Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

How To Unclog A Drain

Written by Zari Esaian
I'm here to give you some instruction on how to fix a common household problem that might feel too small to pay someone to take care of, but too big to leave alone. Most of my expertise is in carpentry, but I know a thing or two about how things like toilets and drains work. Before I begin, allow me to provide a slight disclaimer: No advice I give is guaranteed to work, as all things, like people, are made slightly differently (depending on the quality, year, and the make). If we were friends, I could come over and show you in person. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple.
I'm here to give you some instruction on how to fix a common household problem that might feel too small to pay someone to take care of, but too big to leave alone. Most of my expertise is in carpentry, but I know a thing or two about how things like toilets and drains work. Before I begin, allow me to provide a slight disclaimer: No advice I give is guaranteed to work, as all things, like people, are made slightly differently (depending on the quality, year, and the make). If we were friends, I could come over and show you in person. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple.

This common household problem is the clogged drain. You may or may not be familiar with the basic rule not to use Drano in an old building as it corrodes the pipes and can cause major problems. So, before you start pouring chemicals down then drain, try this:
                                                                                  
1. If you are plunging a bathroom sink, it probably has a hole along the top towards the rim of the sink. Cover this hole with a wet towel. Don’t get wild and stuff it in or anything. Just open up the towel, and drape it over the hole.
If you are plunging a kitchen sink or shower, just move onto step 2.

2. Get a plunger (either a small one made for sinks, or one you use on your toilet) and put it over the drain.

3. Fill the sink with about an inch of water.

4. Plunge the drain about seven to nine times, keeping the towel over the hole.

5. Remove the plunger and let the water drain. And voilà! It should drain right down! Repeat a few times if it doesn't work too well the first time.

7. If you see black, somewhat solid matter  coming up while you are plunging, start scooping it out as it comes. Don’t let it go back down the drain if you can avoid it.
 
8. Your pipe should be unclogged and water should be flowing freely.
 
Good luck!
 

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