Fix Your Slow Drain in 6 Steps

What You'll Need
Degreasing dish soap
Baking soda
Enzyme drain cleaner
Plumber referral

Knowing how to fix a slow drain can save you plenty of frustration if you ever encounter a slow running drain. There are several methods you can try, and some work better than others. Here is what you can do to remedy a slow drain.

Step 1- Plunge It

The simplest method in trying to speed up a slow drain is simply to plunge it. You will need to have a little bit of water in the sink in order for this to work. Any type of plunger will work, and sink plungers are available at most hardware stores. A sink plunger is slightly smaller than a toilet plunger, and will be easier to work with. Plunging may not remove a clog that causes a slow drain completely, but it can dislodge it, making it easier to deal with when using other methods.

Step 2- Use Dish Soap

If the plunger didn't work, you can try to use a dish washing detergent that has a degreaser in the formula. You will need to use quite a bit of this, at least 24 ounces. Prepare a gallon of hot water, and flush the drain with the water slowly. The degreasing agent will help to break down buildup that can cause a slow drain, and the hot water will help to flush away the build up.

Step 3- Homemade Drain Cleaner

You can easily make a drain cleaner with baking soda and vinegar. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain first. Then pour 1 cup of vinegar in to the drain. Allow this mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, then flush this with 1 gallon of boiling water. Be careful when using boiling water on a slow drain. Pour slowly so the water doesn't splash out of the drain.

Step 4- Use an Enzyme Active Drain Cleaner

If the above steps have failed, wait a day or two and try a commercial drain cleaner that uses an enzyme to eat away at any residue that may be causing a slow drain. The enzymes can take as long as 24 hours to work completely, so be sure you won't need to use the drain for at least a day. After the sitting period is over, you will simply flush the enzyme with water.

Step 5- Check the Trap

Hair and other debris can get stuck in the U shaped pipe under a sink. Removing this trap is easy. Place a bucket under the trap before you take it apart. This will catch anything stuck in the drain and prevent water from getting all over the place. Use a wrench to loosen the metal slip nuts. Then, you can remove them by hand. Once the nuts are off, you can remove the trap. Clean the trap out, and reinstall the trap.

Step 6- Call a Plumber

If none of these methods have worked, it may be time to call a plumber. Slow drains can be caused by problems that are not easily fixable for the average person. Blockages further down the drain line can typically not be fixed by the do-it-yourselfer without plumbing experience.