How to Fix Clogged Water Pipes in House: Dr Rooter's Guide to Clear Flowing Plumbing

When encountering a clog in your home's water pipes, it's essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further complications. Clogged water pipes can lead to inefficiency in your plumbing system, causing slow water drainage, backups, or even total blockages. These issues can stem from an accumulation of common household waste such as hair, grease, or food particles, and if left unattended, can result in costly repairs.

Understanding the right methods to fix a clogged water pipe is crucial. Simple solutions include using a plunger or a plumber's snake to dislodge blockages. In some cases, however, more sophisticated techniques may be necessary, such as hydro jetting, which should be carried out by professional plumbers.

In Lexington, SC, homeowners trust our team at Dr Rooter for their plumbing needs. We offer over 25 years of quality plumbing services and expertise. Whether you're updating your plumbing features or addressing an urgent clog, the job will be completed efficiently and effectively by our guys. 

Identifying the Problem

When you suspect your home's plumbing is compromised by a clog, locating the issue is pivotal. Clogs can occur in various points in your home, including sinks, toilets, bathtubs, the kitchen sink, showers, and floor drains. Recognize the signs to accurately identify where the clog lies.

  • Sinks: Watch out for water that drains slower than usual. A gurgling sound may accompany this.
  • Toilet: If the water rises alarmingly after a flush or doesn't drain, you likely have a clog.
  • Bathtub: Is the water not draining efficiently after a bath? This indicates a blockage.
  • Kitchen Sink: When water pools instead of flowing freely, or if there's an unpleasant smell, a clog might be present.
  • Shower: Similar to bathtubs, inefficient water drainage is a signal.
  • Floor Drain: If overlooked, clogs here can cause significant issues; be aware of water backup.

In tackling these plumbing issues, it's essential to enlist the help of professionals who provide trusted, quality services. For residents in the Lexington, SC area, Dr Rooter is synonymous with excellence in plumbing services, with over 25 years of sustained reputation and experience. From handling the intricacies of a Tankless Heater upgrade to addressing urgent clogs, their skilled team ensures solutions that are both fast and durable.

When your daily routines are disrupted by plumbing hassles, remember that a timely response can mitigate the risk of further complications. 

Preparation and Safety

Before starting any plumbing work, ensuring you have the right tools and prioritizing your safety is crucial. Here’s how to prepare effectively.

Gathering Tools and Materials

Before tackling a clogged water pipe, assembling necessary items is essential for a smooth operation. You'll need:

  • Plungers: A flange plunger is ideal for toilets, while a cup plunger works well for sinks.
  • Bucket: Handy for catching water that may drain from pipes.
  • Rubber Gloves: Protection against bacteria and debris.
  • Safety Glasses: To safeguard your eyes from splashing water or debris.
  • Tools Required: Pipe wrenches, pliers, and a plumber's snake should be on hand.
  • Materials Required: Teflon tape and any replacement piping or joint seals might be necessary.

Ensure all these are within reach before beginning your work to avoid interruptions.

Ensuring Personal Safety

Your safety is paramount when fixing plumbing issues:

  1. Wear Rubber Gloves: Always protect your hands from harmful contaminants.
  2. Use Safety Glasses: Keep your eyes safe from unexpected splashes or flying particles.
  3. Clear the Area: Make sure the workspace is free from any unnecessary objects that could cause accidents.
  4. Know Your Limits: If a problem seems beyond your skill level, don't hesitate to contact professionals.

Manual Unclogging Techniques

Effectively addressing a clogged drain can often be achieved through manual methods using simple household tools. Here's how you can tackle the blockage without the need for harsh chemicals.

Using a Plunger

To address a clogged sink drain, start by ensuring a tight seal. Cover the overflow opening with a wet rag for better suction. Place the plunger directly over the drain and pump vigorously multiple times, then swiftly pull it off. This action can dislodge the obstruction and clear the pathway.

  • Wet Rag: Helps with creating a seal.
  • Pump: 10-15 times before pulling.
  • Repeat: If necessary, to remove clog.

Applying Manual Drain Snake

When a plunger isn't enough, a manual snake—a flexible auger—can be inserted into the drain. Feed the snake down until you encounter resistance. Then, rotate the handle to break apart the clog or hook onto it so you can pull it out.

  • Insert Snake: Until it meets the blockage.
  • Rotate: To dismantle or capture the clog.
  • Retract: To remove debris from the drain.

Natural Solutions for Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes in your home can be effectively cleared using common household ingredients that are safe and environmentally friendly.

Baking Soda and Vinegar


  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • Boiling water


  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, ensuring it goes down the drain pipe.
  2. Follow with 1 cup of white vinegar. The combination will cause a fizzing reaction.
  3. Allow the mixture to work for at least an hour, or for optimal results, leave it overnight.
  4. Rinse the drain with boiling water to flush out the loosened debris.

This method can be particularly useful for your kitchen drain, where buildup is often a mix of greasy substances and food particles.

