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Tips For Unclogging Drains

How do I clear a clogged drain? The pipe is very old and Liquid Plumber does not work at all.

Elaine from Taylorsville, UT


Tips For Unclogging Drains

What kind of drain is it, what kind of plumbing do you have, and what do you suspect the clog is constituted of?

Iron drain plumbing can get blocked with corrosion and/or scale from hard water. The rough surface will then gather hair, bits of paper, and other gunk. The only permanent cure for that is to replace the pipe (using plastic if the local plumbing code allows).

If the problem is a sink or basin and you can easily disassemble the drain pop-up and trap and check for blockage, do so. Hair and dental floss can get hung up on pop-up drain mechanisms. Dig it out with a long screwdriver, table knife, etc.


When using a plunger on a sink or tub drain, the most clog busting power is obtained not by pushing but by pulling. Don't use a plunger if there are still drain chemicals in the drain -- it could splash back into your face and eyes. Block any other air entrance into the plumbing (e.g. drain overflow, or the other side of a dual sink) while using the plunger.

Toilets don't lend themselves to "pull" plunging, but you can get snouted plungers that will facilitate significant water force into the toilet. Again don't plunge if there are still drain chemicals in the drain. (03/19/2009)

By Red Neck

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