Clogged kitchen drains are, unfortunately, a reality of owning a home. Rather than hire a plumber every time you have a clogged drain, you should know at least a few methods for clearing your drains. With a few basic tools or household chemicals, you should be able to take care of many of the clogs that develop in your drains.
P Is the Most Helpful Letter
Each kitchen drain will be fitted with a P-trap, which is used to trap water, which in turn traps odors from the sewer before they leak into your house. While no one wants their house stinking like a sewer, P-traps can collect more than vapors. Grease can collect in a P-trap as can other debris. Thus, when you discover that your kitchen drain is not functioning properly, you should remove the P-trap. Most P-traps that are easily tightened and loosened by hand. At work, you should be able to use a pipe wrench to remove the collars and then the P-trap should slip out. You can then clean and replace it.
If you have removed your P-trap and cleaned it, and your drain is still not working properly, the clog is probably further down the line. You need a new strategy. Anyone who has made a home volcano likely understands the volatile results of mixing vinegar and baking soda. The same reaction used to power paper-mache volcanoes can be harnessed to power away clogs in your drain. The heat from the reaction can help to loosen grease—one of the primary components of clogged kitchen drains. Moreover, if you plug your drain, the pressure from the gases the reaction creates can be used to push the clog down your drain and into the sewer. For best results, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a cup of vinegar then cap the drain.
If neither one of the above-described methods works, you have one remaining option—renting a drain snake. A drain snake is a cable with a barb at the end, which you feed down your drain then use a special handle to turn the barb and either hook the clog, so you can pull it back up the drain, or shred the clog so that you can flush it down your drain. These snakes, if improperly used, can damage plastic pipes, so if you doubt your ability with a snake, you should call a plumber, as you should if you use a snake and still can't clog your drain. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a plumber, but you can save yourself some money by trying to clean your own drains on your own first. Visit http://www.twomenandasnake.com or a similar site for more information.