How To Manually Unplug A Water Or Drainage Pipe

What Pipe Is Clogged?

It makes a difference what pipe is clogged. If you turn your faucet on and nothing comes out or there is a slow trickle then you may have a main water line clog. If you flush the toilet or if water won’t drain from your sink, tub, or toilet then you may have a main return line issue. Usually you can tell pretty quickly which one it is. If your little gremlin flushed a toy down the toilet then you know it is the return line. If there is no water in any of the faucets then you know it is the main water line. Each has its own set of problems and each has its own set of solutions.


If there is a main water line problem or clog then you can guarantee that you have bigger problems than you first thought. For that problem you absolutely need to contact a specialist to figure out what to do to get your water running smoothly again. This isn’t something that should be handled by a handyman. The main consideration is that you may not know where the clog is. If it is outside the home then you may need to contact the city or county to shut off the water to your home and then find the problem. It may require digging up the water connections to your home. Regardless, if you wake up and you have no water then you need to contact a pro that is experienced in just this issue.


However, if the problem is a clogged or slow return waste or sink flow line then there are home solutions based on the nature of the problem. Answer a few questions first to determine the level of fix:


  • Which drain is clogged?
  • What do you think caused the clog?
  • Is it “plunge-able” with a plunger?
  • Is it “dissolvable” with chemicals?
  • Is it “grab-able” with a snake?
  • Do you absolutely know that something hard and solid was flushed?
  • Are you comfortable doing any of this yourself?

Is There A Reasonable Fix?

Based on the answer to these questions you can determine where to start in order to determine if you can do the fix or if you need to call the pros and keeping your fluids flowing. If you are a hairy person and seem to loose everything down the drain you may be able to fix the problem pretty easily by yourself. You can first try a liquid de-clogging solution. These are readily available. Next would be a snake to try to grab the hair or whatever is down there.


If none of those solutions are working then it is time to bring in the muscle with the knowledge to get you back to your daily routine. At Core Plumbing we are determined, dedicated, and committed to keeping your pipes clean and happy. You can call (858-538-6025) on use to help you out of any pipe jam, sewer clog, or main line backup.

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