Get It Unclogged! By: Justin Beaumont (Not liable for use of information)
Figuring out where to start:● Most of us start here --> ○ Plungers are useful, but sometimes theyre just not enough.● Practicing your problem solving skills. Start by isolating the problem. Questions to ask: ● Is only one fixture affected? ● If two or more fixtures are affected, are they only on the second level? Or throughout the entire house?
Identify the area● Figuring out where the problem area is, will help you decide what tools to use and whether or not you should go straight to the yellow pages to call a professional.
Knowing Drain Lines● You have to be careful with drain lines because they are suprisingly delicate due to all of the various fixtures attached to them.● Sometimes augering or certain chemicals can cause stress on the walls of the drain lines and weaken them.**Always try a plunger first!
Chemical Cleaner Risks● The best thing to do when it comes to chemical cleaners is to avoid them!● IF you really feel you must use a chemical cleaner to try and unclog a drain, then make certain that you follow the manufacturers directions exactly.● NOTE: It is absolutely important that you let the plumber know you used a chemical when he comes!
Chemical Cleaners Continued● Never, NEVER, ever use a chemical cleaner in standing water OR in an unclogged drain OR in a toilet.● Chemicals should only be used when the drain is working slowly.
The Tools:1. Household Plunger2. Closet Auger3. The Hand Snake4. Power Drill Auger Attachment5. Hand Spinner
Unclogging Drains/Waste LinesWhat you need to get started: ● Water-pump pliers, hand auger, bucket, rags to clean up with.● Start by removing the drain trap loosen the blockage, then flush the line with water
Using the Hand Auger...● Put a bucket under the drain trap to catch waste and water.● Remove the drain trap with water-pump pliers.● Clean out the trap and or inspect the drain trap for cracks or buildup. ○ If there are cracks or buildup you MUST replace the drain trap.
Using the Hand Auger Cont...● Set up the auger by loosening the setscrew and pulling out a foot of cable.● Begin by pushing cable through the drain until you hit resistance. ● It can be hard to identify the difference between a bend in the pipe and blockage.● Work slowly, if the resistance is the blockage, then the auger will either snag the end of it and pull it out, or it will push it through.
Hand Auger Continued...● After clearing the blockage, tighten the setscrew on the auger and turn the handle in a clockwise direction until the cable moves forward.● Then loosen the setscrew and push the cable further until you meet more resistance.● Continue this process until you are confident the blockage is removed.● Remove the cable and clean the tip.● Replace the drain trap and run the water, IF the blockage is still there call a professional and make certain that you write down all of the steps you took to remove it yourself.
Unclogging a SinkWhat you will need:● Start with Plunger, water-pump pliers, sink auger, bucket, clean up rags.● If you can clean out a sink blockage with a plunger, that is the best way to avoid damaging the pipes.● Have someone ready to help you if possible.
Unclogging a Sink Continued● Fill both sides of the sink with about 4 in. of water.● Get your helper a rag to hold over the opening of the disposal drain (if you are unclogging a kitchen sink).● Using the plunger, quickly plunge the drain on the other side.● If the drain is still clogged after 12 to 15 plunges, move to the other side of the sink and have the helper plug the side the you first plunged.
Stubborn Sinks...● If the blockage wont move, you will have to use an auger as describe in the previous section.
Unclogging the BathtubWhat you will need:Screw driver, Auger, Plunger● Begin by plunging the drain vigorously. If the plunger doesnt work switch to an Auger.● Remove the pop-up drain assembly with a screwdriver and clean out visible debris.
Uncloggin Bathtub Continued...● Insert Auger into the overflow drain.● Turn the handle clockwise to feed the cable into the drain until you meet resistance.● Patiently remove cable to take take off blockage.● Repeat until the drain works smoothly.● Replace the pop-up drain assembly and overflow cover.
Unclogging the ToiletWhat you will need:Plunger, Closet Auger, Bucket, Rags● Dont even think about using a chemical drain cleaner in a toilet.● Place a plunger in the toilet, creating a seal around the drain hole (this creates a vacuum) and plunge vigorously 12 to 15 times.● Try flushing, if it still doesnt drain repeat the plunging.
When the plunger doesnt unclog thetoilet... ■ Closet Augers are designed to use in toilets. ■ Turn the crank on the handle in a clockwise direction and push simultaneously. ■ The auger will either catch the cause of blockage or push it through.NOTE: If plunging or using the auger doesnt work, youwill have to remove the toilet and attempt to fish outthe cause of blockage.
Side Note● I have done a lot of drain cleaning in my various jobs, and it is not fun or pretty, BUT the average home owner can save a lot of money knowing how to fix some of these issues themselves.● Plumbers are expensive, some will charge over $100 just to come and inspect the problem.