Clogged Drains: Frequently Asked Questions

Written on: June 3, 2024

Everything you need to know about one of our standard plumbing services.

clogged drain Queens, NY We’ve all been in a situation where it becomes clear that something’s wrong with one of our drains. Maybe you step up to your kitchen sink and are greeted with a sour odor. Perhaps you just finished your kid’s bath, and water isn’t draining out of your tub.

It’s never a fun realization. You tend to forget how crucial drains are to your sinks, bathtubs, washers, dishwashers and other fixtures and appliances. When one becomes clogged or develops a powerful stench, it demonstrates how important these unsung heroes of your home plumbing are.

At OSI Comfort Specialists, we have a team of skilled, licensed, and insured plumbers who are under the supervision of a master plumber. When residents in Queens, Nassau County and western Suffolk County need help with a blocked or smelly drain, they know they can count on us.

Let’s take a moment to discuss what causes clogged and dirty drains, how you might be able to fix the problem yourself and when you should call a plumbing professional.

Causes of Clogged or Foul-Smelling Drains

If you have a slow or completed-blocked drain in your home, there are several possibilities for what’s causing the obstruction:

  • Bathroom sink, shower and tub drains can become clogged with soap residue, clumps of hair, dirt and grit. If you have kids, don’t discount the possibility that a toy found its way down there.
  • Kitchen sinks and dishwasher drains may have congealed grease or food in them.
  • Laundry drains may become clogged with soap, lint or lime deposits.
  • Utility sinks take in heavier substances like sediment and paint. There are many possible culprits.
  • If your blockage is in a main sewer drain, it could be a dense obstruction like clumps of wet wipes or even a tree root.

Drain odors can have similar causes. Old soap, grease, food remnants, hair or other debris can build up and decompose in pipes, leading to unpleasant smells.

DIY Drain Cleaning Tips

We don’t need to tell you that dealing with clogs or rotting material in a drain can get a bit gross. Our plumbing team is always available to handle the dirty work for you.

However, if you want to roll up your sleeves and tackle a minor drain issue yourself, here are three tactics you can try:

  • Unblock drains with a hanger. You can straighten a wire coat hanger with needle nose pliers, leaving a half-inch hook at the end. Push the wire hook into the bottom of the drain and twist it to remove hair or other clogs.
  • Use baking soda and vinegar to clear obstructions. You can start this process by pouring boiling water down the drain. Then, toss in 1 cup of baking soda, followed by a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in more boiling water to clear the obstruction. Please only do this once, or you can risk damaging your PVC piping.
  • Use lemon peels and baking soda for odors. If the issue is an unpleasant smell, pour in boiling water and then add baking soda and lemon peels.

Please be gentle with your plumbing. Don’t repeatedly jam wires or other hard implements into your drains. Additionally, you should avoid using caustic cleaning products or pouring in boiling water and baking soda/vinegar combinations over and over. You could end up with a ruptured pipe.

When to Call the Plumbing Experts at OSI Comfort Specialists

If these DIY fixes listed above don’t work — or if the clog appears to be in the main or plumbing in your walls — you should bring in a professional plumber. The OSI Comfort Specialists team is at your service for basic plumbing maintenance and emergency repairs.

Contact our plumbing services team today to get your drains flowing once again.