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How to Unclog a Galvanized Pipe

Arthur Barnhouse

Galvanized pipes are generally made of steel and can be found in most older-style homes. The pipes are less common in newer homes due to the fact that they have a tendency to corrode, which makes them more susceptible to blockages. This also means that galvanized pipes lead to more expense as a result of repair costs. If the galvanized pipes in your home are blocked up, you don't need to replace them just yet or call a plumber. In most instances, a galvanized pipe can be unclogged like any other pipe.

A common plunger can help unclog galvanized drain pipes.
  1. Remove the stopper as well as any excess standing water from the sink or tub. It is, however, necessary to allow approximately 2 inches of water for plunging to be effective. Add water if needed.

  2. Position a plunger against the drain opening and thrust it up and down several times. The up and down motion of the plunger will force the water through the galvanized pipe, thus loosening the clog. The up-motion of the plunger will also create suction, which loosens the clog as well.

  3. Run hot water down the galvanized pipe. If the water drains freely, you have successfully cleared the pipe. If the pipe remains clogged, continue plunging. You can increase the pressure created by the plunging by holding a damp cloth over any overflow openings on the tub or sink.

    Try running more hot water down the drain after the second round of plunging. If the galvanized pipe is still clogged, you will need to move on to Step 4.

  4. Pour a chemical drain opener down the pipe. The drain opener should contain caustic soda and/or bauxite. Follow the instructions on the label of your specific brand of drain opener.

  5. Run hot water down the galvanized pipe for at least 10 minutes. This will flush the chemicals from the pipes.