What Is the Best Way to Unclog a Drain?


Quick Answer

Many factors affect the best way to clear a clogged drain; however, a plunger is effective at restoring the flow in many cases. Clogs that the plunger does not resolve often require the use of an auger or a drain snake.

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What Is the Best Way to Unclog a Drain?
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Full Answer

The fixture determines the correct plunger for use. A plunger with an extendable rubber flange works best for a toilet, but folding the flange inside works best for sinks and tubs. With experience, it is often possible for the user to feel the plug clear using this tool.

When a plunger is not effective at removing the clog, the next step is to use a drain auger or plumber's snake to clear it. For a toilet, a closet auger has a tube the directs the spring through fixture without scratching the porcelain. The auger requires the user to turn the handle while pushing it forward until the clog clears.

Sinks and tubs include a cleanout, accessible by removing the plug. Once the plug is open, the user uses the snake to push the clog forward or pull it back through the cleanout. For long drains, a power auger is sometimes a better option than using a manual snake. For clogs that do not respond to these techniques, it is usually necessary to call a plumber.

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