How to Unclog a Drain

How to Unclog a Drain

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  1. Any homeowner or renter is occasionally confronted with a clogged drain. The process of how to unclog a drain ranges from the simple to the more complex. However, none of the processes involved are difficult or dangerous enough to deter you from attempting the fix yourself.

    Drain Cleaner:

    The simplest method of unclogging haid and other organic blockages from your drain involves an acid and enzyme-based cleaner. Pouring this gel-like liquid into the drain until the fluid level barely exceeds the drain height begins the process. Allow the cleaner to break down the material until the cleaner flows through the drain easily. Rinse the drain and hardware thoroughly with water to prevent possible discoloration.


    If you have a toilet, you are probably familiar with a plunger. Sink drains as well as toilets are routinely cleared using plungers. For dual-drain openings such as those commonly found in kitchens, block the opposite drain from the suspected clogged opening with a stopper or kitchen rag. Press down with the plunger centered over the clogged drain until you hear air and/or water flowing through again.

    Pipe Snake:

    This extensible plastic or metal device incorporates a spring or hook to grab and remove any potential drain blockage. Insert the snake into the pipe until it reaches the end of its possible travel. Slowly retract the snake using the rotary handle on the body of the tool, taking the blockage back up with it. Follow up with drain cleaner to remove any residual material too small for the tip of the snake to grab.

    P-Trap Removal:

    To unclog a drain by removing the p-trap involves a little bit more of a hands-on effort. Put on latex kitchen gloves. Locate the curved section of drain pipe below your sink. Carefully rotate the nuts connecting the "P" shaped section with the downpipe coming from the sink opening and the pipe flowing away from the trap. Examine the inside of the trap to determine if food or hair is preventing water from flowing through. Manually remove as much as possible. Return the P-trap to its normal installed location. Again, you may follow up with drain cleaner to remove the remainder of the clogging material.

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