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How to Solve a Simple Drain Choke

A drain choke, or clog, occurs when something lodges itself in your pipes. If you have a clog in your drain, it might require the skills of a plumber, but there are a few steps you can take yourself before calling in the experts.

If you want to avoid using chemicals, or if you have older pipes that need gentle care, try using a homemade drain cleaner before you buy a commercial one. Shake half a cup of baking soda into the drain, and follow that with half a cup of vinegar. Three hours later, run some water through the drain. If the drain is clogged with grease from food or soap and shampoo, put half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down the drain. Follow it with boiling water.

If your homemade remedy doesn't work, try a plunger. Follow these steps to use a plunger properly:
- Cover overflow openings if they exist
- Fill the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger's head
- Place the cup of the plunger over the drain
- Rapidly pump the plunger up and down a dozen times and lift it quickly
- The water should drain quickly from your sink or tub

If these steps don't clear the drain, go through the process again or try a chemical drain cleaner.

If your sink or bathtub doesn't drain at all, a chemical clog remover isn't good to use because chemicals just sitting in your sink can cause damage. Use an auger instead. To clear your drain using an auger, follow these steps:
- Remove the stop from your drain
- Put the auger wire into the drain
- Crank the handle on the auger as you feed the wire into the drain
- If you encounter a block, move the wire back and forth as you crank the handle
- Withdraw the wire

If after taking these steps you still have a clogged drain, it might be time to call a plumber. Your clog could be in the main drainpipe or in the house trap. It could also be a clog that is difficult to reach and can only be removed by taking apart pipes. Many homeowners are uncomfortable removing pipes either because of the mess associated with it or because removing pipes seems like a complex task. A plumber has all of the tools and expertise to do the job quickly and easily, and your drain will be clearing freely in no time.


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