No More clogged Drain!

If you have a clogged drain, that probably means you are standing in a puddle of water every time you take a shower or brush your teeth.

I have three ladies in my house and they all have long hair (all except my 2 year old and she is really trying to grow hers out).

Now, don't get me wrong, when I was a kid, I liked splashing in puddles as much as the next kid, however, when it comes to taking a shower and getting clean, there is just something that bothers me about standing in my own 'puddle'. I don't like it.

The good thing is that getting rid of the stopped up plumbing is much easier than most people think.

The bad thing is that this plumbing problem always comes at the worst time. I remember a Friday night when I was in college - the bathtub clogged. A really nice plumber (and his girlfriend) came over an fixed it. He shouldn't have to be doing that on a Friday. Talk about a great date for the lady.

The water was standing about 10 inches in the bottom of the tub. Why wouldn't it go down? However, with about 10 minutes of work, he was completely done. The water went down and never came back.

Wow! Good thing it was an apartment and I didn't have to pay for the maintenance person. That trip alone would have probably cost me over $50 - and he was only there for 10 minutes.

Let's get right to it. How do you get rid of a clogged drain?

You first need to know a little about plumbing. ALL of the clogs I've tackled have happened in the 'p' trap. I'll be going over how to remove it by using the shower as an example. Simply apply these principles to your sink, bathtub, any other situation you have.

Here is a list of materials you'll need for this project. Simply click on the shopping cart below to find them all.

(I've listed the actual tools I use...and believe me...I like to go cheap (quality, but cheap)

1) Screwdriver - If you don't have a screw driver, You should pick up the starter tool kit - it will do you wonders.

2) "Snake" - A 'snake' it is a very flexible spring that you can get at any hardware store in your plumbing area.

Step 1: Remove the drain cover
Take a screwdriver and simply pry off the cap. I find it easiest to put the screw driver in one of the holes in the floor drain and push down on the handle of the screw driver slightly. The cover should pop up rather easily.

Step 2: Remove Clog
Sounds simple. In fact, it is simple. Use your 'snake'. Simply pull out about 12 inches, put it into the drain and turn clockwise. The clockwise motion will help the snake maneuver down the pipe to where the vast majority of where clogs are.

You'll be able to feel that you have something on the other end of the line. Don't worry, it won't feel like jaws is bitting your line, only like a small fish is nibbling on the worm.

If you don't feel anything, that is ok. Don't worry. Periodically pull out the 'snake' and check to see if you have your clog on the other end.

The typical hair clog that I deal with is about the size of a cell phone. Simply pull it out of the drain and remove it from your 'snake' by rotating the snake in the counter clockwise direction.

Step 3: Clean up
The last thing I do is to take a plastic bag, grab the clog and throw it away. I also want to make sure my tools stay in good condition so I'll rinse the 'snake' in warm watter trying to get any small parts of the clog off of the snake before I put it away.

That's it! Congratulations! You just saved yourself about $50.

So, what is the cost of this project?if you don't have a snake or a screwdriver, then you are looking at about $10 - $15. These are one time costs. You will only buy the snake one time and use it over and over again (Believe me, with three ladies, my snake gets plenty of use).

How does the 'Clogged Drain' project rank on the 'band-aid scale of home repair'?

I'd put this project at about a 2 on the Band-Aid Scale Of Home Repair.

Why a 2?

There are several factors:1) I don't feel this project should take too long - probably 30 minutes or less2) It doesn't require a huge amount of technical skill to complete the project3) This is one of those projects you can easily do yourself.

Congratulations Again!

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Jeff Hensiek

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