Unclog Your Drain

Tell your man you're going to clean his pipes.

We urgently need your help.  DAME reports the stories that need to be told, from perspectives that aren’t heard enough. In times of crisis it is even more critical that these voices are not overlooked, but COVID-19 has impacted our ability to keep publishing. Please support our mission by joining today to help us keep reporting.

Has a stubborn sink left you with a stink? Or worse, a stubborn toilet? Here are a few painless steps towards clean pipes. Besides a plunger, you will need some other tools. Note that too much force may permanently damage your pipes. If you can’t seem to get your drains unclogged after a few tries, call a licensed professional or risk making it worse.



Pipe Wrench


25 ft. Cable Auger/Plumbers Snake


First, try the plunger. Fill the sink halfway with warm water, and plunge like you never have before. Secure it over the drain, and pump up and down firmly several times before pulling it off. If it’s a double sink, stuff a rag into the other hole. If it’s a bathroom sink, stuff a rag into the overflow hole. This helps all the air pressure be directed to the problem area. If plunging doesn’t work, it’s snake time…


Step One

Grab your cable auger. Get under your sink, and bring a bucket with you. See the part of your plumbing that looks like a U? Find the part of the U closest to the floor- or the central bottom of the U. That is the sink trap. 


Step Two

Now remove the sink trap. This can be unscrewed with a pipe wrench. Check and see if the clog is there. If so, you’re good. If not…


Step Three

Remove the part of the plumbing sticking out horizontally from the wall. It should be looking you in the eyes. Take that out. 


Step Four

Grab the cable auger, which has the look and feel of a Tommy Gun. Loosen the lock screw, and feed about 18 inches into the pipe, tighten the lock screw, and then turn the handle clockwise. Turn handle until your feel resistance- otherwise known as the little clog that could. 


Step Five

Again loosen the lockscrew and extend some more cable into the drain. Retighten screw, and continue turning handle. You should have gotten to your clog by now. Just work on it until you feel no more resistance. 


Step Six

Loosen lock screw, and bring the cable up. DO NOT turn the handle counter clockwise unless your cable seems to be caught on something. This could damage the auger.


Step Seven

Run hot water and see how it’s draining. If it is not draining well, it could just be accumulated debris, and you can plunge away for that.

We urgently need your help! 

Covid-19 has dramatically impacted our ability to keep publishing. DAME is 100% reader funded and without additional support, we can’t keep publishing. Become a member at DAME today to help us continue reporting and shining a light on the stories that need to be told, from perspectives that aren’t heard enough. Every dollar we receive from readers goes directly into funding our journalism.   Please become a member today!

(If you liked this article and just want to make a one-time donation, you can do that here)

Become a member!