Clearing Clogged Drains: Here’s How To

When your drain becomes completely or partially clogged, you can try several home-based remedies before calling a professional plumber. These methods require common supplies such as salt, vinegar, or a wire coat hanger. You may need the extra clog-clearing muscle of an electric power drill for tough clogs. Plug the tool in and feed it down the drain, a few feet at a time.


The humble plunger can save the day when clogs in a sink or tub don’t respond to more powerful drain-clearing chemicals. This handy household tool is simple to use and quick to resolve most clogs. When using a plunger, ensure the flange is fully in the water and that there’s a good seal around the drain opening. Pump up and down vigorously for about half a minute. Repeat if necessary. If plunging doesn’t dislodge the clog, try a combination of baking soda and white vinegar. This method can break free light stoppages, but other solutions exist for large blockages.

Coat Hanger

When a drain is seriously clogged, it’s time to call in the big guns – a professional plumber from an HVAC company in Hillsboro. Severe clogs can lead to serious water damage, and it’s always best to get them fixed immediately. When clearing drain clogs at home, a coat hanger might be useful:

  1. Unwind and straighten the hanger as much as possible using needle-nose pliers.
  2. Wrap a cloth around the hooked end to prevent scratching the porcelain.
  3. Vinegar(1/3 cup) and baking soda(1/3 cup) should be combined.

Pour this down the clogged drain, wait for it to fizz, and then flush with hot water. It can help remove grime, hair, and other gunk in the pipe. Using this method once or twice monthly is a good idea to keep your drains clear and running smoothly. It will also help prevent smelly odors from coming into the home.

Wire Drain Snake

The standard store-bought drain snake has a long, coil-like wire fed into the clogged pipe and turned to crank it forward. Its rotating tip breaks up soft clogs or grabs onto solid, tightly packed ones to pull them out. You may have to crank a little harder or wiggle the snake when it meets a bend in the pipe or encounters the clog itself, but don’t give up. If you feel resistance when you crank the drain snake, loosen the setscrew and remove six inches of cable to feed into the line. Repeat the rotation and manual feeding until the snake moves freely or you run out of thread. Once the snake has reached the clog, slowly back it out of the drain and pull up the snagged gunk with paper towels and your gloved hand. Discard the clog in a bucket. If the clog is stubborn, consider renting a power drain snake from a home improvement center or a plumber.

Drain Cleaning Tool

The drain snake is a professional-grade piece of equipment that can help with severe drain clogs that chemical cleaners cannot break up or dissolve. It’s a long, wire, tube-like tool with a grip handle that you crank to push blockages through your pipes the rest of the way. Most sinks, bathtubs, and shower drains run into larger drain pipes that go to the septic tank or the municipal sewer system. Over time, these drain lines can collect large quantities of soap scum, lint, hair, food waste, and other slimy debris. To use a drain snake, first remove the pop-up drain assembly in your sink or bathtub and unscrew the clean-out plug at the bottom of the pipe. Then, loosen the set screw on the tip of the snake and pull out six-to-10 inches of cable. Thread the end of the snake into the clogged drain and slowly crank it until you feel the tip corkscrewing through the clog.

Leave a Comment