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how can i unclog my bathroom sink and tub drain using household products (Drano doesn't work)? ? Answered

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Yorkshire Lass

3 years ago

I use caustic soda (NaOH), otherwise known as sodium hydroxide or in the USA (I believe) lye. It's in the form of white granules and in the UK you can buy it in a small tub from hardware stores and the likes of Wilkinsons. But it's evil stuff if not handled correctly, it will attack skin as well as hair. Wear safety glasses and protective gloves and don't let the solution splash. Half fill a glass measuring jug with water and tip 100g or so of caustic in slowly, stirring with a metal spoon until it has dissolved. NEVER add water to caustic granules, always the other way around. The solution will get quite hot. If it seems so hot that it's going to distort plastic drainage pipes, dilute it with some cold water. Then pour it down the drain and leave it until the blockage goes, or overnight, before rinsing with lots of water.

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benderjamesbond

3 years ago

Are they both clogged at the same time, or are you asking in general when either get clogged? If they're both clogged at the same time then the muck might be further in your pipes, and it will be easier to snake through your tub.

If you cannot procure a snake, and your water drains slowly then you can try baking soda and vinegar; put a lot of baking soda (1/2 c to 1c) in the drain followed by a little water, let it sit for a few minutes. After, a few minutes, follow it up with a couple cups of vinegar, and plug the hole right after (with a drain plug or a cloth). Do not try this if your water is not draining at all. This will not get rid of the hair, but can help clean muck around a hairball, which can help push it into the larger pipes in your house that can handle it.

If you know it is hair clogging it, and don't feel like getting dirty with a snake, then I've successfully used hair remover before. In that scenario, use the baking soda and vinegar (previous paragraph), then the hair remover. Follow it with a lot of hot water. Caution though: the hair remover did cause problems with some cheap finish I had on one of my drains.

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seandogue

3 years ago

As Jack mentioned a snake is a good tool for the job. In fact, I just bought one at home depot for ~$30. Can't do the main drain with it., but it's perfect for hairplugs in tubs or similar muck plugs in bathroom or kitchen sinks and very light weight, not like the big unwiedly back breaking ones used for main sewer cleanout.

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Jack A Lopez

3 years ago

Is steel wire a "household product" ? Perhaps if it comes in the form of a wire coat hanger.

The professional tool is called a "drain snake". Wikipedia calls it a "plumber's snake",

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumber's_snake

But in many cases, an approximation of this, made from just a short length of wire with one end bent into a hook shape, will work. I've done this before, including occasions when I used a wire hook fashioned from an actual coat hanger.

Usually the clog is made out of a big mass of hair, and you can snag it with the hook shaped end of your piece of wire.

If you've never done this before, be warned: when you pull the hairball out, it will usually be covered with stinking black ooze, and it might smell bad too, but that's just kind of the way things are in the stagnant water in a plumbing trap.

Another approach, specifically for a bathroom sink, or kitchen sink, is to simply disassemble the plumbing underneath the sink. In some cases, the drain plumbing is only put together hand tight, so it is easy to take apart. Although in the process of taking it apart you're likely to dump black ooze everywhere, because, as mentioned previously, those parts are guaranteed to be full of stinking black ooze.

However, taking the plumbing apart (and putting it back together without leaks) is a lot of work, so if you can just snag the hairball with a hook, or a "snake", then that's the preferred way to do it.

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

Use dynamite, an excavator or connect everything to the tow ball of a strong car and drive off.

Sorry, but without any details this is the best you can get from guesswork.

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rickharris

3 years ago

If the sink AND the tub are blocked this suggests a bigger problem then a simple

blocked U bend. Your going to have to look carefully at your piping to see if there is an access point after the 2 pipes meet. This may well be a smelly, difficult and messy job - it may be best to employ a plumber or trustworthy handyman.,