Hot Water Flushing

Steps for Kitchen Drain and Bathtub

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Carefully pour the boiling water directly down the drain in a steady stream.
  3. Repeat if necessary to help dissolve soap scum, oils, and other blockages.

Regular hot water flushing can maintain pipe integrity and prevent buildup before a clog becomes an issue.

For more stubborn or recurring problems get in touch with professionals. 

Chemical Drain Cleaning

Using chemical drain cleaners is a practical solution for addressing clogs in your home plumbing. These potent formulas can dissolve the stubborn blockages in your drains with relative ease.

Choosing the Right Chemical Cleaner

When selecting a chemical drain cleaner, consider the type of clog you're facing. Liquid drain cleaners are suitable for grease and hair clogs, while solid formulations are designed for more substantial blockages. Always check the cleaner's compatibility with your plumbing materials to prevent damage:

  • For Grease/Hair: Choose liquid cleaners that can easily penetrate and dissolve these substances.
  • For Organic Material: Enzymatic cleaners work best, as they break down organic matter without harsh chemicals.

Remember to read and follow the instructions on the label carefully, as misuse can lead to pipe damage or personal injury - if you are unsure, you should consult with professionals.

Proper Application of Chemical Cleaners

When applying chemical drain cleaners, safety is paramount; always wear gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes, and ensure the room is well-ventilated. Here's a step-by-step guide for using liquid drain cleaners:

  1. Check the amount recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Pour slowly to avoid splashes.
  3. Wait for the specified time to let the cleaner work through the clog.
  4. Flush with hot water to clear residue.

Do not mix different cleaners, as this can cause dangerous reactions. If the clog persists despite your efforts, it might be time to consult professionals.

Advanced Clearing Methods

When dealing with stubborn clogs in your plumbing system, there are a few specialized techniques that can help restore your pipes to optimal function. These methods are more advanced than the standard plunger approach and require specific tools.

Using a Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake, or drain snake, is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs deep within your pipes that cannot be reached with conventional methods. To use a plumbing snake, insert the coiled end into the troubled drain and turn the handle, which causes the head to rotate. As it moves down the pipe, it will break through or retrieve debris, such as accumulated hair or soap scum, from the plumbing.

  • Simple Steps:some text
    1. Insert the end of the snake into the drain.
    2. Turn the handle clockwise to extend the coil.
    3. When resistance is met, rotate against the clog until it clears.
    4. Pull the snake out and discard debris.

For persistent or complicated problems, sometimes it's best to seek professional pipe repair and replacement to ensure that your plumbing fixtures are handled with care.

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a powerful method of drain cleaning that can clear almost any clog. This procedure uses high-pressure water to blast through blockages and scour the interior walls of your pipes, removing grease, scale, and other residues. Unlike using a garden hose, hydro jetting requires specialized equipment that should only be used by a professional.

  • Advantages:some text
    • Thoroughly cleans pipes
    • Eco-friendly, no harsh chemicals
    • Breaks up even stubborn blockages

Hydro jetting is recommended for severe, recurrent issues that cannot be solved with a plumbing snake. If you're experiencing consistent problems with clogged pipes, hydro jetting might be a suitable solution to consider.

Prevention and Regular Maintenance

Ensuring the smooth operation of your home's plumbing starts with proper habits and routine care. Small daily actions and regularly scheduled cleanings are crucial to preventing clogged water pipes.

Daily Practices

  1. Sink Drain: Avoid pouring oils, fats, and coffee grounds down your kitchen sink. Use a basket strainer to catch food particles and prevent them from entering the drainage system.

  2. Shower Drain: Install a hair catcher to prevent hair and soap scum buildup. After each use, run hot water for a minute to flush out any residual soap or shampoo.

  3. Drain T: Be mindful of what goes down the bathroom sink, as products like toothpaste and facial wash can contribute to blockages over time. Educate your household about what shouldn't go down the drains.

Regular Cleaning Procedures

  • Monthly Maintenance: Pour a mixture of hot water and vinegar down drains to help dissolve any accumulated grease and soap deposits. For tougher clogs, consider a professional drain cleaning service from experienced plumbers like us.

  • Biannual Check-Up: Schedule routine inspections to identify potential issues early on.

When to Call a Professional

When dealing with clogged pipes in your home, it's essential to recognize when a problem is beyond a DIY fix. Here are scenarios where calling a professional plumber is the prudent choice:

  • Persistent clogs: If your efforts with plungers and drain cleaners fail to clear a clog, it's time to enlist professional help.
  • Multiple affected drains: When more than one drain is clogged, this may indicate an issue with your main plumbing system.
  • Overflowing water: If water backs up and overflows when using fixtures, this could point to a severe blockage.
  • Unusual sounds: Gurgling sounds from your drains or toilet can signal a blockage deep in the pipes.

For overwhelming clogs and other complex plumbing issues, a certified plumber should be contacted. Attempting to fix these problems on your own can lead to more significant damage or a misdiagnosis of the underlying issue. Professionals use specialized tools and have expertise in handling intricate plumbing systems efficiently.

Reach out for your drain cleaning and clog removal

Call us now at (803) 761-9935 to book.