Removing a drain plug
Be prepared for a mess when removing a drain plug, you don’t know what you’ll find. Have rags and a bucket in place. Cover the floor near the plug with old towels and wrap towels around the pipe.
Remember, some objects defy ordinary removal techniques, says the northern California plumbing experts. Many clogs result when a small child places a toy in the toilet. No matter what you try, you can’t pull the object back out. The answer may be to push or flush the object into a larger, downstream drain pipe.
Plumber Pro Tip of the Week
Tip #1 Start with the highest cleanout you can find that is below the clogged fixture.
Tip #2 If using an auger does not work, continue working downward. An option is to go on the roof and run an auger through the vent stack.
Tip #3 Another solution is to use a blow bag.
Tip #4 Hook the blow bag up to a garden hose, and connect it to a hose bib or utility faucet.
Tip #5 Thread the blow bag and the hook into the drain. Turn on the water supply.
The hardest job about using a blow bag; being patient. It may take several minutes. Blow bags are most effective for clearing blockages in floor drains.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: If the blockage remains, the outdoor sewer line may be the problem. Often fine tree roots work their way into the line, creating an obstacle that only a heavy auger with a cutting bit can remove. First try using a garden hose to flush out the obstruction. If that doesn’t work, call in a professional northern California plumber or rent a heavy-duty power auger.
(Running a power auger is a two-person job.)