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Unblock Sewer Pipe With These Handy Diy Solutions

A blocked sewer line is a headache no homeowner wants to deal with. Before calling an expert like The Relining Company, here are several surprisingly easy methods you can try yourself to unblock sewer pipe and get things flowing freely again.

Start with a Plunger

Whether it’s the kitchen sink, bathtub, or toilet backing up, a basic plunger is a must-try first step. Ensure a tight seal, then plunge vigorously 10-15 times to dislodge the blockage. For toilets, use a flanged plunger specifically designed to fit into the opening at the base of the bowl. Caution – stop immediately if you see rising sewage to avoid overflow.

Use a Snake

Also known as an auger, this affordable cable tool threads into pipes to hook and pull out debris. Hand crank snakes work well in bathroom sinks and tub drains. For kitchen sink backups, opt for a motorized drum auger. Take care not to scratch your pipes. Insert 6-10 feet and twist gently to sweep through bends. Retrieve and clean the snake as needed until the clog is clear.

Try a Wet & Dry Vacuum

For drains and floor drains, a wet and dry shop vacuum can work by suctioning out the blockage. Use the narrow crevice tool to reach deep into the pipe then turn on the machine. With a tight seal around the drain opening, allow it to run several minutes to max out suction power. This dislodges many soggy clogs. Caution – don’t vacuum if you suspect the blockage is further down the main line.

Flush with Boiling Water

For sludgy sink clogs, bring water to a rolling boil, then carefully pour down the drain. The hot water helps dissolve grease and soften soap buildup. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then flush with cool water while plunging to wash the liquified gunk away. Repeat boiling water flushes as needed until the drain runs clear. Just avoid pouring directly from a kettle which may crack porcelain.

Blast it Out with a Hose

When basement floor drains get blocked, grab your garden hose. Secure it tightly over the drain opening using a watertight seal (rag, plunger, etc). Turn the water on full blast for 30-60 seconds, then switch it off again. Repeat the on-off cycle several times. The strong surge of water pressure should dislodge most clogs. Just be ready to capture the backflow. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

Give Baking Soda and Vinegar a Try

For bathtub and bathroom sink drains, mix a half cup baking soda with a half cup white vinegar. It will fizz and bubble as a chemical reaction occurs. Pour the mixture down the drain, let it sit a few minutes, then rinse with hot water. The combination of base soda and acidic vinegar breaks up all kinds of gunk and clears soap scum clogs. Just avoid using this method after trying chemical drain cleaners, as it may cause a dangerous reaction.

Attempt a Drain Zip-It

These handy tools use small plastic barbs to grab and remove hair clogs. For bathroom tub and sink drains, slowly insert a Drain Zip-It towards the drain P-trap, twist gently, then pull out. The hair tangles around the barbs for easy removal. Just rinsing hair down the drain traps it, so grab it before it causes backups. Follow with a boiling water flush.

Know When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried these do-it-yourself methods without success, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. Continued use of blocked drains can lead to burst pipes or sewage backups into the home – not to mention some very unpleasant odors. A pro has the tools and skills to fully clear your line whether the clog is near the drain or way down the main line. Your pipes will be flowing freely again in no time.


With a few basic tools and some clever elbow grease, many common clogs can be cleared without paying for a plumbing service call. But don’t hesitate to pick up the phone when basic steps fail, as professional drain cleaning services can quickly and effectively handle even the most stubborn sewer clog scenarios.

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