how-to-unclog-a-drain-pic1Have you learned how to unclog a drain? Like most homes you probably have several drains in your home. Dirty water from the sink or washing machine runs down them and life is good. Life is not good when the drain does not work. The dirty water backs up and makes a mess. Unclogging a drain is something you can do. A little messy, brace yourself, you can survive.

What can you do to deal with a clogged drain? Get rid of the clog is the obvious course of action. To sum it up loosely you have four courses of action to follow. Depending on the situation some are better than others.

To learn how to unclog a drain you first need to determine which drain is clogged. After that you can assemble the troops and go over a battle plan. The information below will help you decide how to attack the problem. Divide and conquer, heavy artillery, set up a spy network, read on.

How To Unclog a Drain - Information

What Can You Save?

Clogged drains can vary considerably in cost. Could be as little as $50 on up to several hundred dollars. A main sewer line is probably best left to the pros unless you feel like tackling a big dirty job. On average you can probably save a $100 by taking care of a clog yourself. Many times it will only take ten minutes. Hundred bucks, ten minutes? I see the wheels turning.

How Hard Could It Be?

You can get into some work learning how to unclog a drain. Most of the time it is not to difficult.

These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: A Bit of Work
These repairs require a Skill Level of: Determined Handyman
For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.

Check the Simple Things!

For minor clogs a plunger is king. It puts pressure on the clog and will force it to break up.

What Can Go Wrong?

A clogged drain means water, dirty water. Water can back up and damage things. The first thing to do with a clogged drain is stop using the water until you solve the problem. Have pails, mops and rags at the ready to clean up. Protect things in the area or move them.

Troubleshooting Clogged Drain Problems

Learning how to unclog a drain will involve three courses of action. These get harder and more complex with different drain problems. Using caustic chemicals to clean drains is not discussed. I do not believe they work that well, they are dangerous and they are bad for the environment.

Before you start try to determine what the problem is. When you run the sink or flush the toilet, does it come up in the bathtub? Are you getting nasty water with toilet paper in it, coming out of a floor drain? When multiple drains are affected it is often a main line that is clogged. Snaking out a floor drain if the main sewer line is clogged will do little good.

The article 'Using a Plunger' covered the best methods for this common household device. This article discusses how to use a 'plumbers helper' on a drain.

Another way to clean a drain is by using water pressure. This method can be messy, but effective. The article 'Using Water Pressure on a Drain' gives you some tips.

Cleaning drains with a plumbing snake is the first choice of many. Again, this can be a messy solution that requires some preparation. The article 'Using Snakes on Drains' discussed this topic. Follow this link to review it.



Drains are one of those things that you really don't notice until they don't work. When they don't work they can make quite a mess. Have you learned how to unclog a drain? Did the plunger work? If it did, you scored on that one.

Did you have to take drastic action and use a snake. Actually, a snake is a wonderful thing, it just sort of slithers and gets the job done. Wow, you want to put that one in your memoirs. Now that you have finished with this task you can move on to other repair projects.