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Attack the Clog Before It Attacks You! How to Unclog the Drain

Updated on August 29, 2012

You are Summoned from Above

You are having a pleasant Sunday afternoon when suddenly your wife calls from upstairs that 'something is blocking the drain!'.

Now what to do? You are, after all, the man of the house. This is a job for for a man. 'Stand aside. Let me through, let me through. I'll have it fixed in a jiffy' you proudly announce to all and sundry. ('All' and 'Sundry' often hang out at your house, usually uninvited.)

So now what? You haven't the slightest idea of how to unclog a drain! What to do?

Fear not.

Read on.

1. Look inside.

Is there anything in there?

If so is it looking back?

What is the nature of the substance clogging the drain? Is it animal, vegetable or mineral? Is it bigger than a breadbox? Is it smaller than your finger? Can you communicate with it? Does it answer when you call? Where is it situated in the food pyramid?

If you cannot answer these questions without hesitating, you may need to consult an optician or clean your glasses. Otherwise proceed to step 2.

2. Probe:

Take a knife and probe. Be careful. You may damage the knife. Better to use a screw driver. Go to your neighbors house and borrow his. If he offers you a beer and asks you to watch the game with him, tell him you can only spare an hour because you have important chores to finish at home. Try and stretch this into several hours if possible. No use missing the game.

Now, where were we? O yes. Back to probing the drain. This step is important because you may be able to just 'push through' some obstacle caught in the trap.

Tip: wear safety glasses. They make you look like you know what you are doing.

Now on to step 3.

3. Concoct a Solution

Now that you have looked and probed, it's time to pour. Mix up a batch of vinegar and baking soda from your kitchen pantry. If you don't have these items you are in a fix. It's Sunday and most of the stores are closed. Especially in small towns. If you want to move to a larger town, you may have more luck. But do it quickly, I can't wait all day.

Now, assuming that you have mixed your solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part baking soda, pour it down the drain. Wait for two hours. In the meantime read a book. Watch that bug crawl across the bathtub. Dream about 'the good ol days'. Play some rounds of canasta with your dog. Then check the drain.

If the drain has not cleared go to Step 4.

Actual Photo of GUNK
Actual Photo of GUNK

4. Extraction:

If you find something try and extract it with pliers. Or tweezers. But not your wife's tweezers! (If necessary, borrow your neighbor's wife's tweezers.) To extract follow the following steps:

A. pinch the gunk and pull

B. if it pulls back you better call for help.

C. if it comes out smoothly and easily, you are doing something wrong. Nothing in home repair EVER happens smoothly and easily.

D. have a pail standing ready to hand to put what you pull out into.

5. Test:

Turn on the faucet. Does the water now flow freely? Does it disappear down the drain in a swirling motion reticent of a small whirlpool? Success!

If not, buy a new sink. It's probably cheaper, in the long run, than hiring a plumber.


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