How to Unclog a Drain
To clear a drain clog, start by plunging , then use a snake or disassemble the P-trap. The best use of chemicals is for drain maintenance.
The interiors of drain pipes are really smooth; stuff isn't supposed to stick to them, but it does, and the reason usually has a lot to do with the type of stuff you put in the drain. Grease, soap and other thick materials form residues on the pipe that gradually build. Hair and vegetable fibers -- which can lodge on sink strainer or P-trap mechanism, hasten this process by fishing these clogging materials out of the water. A **plunger** usually gets water flowing again once it has stopped, but you may need a **physical cleaning** -- or **chemicals** -- to really solve the problem.
Proper Plunging Procedure
A sink plunger is the first line of attack against a drain clog, but you need to use it properly to derive the maximum benefit from using it.
Things You Will Need
- Sink plunger
- Duct tape
- A [sink plunger](http://www.ehow.com/how_2217806_use-plunger-unclog-toilet-sink.html), which is what you need for sinks, bathtub and shower drains, is dome-shaped. It isn't the accordion-shaped or fluted implement you use to plunge your toilet.
- If you want the full force of the plunger to push against the clog, you need to prevent air from escaping from the drain. Put duct tape over the overflow holes in the sink or around the lever mechanism in the bathtub.
- Fill the sink, bathtub or shower pan with an inch of water. Immerse the plunger in the water then tilt it slightly to allow air to escape and to fill the dome with water. This ensures that you're plunging with incompressible water -- not compressible air.
- Pump vigorously several times, then lift the plunger to see if water is draining. If not, plunge again. Keep going until water starts to drain -- in 99 percent of cases, it will.
Use the right plunger.
Block the drain outlets.
Snaking a Drain
- Remove the sink strainer or pop-up stopper mechanism.
- Insert the head of the auger and push it into the drain, unwinding the cable as you do, until it won't go any farther.
- Keep pushing while you crank the auger handle until you feel the head move forward. At this point, you may want to pull it out of the drain and remove debris before continuing. Repeat the process until water drains freely.