Unclog Your Drain

Edited by Robbi, Lynn, Eng, Nuance

NOTHING in the world is nearly as annoying as having a clogged drain. The immediate need is how to unclog the drain to get the water flowing again. Sometimes that can lead to a desperate call to your local plumber.


Plumbers love to get calls from people with clogged drains. Most service calls involve less than an hour of work and a very sizable fee. The problem is that most people can't afford a plumber and call before they've tried to tackle the problem themselves. Plumbers get costly, because regardless of whether it's a clogged drain, or the basement is flooded, the ignition cost of coming to your house is the same. Considering the fact that you have probably spent a ton of money on the latest and greatest drain cleaners, to no avail, this small problem can easily cost in excess of $100, and a whole lot of distress.

How to Successfully Unclog Your Drain By Yourself

The next time your drains begin to slow down, or plug completely, follow the same simple procedure that plumbers use. The initial purchase is less than $25, the time spent is short, and you will be skilled at tackling this annoyance in the future.

  1. 1
    Materials Needed to Unclog Your Drain
    • 1/4 to 1/2 inch Manual Music Wire Drain Auger
    • Flathead Screwdriver
    • Bucket and Cleaning Rags
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  2. 2
    Steps to Unclog Your Drain
    1. Remove the drain cover. Some drain covers have screws to secure them in place, while others can be popped off by gently nudging under the plate with the tip of the screwdriver.
    2. Unroll the auger and push the head into the drain as far as it will go. Twist the handle clockwise until it becomes tight and difficult to turn.
    3. Without releasing your grip on the handle, slowly pull the tubing from the the drain.
    4. Remove any debris and hair strands from the wire head and wipe clean.
    5. Run water through the drain to see if the blockage has been adequately removed.
    6. Repeat the snaking procedure until the clogged drain is completely cleared.
    7. Replace the cover.
    8. Take the auger outside and thoroughly clean with soap and water. Rewind and store for future use.
      how to unclog the drain
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Tips, Suggestions & Warnings

  • Drain augers come in a variety of sizes and lengths. If you are unsure of your drain pipe size, purchase a 3/8 inch, 25-foot model. This will work for a small clogged drain, such as a sink or shower. Rust-proof models are worth the extra money.
  • There are also drain augers that fit on the end of a drill for easier use. However, unless used at a very slow speed, the coil tends to become tangled.
  • You can repeat the procedure more than once, even when the drain appears unclogged. Some remaining debris particles may still be lodged along the sides of the pipe, and if you don't get it now, the drain will most likely become clogged again in the near future.
  • Never try to force the auger further into the pipe once the handle has stopped turning. There could be a major blockage that requires a plumber.
  • If you have used caustic drain cleaners, without success, wear a filter mask, protective gloves and eye wear. The fumes have nowhere to go but back up the drain with the debris. Also, watch for splashes, as the water may still be laced with chemicals from the drain cleaner.
  • Never use a manual music wire drain auger for clearing toilet pipes. There are special models that can be purchased for toilet drains.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Home

Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Robbi

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