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How To Get An Item Out Of A Sewer Drain

Follow our step-by-step instructions to clear even severe clogs and retrieve lost items from drains. We explain how to use plungers, augers, high-pressure water jets, and when to call a plumber.

Drain Cctv

Dealing with a clogged or blocked sewer drain is a common and frustrating household problem. This is made even worse, when money, a watch, jewellery or toys fall into the drain with a dose of bad luck. Trying to unclog the blockage yourself can seem daunting when something gets stuck deep in the pipes. However, with the right tools and techniques, many drain obstructions can be cleared without calling a professional plumber.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through proven methods to unblock sewer drains and retrieve stuck objects. We’ll cover techniques using plungers, drain snakes, water jets, and more. With a simple setup and some caution, these DIY solutions can save you the hassle and expense of a service call. We’ll also discuss when it’s safest to let a skilled plumber handle stubborn clogs.

Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you can clear the toughest sewer blockages. We’ll explain how to pinpoint the location of the clog, select the proper equipment, and use it correctly for the best results. You can unclog drains, remove blockages, and retrieve lost items efficiently with a few inexpensive supplies and tools. By understanding the most effective methods, you can take control when your sewer line gets stopped.

Pinpoint the Exact Location of the Blockage

The first step in unclogging a drain is identifying the clog’s location. This will determine what tools and techniques to use. Start by placing a bucket underneath the blocked sink, tub, shower, or floor drain. Then, check for flow by methodically tracing the piping from each fixture.

For sink drains, unscrew the two slip nuts under the sink to remove the curved p-trap section of the pipe. Check inside for stuck debris. Try pouring water into the sink to see if it passes freely down the now-exposed drain opening. If water flows out the p-trap properly when detached, the clog is likely further downstream.

Sewer Drain Guard

Remove the drain guard cover in showers and tubs, and try filling the basin with water. See if it drains normally or backs up. This will tell you if the blockage is in the tub drain assembly or underneath the sewer line. With floor drains, pour a full bucket of water directly into the drain opening and see if it drains at normal speed. Slow drainage points to a partial clog in the sewer lateral pipe below.

For toilets, check the shutoff valve behind the bowl to make sure the water is turned on fully. If flushing is weak, there may be a blockage in the trapway inside the toilet fixture. If an item was accidentally dropped down a drain, that’s often the culprit. Pinpoint which sink, tub, or floor drain the lost object - like a ring or toy - disappeared into. That’s where to focus your clearing efforts.

By methodically checking each fixture and drain in the home, you can zero in on the exact location of the clog. Then, you’ll know which techniques and tools to use to clear it. Planning to troubleshoot carefully is the key first step to DIY drain cleaning success.

Attempt Drain Clearing with Plungers

Before pulling out the heavy artillery, try clearing drains with a simple plunger first. Plungers use suction to dislodge and break up clogs and can effectively clear sink, tub and shower drains. Plungers are inexpensive and available at any hardware store.

Remove the p-trap under the sink for sink drain blocks to check for debris inside. Make sure the sink shutoff valve is fully open. Seal the plunger over the drain opening, then plunge vigorously 15-20 times. When you pull up on the plunger, the suction can draw out the obstruction. Place a wet rag over the overflow plate in a tub or shower to form a seal. Then, follow the same plunger-pumping method. The suction can pull hair, soap scum and other debris loose from drain pipes. You can use a strong magnet to attract your item when the blockage is clear.

Always turn on exhaust fans or open windows when plunging, as dirty water may splash out. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Also, have a bucket ready to catch any flushed-out mess. After attempting to clear the drain, thoroughly flush with hot water. If plunging succeeds, the water should now drain freely. If not, a more stubborn blockage exists, requiring snaking.

Putting Rubber Gloves

Trying a plumber’s helper is an optional extra step - a small rubber cup on a flexible pole. Drop it into the drain opening and screw it into the clog, then pull out the obstruction. Plungers work best for soft clogs like hair and grease buildup. For stubborn blockages, a closet auger or professional service may be needed. But simple plunging should be your first go-to for

clearing shower and sink drains.

Use a Closet Auger for Deep Blockages

A clog is likely lodged deep in the pipes if plunging fails to open the drain. For obstructions further down the line, a closet auger is an effective DIY drain-clearing tool. Augers are steel coil rods with corkscrew tips that can snake through pipes to hook and extract blockages.

Hardware stores sell sink augers and toilet augers for home use. Make sure to select the correct size auger for the fixture. Closet augers are larger in diameter for toilets. Sink augers are skinnier for cramped sink drain openings.

To clear a sink drain, disconnect the p-trap again to check for any debris inside. Ensure the sink’s shutoff valve is fully open before inserting the auger. Carefully feed the rotating auger down the drain opening until resistance is felt about 2 feet down. Crank the handle clockwise while applying moderate downward pressure to pierce the clog. Slowly extract the auger - if the tip catches the obstruction, it will break up and dislodge it when pulling the snake out.

For toilets, closet augers should be fed down the bowl drain to reach deeper into the toilet trapway and drain lateral. Be careful not to scratch the porcelain with the auger’s metal tip.

An auger can grab items like jewellery or toys, so have a bucket ready in case anything is retrieved. Wear gloves for safety when handling a dirty auger. Augers can effectively clear stubborn material like hair, grease and paper that defeats standard plunging.

Trap Items

Consider a Powerful Water Jet for Serious Clogs

A high-powered water jet may be required for the most stubborn drain obstructions that resist augers. These systems connect to a garden hose and generate up to 1500 psi of water pressure. This extreme force can blast through and disintegrate nearly any clog.

Water jets are available for rent at most hardware stores. They attach to sinks, tubs and floor drains. Use caution when operating a jet, as ultra-high pressure can damage pipes if improperly used. Never point it directly at the skin. Start by removing the trap and checking for any debris the jet may flush out, like a lost ring or earring. Seal off nearby drains with a stopper or rag to focus the jet down one pipe. Insert the jet nozzle 2-3 feet into the drain opening. Turn on the water and let the jet penetrate and pulverise the mass.

Water Jetter Hose

Run hot water to help flush remnants down the open pipe when finished. A water jet should eliminate any remaining material that has stopped up the drain. However, the extreme pressure can destroy older or brittle piping if not operated carefully. For accessible drains, a jet offers a powerful solution for even the toughest obstructions. But for deep sewer clogs beyond the trap, professional equipment may be the safest approach. A reputable plumber can scope pipes with a sewer camera to locate any collapsed sections or problems a jet could worsen. Their high-volume water pumps can clear sewer lines with less risk of damage.

Call a Professional Plumber When Needed

While many drain clogs can be cleared with simple DIY methods, severe obstructions often require a professional plumber. If you have thoroughly tried plunging, snaking, and jetting without success, the blockage may be deep in your main sewer line. Issues like tree root invasions, collapsed piping, or years of buildup will need specialised equipment to diagnose and correct.

A plumber can scope your drains with a sewer camera to pinpoint repair or replacement problems. They have professional-strength chemical cleaners and hydro-jetting equipment that can clear years of accumulated grease, soap residue and waste material. This is more effective and safer than amateur chemical drain cleaners.

For retrieving an item dropped, such as a wedding ring or a lost item, a plumber can properly dismantle piping to locate and recover your special items. Their expertise lets them disassemble traps and drains without causing damage.

Avoid worsening the situation if you have persisting backups despite trying every DIY method. Call the expert drain cleaning professionals at Fixed Today Plumbing for quality service you can trust. Their state-of-the-art tools and plumbing experience can solve the most stubborn clogs and restore free-flowing drains permanently. Contact them for more details today!

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