How To: Unclog a Clogged Drain

Follow this helpful advice on clearing up a slow-moving or clogged drain.

By Pete Fazio | Updated Apr 18, 2018 2:17 PM

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How to Unclog a Clogged Drain


Some friends of mine moved into a new house and had a couple of issues with their bathroom. The sink drain was a little slow and had a funky smell. The tub also drained slowly, leaving them ankle deep in water by the end of a shower.

So they did what most of my friends do: they called me. Naturally, I was willing to dive into their problem (figuratively, not literally).

How To: Unclog a Sink Drain

Most of the time with a sink drain, there’s a problem with the p-trap, so that’s always the first thing I recommend that homeowners investigate. The p-trap is the thing in your sink cabinet that’s kind of shaped like a “p” or elbow. It’s what keeps sewer gases from coming up your pipe and making a stink.

Clearing it out is simple. FIRST, get a bucket. Normally, water won’t pour out when you take it off, but there will always be some water in the p-trap because that’s what stops the gasses. (Of course if your p-trap IS clogged and there’s water all up in your sink, a lot of water WILL come out.)

Since their trap was spotless the smell must be coming from the pipe itself, right? GUNK.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to remove that GUNK… in short, unclog the drain!