How to Clear Clogged Water Lines

Clogged water lines are often caused by various reasons, from an excessive amount of hair trapped inside of the pipe to larger food particles blocking the flow.

Once there is blockage the water may back up into the sink or the commode. If the clog is serious, leaks can lead to water damage, or at the very least render the sink or toilet useless until it is repaired. Properly fixing a clogged water line yourself involves the use of some basic tools. But clear the clog as soon as possible or it will become worse and harder to remove.

Remove the trap from the drain with pliers or a flathead screwdriver.

Place the plunger over the drain opening and work the plunger up and down in an attempt to unclog the water line.

Try a homemade clog remover liquid to unclog the drain, if the plunger does not work. Pour boiling water into a large pot and place it near the drain. Pour one-cup of vinegar and one-cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by the pot of boiling water. Wait for about 15 minutes. Check to see if the drain is unclogged.

Insert the tip of the plumbers auger into the drain, if the homemade solution does not work. Maneuver the auger down into the drain as far as it will go or until it stops against the clog. Move the auger in and out of the drain against the clog and rotate the auger back and forth aggressively to break up the clog. Pull the auger out of the drain and check the drain to see if it is clear.

Disassemble the water line, if the auger does not work. Locate the lines under the drain and begin disassembling the drain lines with a pipe wrench or whichever wrenches are necessary to remove the pipes. Remove the clog from the drain and reassemble the water pipes back together. Once the clog is removed, run hot water through the pipes for about five minutes to break up and flush any small remnants of the clog. Reinstall the drain trap.

Things You Will Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Plunger
  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Plumbers auger
  • Pipe wrench
  • Adjustable wrenches

Tip

  • A un-twisted coat hanger can also be used as an auger in the place of a regular plumber's auger.

Warnings

  • Avoid using commercial clog removing liquids. They produce dangerous vapors that are harmful to you or your children.
  • Do not pour grease into a drain or water line. Also do not put paper towels or napkins into a commode.

About the Author

Kevin Mclain has more than 20 years of automotive, home improvement and landscaping experience. He has been writing for various online publications since 2002. Mclain has U.S. Army certification in automotive maintenance and repair, among more than 15 additional certifications related to the automotive field.