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Ish Happens: DIY Home Maintenance and Repair

How to Repair Common Problems with Toilets, Sinks and Tubs

Know the quick fixes behind a few of the most frustrating bathroom repairs.

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Janet Allinger

Clogged Sink or Tub Drain

Sinks and tubs whisk away a lot of stuff, including dirt, soap, shampoo, hair, dead skin — a lot of material that can build up in the drain. While we may be quick to grab a drain cleaner or try a plunger when water won't go down, sometimes a simple cleaning out can do the trick. Feed a drain snake (if you don't have one, try straightening a wire clothes hanger) a few inches past the stopper, twirl it around and slowly pull it out. This will be easier if you can remove the stopper. There's a good chance you'll snag a clump of hair and gunk. Keep doing this a few times until the water drains and you can't remove anything else. Now's a good time to follow up with a drain cleaner or a simple combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed by very hot, but not boiling, water.

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