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Although you never want to deal with slow-running sinks and toilets at home, you can’t prevent such situations altogether. 

After all, a clog doesn’t come with a warning bell. So, you should learn how to deal with clogs in common plumbing fixtures before it gets out of hand. Each clog requires a different method of clearing, and you can use a variety of tools for this purpose

We’ve tried to simplify things for you by curating this guide on unclogging any drain in a toilet, tub, or sink. Go ahead and give it a read. 

How to Unclog Any Drain: Sink, Toilet, and Tub

Let’s look at the various tools you’ll need to unclog such drains effectively. After that, we’ll discuss the process of unclogging each type of drain

Removing Hair From Bathtub With Drain Auger

Tools Required

1. Plunger

This long stick with a suction cup attached at one end can help clear clogs from various plumbing fixtures, including toilets, tubs, and sinks. 

2. Auger

A plumber’s snake or cable auger will be beneficial if you need to break obstructions lodged deep down the drainpipe. An auger is a flexible device with a long steel cable wound around a spool fitted using a crank. Notably, augers come in lengths of up to 100 feet, but you probably won’t need a model more than 25 feet long for tackling a household clog. 

3. Electric Auger

You’ll have to rent an electric auger for severe clogs or those far from a fixture. This machine effectively clears almost all clogs, even those caused by tree roots tangled in the drain

4. Closet Auger

Last but not least, closet augers are specifically designed to snake out toilets. It has a crank like a cable auger, but the cable is enclosed in a shaft rather than a spool. Also, it’s bent at a fixed angle so as to fit into the tight curves of a trap. 

Unclogging Sink Drains

1. Removing The Trap And The Drain Pipe

Here’s how you can clear minor clogs with a plunger:

Step 1

Fill the sink partially with water and then start the plunging process. Make sure you work the plunger up and down several times before pulling it up through the drain’s opening. And in case the kitchen sink is a double-bowl model, you’ll need to stuff a wet rag in one of the drain openings while plunging the other one. 

Step 2

If plunging doesn’t get the work done, use the cable auger to treat the lower portion of the sink. Firstly, you’ll have to detach the sink trap using a wrench. Note that you can manually unscrew the threaded coupling on PVC plastic traps. 

Step 3

Now, empty the water in the trap into any bucket and ascertain whether the trap has been unclogged. 

2. Cutting Through The Clogs

Step 1

Start off by removing the trap arm protruding from the wall stub-out next to the pipeline. 

Step 2

The cable auger has to be fed within the stub-out until you sense resistance. 

Step 3

Follow this by pulling out 18 inches of the cable and tightening the locking screw. Then crank the handle clockwise and push simultaneously so that the cable drives further into this pipe. 

Step 4

Again, pull the cable to another 18 inches and repeat the above steps until the blockage is broken. If the cable catches on anything or gets bogged down, you can turn the crank counterclockwise and pull the auger back. 

Step 5

When the cable is cleared, crank and push it forward again. Then, retrieve it and replace the trap and trap arm. 

Step 6

Finally, test the sink by turning the hot water faucet to ensure it drains correctly. And even if it doesn’t, you don’t have to worry as the debris from the busted clog may at times settle in the form of a temporary loose blockage. 

Step 7

To remove the debris, fill the sink with hot water and then work the plunger in the same way as advised for dealing with minor clogs.

Unclogging Toilet Drains

Plunger To Unblock Toilet Blue Rubber Gloves

Using Closet Augers

A clog often occurs at the upper portion of the up-curving and tight trap in the fixture when it comes to toilets. In a few cases, using a plunger can help you clear the clog, but you might have to use a closet auger in most situations

You must begin by placing the end of the auger in the bowl with the bent tip aiming up. 

The Procedure

Step 1

Hold the tool’s shaft steady and then crank and exert the handle down at the start. During this step, you’ll be able to feel the snake moving up and through the trap. 

Step 2

Continue with the previous step until the entire cable is dispensed to around three feet. Then, retrieve it by pulling up and cranking it simultaneously. 

Step 3

Complete the process by flushing the toilet to clear the drainpipe. If it’s still sluggish, you can run the device through the trap twice — once on the left side and then again on the right. 

Snaking Tub Drains

It’s worth noting that bathtubs rarely stop draining all of a sudden. Clogs in bathtubs generally build up within many weeks, so the tub will gradually drain more slowly each day. 

As in the case of bathtub clogs, you’ll have to start treating the toilet using a plunger. Here’s how you should proceed:

Using Drain Auger In Bathroom Sink Yellow

Step 1

Firstly, remove the screen from the drain of the tub, fishing out soap scum or hair with the help of a bent wire. 

Step 2

In the case of a pop-up tub, you’ll have to pull up the lever to open it and then grab the drain stopper. 

Step 3

Next, you must clean all the soap and hair in and around the hole. This will set things right in most cases. 

Step 4

Cover the holes on the other side of the overflow plate using a wet rag and begin plunging again if there’s no substantial effect. 

Step 5

If the clog still isn’t cleared, you’ll have to use a cable auger. 

Accessing The Clog Through Overflow Plate

Step 1 

Begin by removing the overflow plate from the tub end; then, the stopper link will get detached on its own. 

Step 2

Now, feed around 30 inches of the cable through the overflow tube. 

Step 3 

You’ll then have to turn the hand crank and push forward. You might feel some resistance, but you must keep cranking the tool until the cable goes further into the P-trap below the tub. 

Step 4

Retrieve the cable and pour a few gallons of hot water into the bathtub drain. Then put back the overflow plate and the seal or screen. 

Unblocking Bathroom Drains

More confident about clearing sink, toilet, and tub clogs now? Go ahead and remove the clog coming in the way of a properly functioning plumbing system. 

Make sure to get hold of both a cable auger and plunger before attempting the job; you never know which of the two you’ll ultimately need. 

But, if the clog is still stuck, it may be time to consider a licensed plumber. If you are in Melbourne, contact the plumbers at WP Plumbing. Our drain specialists can unblock your drain in no time so that you can get back to everyday life!

On that note, we’ll wrap things up. Till next time, take care!


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