A clogged drain can throw off your entire day. You may think that you don't have the knowledge or the time in order to attempt a repair on your own. You don't, however, typically need specialized training or skills to unclog most drains. All you need is a little bit of understanding about how a drain works and a few basic tools in order to get your drains running again.
Take out the P-Trap
If there is nothing in your drain to stop sewer vapors from entering your house, they will enter your house. To stop vapors from entering your house, plumbers will use what is known as a P-trap. A P-trap is a short section of pipe that forces water to run uphill for a few inches before it continues on down your drain. As long as your faucet is running, the water coming down the drain will force the water in the P-trap to continue on down your drain; however, when you shut the faucet off, a small amount of water will stay trapped in the P-trap. This water will trap vapors before they can continue into your house.
Unfortunately, grease, chunks of food, and other foreign objects can get stuck in your drain. Thus, if your drain stops running or begins to run slowly, the first thing that you should do is remove the P-trap and clean it. You should be able to remove the drain with nothing but you hands, but if you are having a hard time, then you can use a pipe wrench. Pay attention to how the drain goes together to make sure that you can put it back together how you found it.
Try Vinegar and Baking Soda
If you have a drain that still won't run properly after cleaning the P-trap, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of vinegar, and then plug the drain. The gas created by the reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda will create pressure and help to force the clog further down the drain. After a couple of minutes, unplug the drain and chase it with boiling water; the heat from the water will help to melt grease clogs, and the water will carry it down the drain.
If you try these remedies, and your drains still do not run the way they are supposed to, it's time to call a licensed plumber and get on with your busy day.