Charlotte Plumber Gives Advice: How to Unclog a Clogged Pipe or Drain

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Learn How to Unclog a Clogged Pipe

Do you have a clogged pipe somewhere? Wondering why that toilet isn’t flushing right or that sink isn’t draining properly? Have you got sewage backing up into a downstairs toilet or sink and don’t know why it’s happening or what to do about it?

There are many types of clogged pipes and drains. The trick to unclogging a clogged pipe is to:

  • Identify what kind of blockage you are dealing with
  • Get the right tools for the job
  • Work carefully to break up and flush out the blockage
  • Know your limits – and when it’s necessary to call a professional so you don’t hurt yourself or your plumbing

The following are typical clogged pipe scenarios, complete with advice on how to solve the problem of a backed up drain or pipe.

Isolated Sink is Not Draining Properly

If your problem is isolated to one sink, you’ve probably got a localized blockage in the pipe leaving that sink drain. Open the drain and use a 99-cent Zip it to see if you can remove hair and other gunk that may have collected there. Then graduate to a flexible snake, again trying to snag and pull out any material that is causing a blockage.

Next try running boiling water with liquid dishwashing detergent down the drain. Once you’ve poured the hot soapy water into the sink, put on safety goggles and use a toilet plunger to try plunging the drain.

If the drain is still not draining properly, call a plumber. Do not use harsh chemicals to try to break up the blockage. They usually do not work and will just make the drain unsafe for you or a plumber to try to unclog.

Clogged Toilet

If your standard plunger is not doing the job, you’ll want to use a flexible snake to try to break up any blockage. Do not use harsh chemicals, and be sure to wear safety goggles as you snake and plunge alternatively. Beware of the high-power snakes and hydrojetters sold at hardware stores – if you are not trained in using this equipment, you can seriously damage your pipes or hurt yourself.

Call a plumber if you can’t break up the blockage with standard equipment – the blockage may be beyond reach or too solidly lodged to be safely removed without professional equipment.

Sewage is Backing Up Into Downstairs Toilet

If you’ve got sewage backing up into a downstairs toilet, your problem is far bigger than something that got flushed down the toilet. This is a sign that you’ve got a major blockage deep in the pipes that lead from your home to the city sewer main.

These blockages are usually caused by tree roots. Chances are, something happened to cause a hairline crack in your sewer line. Tree roots, searching for water, found that hairline crack and grew into your pipe, clogging it.

You’ll need a professional plumber to solve this problem.

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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: What is the best way to unclog a clogged pipe?

The best way to unclog a clogged pipe is to first identify what kind of blockage you’re dealing with. Then, get the right tools for the job. Work carefully to break up and flush out the blockage. Know your limits- and when it’s necessary to call a professional so you don’t hurt yourself or your plumbing.

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4 comments on “Charlotte Plumber Gives Advice: How to Unclog a Clogged Pipe or Drain

    • David Parker on

      Hey Larry, The price on a cleanout installation would very on depth, landscape, terrain, and pipe type. It would be something you would want a professional to come out and look at because if your on a slab foundation a camera would be needed to find the pipe as well.


  1. Danni Black on

    I really like your tip about making sure that you identify what kind of blockage you are dealing with when it comes to a clogged drain. My husband has been trying to unclog our master bath sink for a while now so we will have to keep these tips in mind while we are trying to get it fixed. Hopefully, we can get the help of a plumber to help us with the process, thank you for sharing!

  2. Milanes on

    I'm just no longer certain where by you happen to be obtaining your data, however terrific job. My partner and I ought to devote a long time learning much more as well as figuring out much more. Many thanks for the wonderful information.

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