Types of Drain Clogs

Drain clogs can be found in many different pipes throughout the house; from a toilet, to a shower, or even a kitchen sink. Drain clogs can be caused by a number of different things; the following are a few different types of drain clogs and the most common causes:

  • Toilet Drain Clogs are commonly caused by flushing improper items, like feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, diaper wipes, and more, down the toilet.
  • Shower Drain Clogs are oftentimes caused by a combination of dead skin, dirt, and hair that combines with soap scum in the pipes, causing a blockage.
  • Kitchen Sink Drain Clogs become a problem when oil, grease, and food particles that start to expand combine in the sink drains and back them up.


Tools You May Need to Remove Drain Clogs

  • Tweezers
  • Drain Stick
  • Plunger
  • Chemical Pipe Cleaner
  • A Professional


5 Ways to Unclog a Drain

1. Remove Stopper


Some drain clogs are as easy as removing the stopper and cleaning out the gunk that has piled up at the top of the drain.

  1. Most stoppers can be twisted off rather easily.
  2. Once the stopper is twisted off, you can use tweezers to pull out the clogged hair and soap scum.


2. Use a Drain Stick

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Stick the drain stick down the pipe and pull it back up. The barbs on a drain stick are great for catching the gunk and helping pull it up if it’s a little bit deeper than just the surface of the pipe.

3. Get Out the Plunger

A plunger helps with drain clogs that are bad enough to have standing water accumulating.

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Place the plunger over the drain and pump up and down a few times to help remove the clog.
  3. Once the standing water is able to drain down, flush the pipe with water to help move everything out.

4. Chemical Drain Cleaner

  1. Make sure the type of drain cleaner you are looking to use works for your pipes, fixture, and type of clog.
  2. Use the chemical drain cleaner as directed on the bottle.
  3. Do not leave the chemicals in the drain for longer than suggested on the bottle, it can cause damage to the pipes that will then create more issues than the initial drain clog.

5. Call a Professional Plumber

man checking for leak under kitchen sink
There are many instances when it is wisest to call in a professional to take care of the drain clog for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to drain clogs?
  • Are you worried you might make things worse?
  • Have you tried the above DIY options and they didn’t work for your clog? Sometimes clogs won’t budge unless you try hydrojetting!
  • Are you in a hurry to have it fixed?
  • Does it appear the problem could be worse than just a drain clog?


If you answered yes to any of those questions, be sure to call in a professional plumber.

Here at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we are happy to help with any type of drain clog or plumbing issue you may have. Bellows serves the Santa Cruz, Marin, and Santa Clara areas.

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Contact us today

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