Clogged Drains: Fix ’em Yourself

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Ok, so I know that the Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley isn’t really a clogger–but where else are you going to find how to fix a clogged drain, and a Flatley reference in the same opening line?  The fact of the matter is…you’re not going to.  That is how we here at HF stay so bleeping cutting edge.  We’re the Dreamweavers of drainage DIY.  More importantly–if Micheal Flatley can be worth about 700 million bucks and own 5 homes–why can’t we rake it for helping people fix their drains?  <Strokes evil henchdog…”Soon, soon…”>

Slow drains, or clogged drains are not really all that cool.  We all know what goes on in showers.  That is all that needs to be said.  However, the biggest problem is that not only is it a bit expensive to call a plumber, it’s downright inconvenient.  Also, chemicals like Liquid-Plumbr (Really, Clorox?  You couldn’t put another “E” in there?), Drano and other potentially death causing chemicals aren’t always the best to have in your home.  For multitudes of reasons it’s just a lot safer to not have this stuff around.

I offer you the following solution:  Gloves, a coat hanger and your trusty screw driver sidekick.  It also wouldn’t hurt to be mildly intoxicated.  What we are about to embark on is gross.  Just so happens–for your viewing pleasure I have a slow drain, and a camera.  Enjoy!

No,  I am not really going to take pictures of what comes out of our drain, but I will tell you how I did it.  (If you’re really dying to see the inside of a drain, check out Marc’s Milwaukee M-Spector AV Review). It’s pretty simple really, doesn’t take you that long, and will save you money and accidentally ingesting something so dangerous it cannot even be spelled correctly.

First–you’ll have to figure out what kind of drain cover is in your shower or tub, and then remove it.  There are a few different kinds–and all of them are fairly simple to remove.  Just make sure that you’re somewhat comfortable with how it comes out, so you can put it back in correctly.  (Sometimes when taking apart things…I kind of forget this).

For some reason that  is unbeknown to me–there are small cross bars underneath the drain.  I assume it is to support the drains parts and keep the whole thing from falling into the abyss, but that is just a guess.  Mostly, I think they’re installed to keep plumbers in work.  Whatever the reason–a lot of the time they are your culprit.

Another thing I’m not entirely sure about is:  When I am done showering there is a bit of hair in there.  Just regular hair.  Like four or five pieces of hair.  When my wife is done showering–it’s like she was in a pitched battle for her life with a yeti.  At least these guys can shut their website down now.  I found him.  He showers with my wife.  She’s not even French! (Sorry, France…seriously, I’m sorry).  The fact of the matter is, most slow clogs are caused by a big ol’ festering hair ball.  That probably isn’t news to many of you–but it’s still gross.  This is where the wire comes in.

Make a small hook–about the size of a good sized fishing hook.  You want it small enough to get in between the cross bars, and well…stick it in.  Give it a few twists to get the hook into the hair ball, and blammo.  Fish that thing out, shriek a bit–and enjoy the now free flowing drain, and the additional bucks in your pocket from not calling a plumber.

Sometimes, the drain is further down in the plumbing. In those cases a coat hanger isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need a real drain snake for that. The aftermath of what you pull out of the drain is usually similar, although it’s frequently more putrid.

Disclaimer:  From time to time, we take the liberty of making jokes in articles to keep our writers fresh, and funny.  Ty’s wife has no affiliation with yetis, does not look, smell, resemble, or sound like a yeti.  In fact, she is very beautiful and un-yeti like, and Ty would like to not sleep on the couch anymore.  Thank you.

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2 thoughts on “Clogged Drains: Fix ’em Yourself”

  1. I’ve had good success cleaning out the hair clogs from our shower drain using one of those 3′ long flexible grabber things where you push the button on one end, and 3 fingers spread out at the other. It’s great for the stuff a little further down that you can’t see, just open wide, stick it as far down as you can, close, and see what your prize is. This method also lets you drop the icky ball of crud into a plastic bag and never have to touch it.


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