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How to UnClog a Bathroom Drain

Save Your Money, Clear The Drain: 8 Tips To Do It Yourself Plumbing 

When you have a drain clogged, don’t call a plumber… do it yourself! If it’s not totally stopped up, there’s no reason to take drastic measures. Rather, the following eight steps will help you unclog the drain without spending a lot of money on a plumber. 

8 Steps To Fix The Clogs In Your Drains

1 - You need to first take of the drain cover to clean beneath its surface. What you’ll see is hair accumulation especially if there’s a screw holding it in place. Some drains have an automatic tub stopper. For those, you need to pop the stopper and twist to get it unscrewed. Remove the plate to remove the whole assembly. Consider using the “bent hanger” technique to remove the hair and other particles stopping it. Place the stopper back.

2 – To clear a deep clog, use either The Drain Claw or bent hanger (preferably wire). The hanger should be made into a hook to grab any hair or particles from the drain. Whatever you do, don’t push down into the drain.  The Drain Claw is a very effective tool that you work around the stopper and twist. With more than 100 tiny interlocking hooks, the device grabs the hair and pulls it out. 

3 – Hot water works best to unclog a partially clogged drain. Pour a pot full of hot, not boiling, water down the drain… making sure not to splash it. Allow it to stand 15 minutes before trying to plunge the drain. Boiling water will liquefy or melt rubber gaskets, wave or sealants used for plumbing connections and fittings. 

4 – Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar together in a pitcher, pouring them quickly into the drain. The faster, the better, as the fizzling action will die out steadily. 

5 – Turn the hot water, filling the tub with plenty of water so it covers the clog. For approximately 10 times, pull the plunger so that you drain is completely unclogged. The water under the drain will help to clear the drain quicker. Place a wet clothe into the holes that are used for overflowing water, usually found beneath the stop lever. This produces a vacuum and makes the plunger much more effective. 

6 – Purchase a 15 to 25 foot snake from a hardware store to “snake” the drain. 

7 – With a shop vacuum –without its filters and bag - you can vacuum up the liquids. Cover the vent to keep a mess at bay. Place the hose on the drain before you start the vacuum. Keep in mind that this is a two-person job – one holding the hose, the other turning on the device. The debris will get sucked up while the clog goes down the drain. 

8 – Before you use any kind of chemical products, call a plumber. Drain cleaners have harsh chemicals that can dissolve the particles that can eventually corrode metal pipes. Carefully follow the directions on the bottle.

Important Tip:

When you use either a plunger or vacuum, you want as much suction as possible to make the clog come loose. The debris can become impacted on its way down; but, trying pulling it up to dislodge it. 

Important Warnings:

1 – Be careful using liquid drain cleaners, as they can burn the skin.

2 – Wait several hours to take a shower or bath after using a liquid drain cleaner.

3 – Run the water to flush the drain, as the cleaner can seep upwards from the drain.

4 – Call a plumber when the drain is still clogged even after you’ve tried clearing it yourself.