It's a fact of life; drains get clogged. To keep them running smoothly, it's a good idea to perform maintenance on your drains periodically by running hot water down them to loosen grease and soap scum. Pouring vinegar or a baking powder solution down the drain can also help loosen clogs. But for more stubborn clogs, you may need to use tougher methods. But before you use caustic chemicals or call a plumber, here's a handy do-it-yourself tool that can help you clear many of those stubborn clogs.
Things You'll Need
- Garden hose
- Expansion nozzle
- Rubber gloves
- Plumbers tape
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Unclogging a Drain
Try first-level solutions such as hot water, vinegar, baking soda or a plunger. If those methods fail to clear the clog, try an expansion nozzle, which is an inexpensive flexible attachment for a garden hose that builds water pressure and forces water through your drain pipes.
Remove any obstruction you can see (such as hair) by inserting a gloved hand down the drain. This clears the way for the expansion nozzle to work.
Attach a garden hose (make sure it has no leaks) to a faucet. Bring the other (male) end to the drain with the clog.
Wrap the threads of the hose with plumbers tape. Screw the expansion nozzle onto the hose.
Insert the nozzle into the drain as far as it will go. Turn on the water to the hose. The nozzle will expand to form a tight seal with the drain opening.
Continue running the water until the expansion force builds to a point where the nozzle releases, pushing water through the pipes and, with luck, dislodging the clog.
Run water down the drain to check whether the stoppage is gone. If not, repeat the process.