Q:

How do you fix a clogged main drain?

A:

Quick Answer

To unclog a main drain line, protect the floor beneath the main clean-out portal, remove the plug, clean up the spilled contents, auger the pipe, test the main drain, and auger the house trap. The supplies you need are a wrench, a bucket, rags, rubber gloves, and a pipe auger.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the work area

    Set a bucket beneath the main clean-out portal, and cover the ground with rags.

  2. Open the portal plug

    Put on rubber cleaning gloves, and use a wrench to unfasten the portal plug. Lift the plug out, and set it aside.

  3. Clean the area

    Clean up the water and debris that spill out of the portal. Empty the bucket and set the dirty rags aside.

  4. Insert a pipe auger

    Insert a pipe auger into the portal, and crank the handle to extend the telescoping end toward the clog. Retract the augur, lift it out of the pipe, and set it aside.

  5. Replace the portal cover

    Replace the portal cover, and tighten it with the wrench.

  6. Test the drain

    Run water through the main drain line by flushing a toilet or opening a sink tap. If the water flows freely, the main drain is clear. If the clog persists, proceed to the next step.

  7. Augur the house trap

    Look for a U-shaped pipe between two clean-out portals. This is the house trap. Cover the floor, and place a bucket underneath the trap. Open the portal closest to the outside, insert the auger, and crank the handle. Remove the auger, close the portal, and test the drain again. If it is still clogged, seek professional assistance.

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