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How To Unclog Drains

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Schenectady Home Inspections How To Unclog Drains
How To Unclog Drains

With the right tools and know-how, you can unclog practically any drain without calling a professional.

Being able to do this on your own is beneficial because at some point you will encounter a clogged drain, whether in the shower, tub, sink, toilet or floor drain.

Here we will share with you the tools to have on hand and the techniques that will help you clear up practically any drain issue. Of course, when in doubt, always call in a professional to ensure you don’t damage anything or make the clog worse by pushing it further down your pipes.

Tools Required

Having access to the proper tools when a clog occurs will save you time and hassle. One of the most frustrating occurrences is to need a tool in the middle of something and not having it available.

Fortunately, when arming yourself with the proper plumbing supplies that will be necessary for you to tackle any type clog on your own do not require a large investment. Each of them can be found at your local home improvement store, or if you prefer, the option to rent is sometimes available too.


It is called the plumber’s friend for a reason and that is because it can clear most clogs that occur in the toilet, tub, shower or sink. This is the number one tool you should have.

If the clog happens to be further down the pipe, you will need to use one of the following methods to unclog your drain.

Cable Auger

This is also called a plumber’s snake and is used to clear clogs that are farther down in the pipes. The cable auger is a steel cable that winds into a spool and is available in lengths from 25-foot to 100 feet.

While sometimes a hassle to work with, it can come in real handy if you have a drain you need to unclog quickly.

Closet Auger

This is designed to remove stubborn clogs in a toilet. It is designed specifically to navigate through toilet plumbing with a flexible cable with a sturdy head designed to dislodge the obstruction. The cable is attached to a sturdy hand crank that feeds the cable.

Hold the instrument shaft steady as you crank and push down on the handle. You'll feel the cable snake its way up and through the trap.

Continue cranking until you've dispensed the entire cable--about 3 feet. Retrieve the cable by simultaneously cranking and pulling up.

Use An Electric Power Auger

Typically this would be an item that you rent. It too has the cable design but because it is electrically powered, be sure to use it correctly. This auger is so powerful it can cut through practically any type of obstruction in a drainpipe.

Before replacing the clean-out plug, wrap Teflon tape around its threads. This is going to make it easier to unscrew the plug from the future. Caution: Failure to replace the clean-out plug enables harmful sewage gases to seep into the house.

The Author Schenectady NY Home Inspections LLC is a locally owned and family operated Home Inspection Company. Schenectady NY Home Inspections is located in Schenectady NY and has performed over 6500 Inspections Book online

Phone: 1-800-603-5194

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