Standing Water: 4 Easy Fixes for a Slow Drain

If you've recently been faced with a slow drain, you're probably looking for an easy, effective way to remedy the problem. Fortunately, there are a number of fast, simple ways to fix a slow drain.

1. Run Hot Water

Running hot water is arguably the easiest way to fix a slow drain. Simply remove any drain plugs, drain guards or drain traps and run a steady stream of hot water into the drain. If, after 10 minutes, the drain is still slow, you may need to use a more forceful method. Allowing very hot water to flow into your drain for several minutes a week is also a great preventative measure against assorted types of drain clogs and slow drains.

2. Plunge the Drain

If running hot water fails to fix your slow drain, you may want to try plunging it. Begin this process by using a washcloth or wet rag to stop up your tub's overflow opening. This will ensure that all the force you exert with your plunger is focused exclusively on whatever is clogging your drain. Once the overflow opening has been properly stopped up, proceed to fill the tub will a small amount of water, then firmly position the plunger head over the drain. After getting a nice, firm hold on the plunger, begin to vigorously plunge the drain in a down-and-up fashion. As plunging can be an exercise in physical exertion, it is recommended that you take a short break if you feel yourself becoming winded. If 45 minutes to 1 hour of plunging fails to fix the drain, you may need to incorporate the aid of a drain snake.

3. Snake the Drain

If extensive plunging failed to produce favorable results, you're most likely dealing with a stubborn hair clog. Drain snakes can be effective tools for expelling these clogs in a timely and stress-free fashion. To utilize a drain snake for clog removal purposes, gently insert the hooked end of the snake into your drain and slowly continue to work your way down until the hook latches onto the source of the clog. Next, carefully jostle the clog loose and slowly proceed to pull it out of your drain. For good measure, it is recommended that you follow up this process by running a little bit of hot water down the drain. This will help rinse away any hairs that may have become detached from the clog during its extraction.

4. Apply a Commercial Drain Cleaner

If, after performing the three previously discussed fixes, your drain still refuses to function properly, you may need to use a commercial drain cleaner, such as Drano or Liquid Plumber. It is important to note that these cleaners can eat away at your pipes if used too often or applied in large amounts, so take care to use them as a last resort. Also, you must never combine drain cleaners or use more than one brand of cleaner on the same drain, as this stands to produce hazardous fumes and cause potentially fatal chemical reactions.

When using these products, start by pouring a small amount down your drain and waiting 20 minutes to half-an-hour for results. If the drain still appears to be stopped up after the drain has been given ample time to set in, apply a little more cleaner. Should several applications of drain cleaner prove fruitless, you should call in a professional plumber.