the toilet include sanitary napkins and cotton swabs. If there’s anything stuck in your pipes, inexpensive tools like a wire hanger can help remove it.

15. Pouring cooking grease down the drain

Grease should never be poured down your drain since it can clog up your pipes and cause other problems, including overflows. If you do have a blocked sink or tub, pour boiling water into it to help dissolve any grease

16. Not using a plunger long enough

For a clog to be removed, it could take up to 30 or 40 plunges – depending on how well you have created your seal – so don’t give up after only one attempt. When applying pressure, pay attention as to where the seal is broken and try to fix it while plunging.

17. Not waiting for water to drain

When plunging a sink or tub, be sure that you give the plunger enough time to do its job before lifting it up from the opening. If you don’t wait long enough and just keep pushing down on the plunger over and over again, this could make it harder to clear out the clog in the long term.

18. Using an auger carelessly

When using an auger, make sure that you only extend it far enough into your drain to reach the clog. If you push it too far, you could damage the pipe and make the problem even worse instead of fixing it. Also, be careful not to put too much force on it since this could cause a break – or even injury.

19. Not checking for root blockage

If you have a sewer line in your yard, check it regularly for root blockages. Over time, roots from trees and plants can actually grow their way into the main sewer line, resulting in backups that can cause major problems throughout your yard. If you notice that there are no longer any standing puddles in your yard, this is a sign that the root blockage has been solved.

20. Using chemical drain cleaners too often

While using a chemical cleaner can help to clear out a clog in the short-term, it doesn’t do much for preventing future clogs from occurring. In fact, they can cause major damage to your pipes over time, resulting in leaks and other problems. Opting for a more natural approach, such as boiling water or using baking soda and vinegar, is much better for the environment and your wallet.

21. Avoid to call professional Plumbers

If you have a clog that seems very difficult to clear, don’t hesitate to call Toronto Plumbers from re-clogging. They’re professionals when it comes to clearing out clogs and removing roots from sewer lines. They’ll use special equipment – such as augers or hydro-jetters – in order to get rid of the blockage. And they’ll do it all at a reasonable price.


At the end of this blog post we hope you have a better understanding of what to do and what not to do while unclogging drains. Avoid these 21 mistakes and rest assured that your drain will be flowing smoothly in no time. If it is too much trouble for you to handle on your own, contact Toronto Plumbers for professional plumbing services from expert plumbers who can take care of any problem at an affordable price.

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