Clear Bathroom Sink with Everyday Items
Clear Bathroom Sink with Everyday Items

When Objects Cause Blocked Drains (and How to Unclog the Drain Yourself)

Could something stuck in your pipes be causing your drain clog? Chances are good. But unclogging drains is all about location, location, location: The type of clog you have provides clues to its whereabouts, and determines the best way unclog the drain. Here’s how to use your detective skills (and DIY skills) to clear that clog on your own!

Stuck in the first vertical section

Hair clogs often form around the stopper mechanism in the first vertical section. If water backs up quickly each time you use a drain, the problem is likely close to the drain opening in the tub or sink. To unclog a drain where hair is the culprit, use Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover.

Trapped in the trap

Most clogs that form in the “trap” (the second, U-shaped, horizontal section) are caused by foreign objects that clog the drain pipe. In this case, eventually the object will have to be physically removed. Here’s how to clean a trap yourself to clear the clog, and remove that toy car (or clump of hair, or whatever!) without calling in a professional!

First, before you start unscrewing the pipe, be sure that there is not residual drain product left in the pipe. If you used a drain product, flush with at least three gallons of water, but still be very careful with handling the pipe since there could be residual pipe cleaner. (If you experience a total blockage with drain product in the pipe, you should call a plumber.)

Next, put on rubber gloves. Then place a bucket underneath the pipe to collect water. Now you’re ready to unscrew the slip nuts on each side of the trap (or simply remove the clean-out plug if you have one). Let water drain into the bucket as shown.

step 1 Remove Objects Causing Clogged Drain

Next, use a bent pipe cleaner to scrub the section of the pipe beyond the trap.

step 2 Use Pipe Cleaner to Clean Drain Pipe

When you’re finished, reattach the trap and run some hot water through the sink to clear out any remaining grime.

step 3 Flush Clear Drain with Hot Water

Stuck in third

Clogs can also be caused by buildup in the third, lateral section of the pipe. Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover is effective on these clog types as well. Keep some on hand for its reliable clog-busting power!