Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

Clogged Drain? 3 Ways To Fix It On Your Own

Has the water in your sink or toilet stopped flowing? If so, you'll need to find a way to unclog the blockage and get the water flowing again. Here are some tips for unclogging the drain on your own:

Wet Vacuum

Do you have a wet vacuum on hand? If so, you can actually use this to help unclog your drain. Just place the hose directly on your drain and try to form a good seal with it. Turn on the wet vacuum and see if it will pull the clog out of the drain. This is worth trying at first if you feel that the clog could be near the opening of the drain. The wet vacuum could even loosen the clog and help it move to the sewer as well.


A plunger will do the opposite of the wet vacuum by trying to loosen the clog and push the clog further down the drain. The trick to using a plunger is to understand how they work and to use the right type of plunger.

For a sink, you may be better off using a flange plunger, which has a very wide and flat base that can form a good seal with the tank. For a toilet, you will want to use a flange plunger. This has a smaller up on the inside of the plunger's base and helps it form a good seal with the odd shaped toilet bowl.

If you are using the plunger on a sink, you'll want to plug up any overflow holes around the top of the sink. If there are two sinks, you'll need to plug the other drain so that you can build up pressure.

Don't make the mistake of using your plunger with air trapped inside the cup. You should actually tilt the plunger to the side once it is submerged to let out all of the trapped air. You're actually pushing water further down into the pipe to loosen the clog, which requires firm pressure when pushing down on the plunger.

Coat Hanger

You can also use a wire coat hanger to unclog a sink. This works great if it is a shower drain that is clogged with hair. Simply straighten a wire hanger, but leave the hook at the end of the hanger so that it curves upwards. The goal will be to force the wire hanger into the drain and latch onto whatever is clogging the drain, then pull it out with the hook.

When these tips don't do the trick, contact a plumbing company like Mr Rooter that specializes in drain blockage clearing.