I first noticed the phenomenon of plugged water outlets when my younger brothers got old enough to visit the bathroom on their own. It has carried on through my adult life. Drains seem to call out for things besides water to wade on in. Sometimes it is a guessing game to determine the problem.
The first step is to identify the last person using whatever is plugged up and question them gently.’ What were you using that went down the drain’ is a good starter question. Immediately follow it with a forgiving comment, ‘I know you did not mean that to happen.’ Gear up for action.
The most common sink blockers in my house are small scrubby sponges and net scrubbers. Before attacking the problem, be sure no one is near the garbage disposal switch. Undo a wire hanger and squish the top part to resemble a hook. Put it in the drain to hook a piece of the blockage, and gently urge it back to the surface. Find a place to hang the miracle hanger. I guarantee it will be needed again.
Rubber duckies in the toilet drain are another common issue. Usually the child has attempted to pull it back out, resulting in pushing it further. Turn off the water to the toilet. Find a wrench and remove the nuts holding the toilet on the bolts. If someone is available to help lift the toilet off the bolts, take advantage of the help. If you are doing it by yourself, spread some towels on the floor. That way, if you drop the toilet, it may not break. Lay the toilet on its side, and fish out the rubber ducky. Make it a garden decoration, or wash it with eco-friendly vinegar and water, scrubbing it well, and give it back to the kid.
Urge your family to put vegetable peels on the mulch pile. If they fail to listen, and peels are plugging the drain, pull out what you can. Have someone hold a plug on the non-disposal side opening. Put the garden hose down the disposal, wrapping a towel and plastic bag around the drain opening to make a seal. A third person will need to be outside to turn the water on full blast. The pressure should push the blockage apart and down the drain. Let the water flow a few minutes more.
Based on experience of the author