Fixing a Drain or Toilet Clog

Clogs are inevitable problem for most homes. Some clogs happen immediately. Others slowly restrict pipes until it is completely blocked. The best clog (if there is such a thing!) is located in the p-trap. It is the one place where you know the problem can fixed without any extensive measures.

Clog Fixes

Start by placing a bucket under the trap. Loosen the coupling nuts with a pliers and pull the trap off while being careful to dump all water into the bucket. Then push the clog through with a coat hanger and flush with water. Before putting the piping back together, check the washers and nuts to see if they need to be replaced. Put the p-trap back into place and hand tighten the nuts. Over tightening nuts with a pliers will strip the threads. Turn on the water and check for leaks. Tighten the nuts slightly with a pliers until all leaks disappear.

Home drain cleaner to deal with clogsIf the clog isn’t in the p-trap, it is probably in a drain pipe. There are 3 measures you can take to fix a clog in a drain pipe before resorting to calling in a plumber: homemade vinegar cleaner, plumbing snake, and commercial drain cleaner. The vinegar cleaner is a concoction of household products. First, dump some baking soda down the drain. Then dump a couple cups of vinegar down the drain and cover the opening. The mix should react and create a fizzing effect. Lastly, pour approximately half a gallon of boiling water down the drain to help flush the clog.

The next possible fix is to break down the clog with a plumbing snake. A snake can be purchased at any local hardware store and is a good tool to have at your disposal. After breaking down a clog with a snake, wash what remains of the clog down with a combination of vinegar and boiling water.

If the clog is out of the reach of a snake, the next option is a commercial drain cleaner. Find the product that you feel suits your situation best and follow the instructions. If this doesn’t work and you know the problem is in the drain pipe, it is probably time to call a plumber. Also, if water is draining slowly in all bathrooms and the kitchen, the problem is probably is the main sewer line and will require a plumber.

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Tyler is the founder of Home Maintenance Tracker and a writer for HomeSpot HQ, an easy to use tool for managing maintence and projects for every house.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Billy Bob April 1, 2013, 12:52 pm

    I love when people use things from their homes to fix simple things. Baking soda can be used for so many different things and it’s a great tool for the home. Great Article.

  • Mahj May 23, 2013, 1:25 am

    But what if the toilet is not just clogged but broken? Can you do a blog post about running toilet?

  • Mike February 19, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I’m a plumber and I shouldn’t really be saying this… but this method works very well. Not so well on a tree root – but it can clear a lot of blocked drains. Worth a try anyway!

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