Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Be Your Own Plumber

Yeah, I know it sounds weird. I’m not saying you should buy tools or carry around flanges in your vehicle. But you can save yourself some cash and frustration if you learn how to unclog a drain without professional help.

Our shower drain had been getting slower and slower. And suddenly, the other night, I found myself standing in water during my shower. Not good.

I’ve seen this little do-hickey and one with some sort of crank on TV, and sort of wondered if I could buy one in a store instead of ordering it for the low low price of $14.95 plus shipping and handling. But then I decided that surely, with my smarts and ingenuity, I could rig something myself.

So I did. And it worked.

Here’s how you can do it, too.

1. Take a regular clothes hanger and un-twist at the twisty part. (Those are the technical terms.)


2. Straighten the hanger, leaving the bend closer to the hook part at a 90 degree angle.


3. Take a pair of pliers and bend a small hook into the twisty part. Make sure it’s small enough to fit down through your drain cover (and back up through it). And if your drain guard comes off, go ahead and remove it.



4. Insert the small hook into the drain and push until you find the clog. You’ll feel it. Maybe even hear it. (Yuck!)


5. Push a little past the clog, then using the 90 degree bent part, twist the hanger to make sure it grabs the gunk.


6. Pull gently on the clog until it comes out. If your drains are like mine, you may have to hold the clog with the hanger while you pull it through the drain guard piece by piece (Even more yuck!).

7. Look at all the nastiness and wonder how all that stuff got washed down the drain. (I didn’t take a photo for you guys. I seriously considered it, but since I didn’t even want to be looking at that grossness, I decided to spare you.)

8. Wonder how long it will be before you’ll have to do this again.

9. Wish you had asked your husband to do this project. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. You can ask ahead of time.

Good luck with clearing those drains! To see more Works-For-Me-Wednesday, head on over to We Are THAT Family.

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  1. Great tip. YUCK but worth it.

  2. Like the tip..have had to something similar and it was GROSS. I swear I shed enough hair to make wigs on a regular basis!

  3. Curly9:47 AM

    If you have very old pipes in your house, I would suggest buying the thing at the store, or ordering it online. The things you buy tend to be more flexible than a hanger.

    I say this because I once poked a hole in the pipe under my sink with a clothes hanger... it was a very old pipe, but I ended up going to Lowes twice that day because I bought a new peice, but my sink was so old that it didn't fit and I had to go back and buy a whole new drain assembly!

    But for relatively new pipes a hanger is great!