How Do You Unclog A Main Drain In A House?

Your drains are clogged, and you cannot get the water flowing no matter how much drain cleaner you pour down them. Here’s the thing. The clog may be in the main drain, i.e., the sewer or septic line depending on your system, and this tricky to unclog. You can do it, and we’ll explain how below, but if this DIY project intimidates you, Five Star Plumbing will be happy to come to your home and handle the clog for you.

Stop Everything

First things first. If you suspect the clog is in your main drain, don’t use your plumbing at all. Don’t run the sinks, showers, tubs, or flush the toilets. Turn off your water at the main, too. You shouldn’t have any water coming in or going out of your house until you’ve unclogged the line.

Remove the Plug

Next, locate your drain pipe plug. It’s usually found in the basement, crawl space under your home, garage, or outside close to your home’s foundation. Using an adjustable wrench, remove the plug carefully. Water and gunk will come out of the pipe once the plug is loosened so prepare for that. If your drain pipe is vertical, you’re in luck. Just grab a bucket!

Grab a Pipe Snake

Also called an auger, gently push the pipe snake into the drain pipe until you feel the obstruction. Once the clog material stops it, gently turn the auger handle clockwise to force the tip into the material. If it feels really tight in there, you can also jiggle the cable and push and pull it slightly in an effort to latch onto the clog even better. Don’t use excessive force. Be gentle.

Release the Clog

If you break it up enough, the clog may work its way down the pipe to the sewer or septic tank. It’s better, however, to try to remove the clog by slowly pulling the auger out of the pipe once you’ve secured the material. Once you think the auger tip has a good grasp on the debris, pull it out of the pipe and see what’s on the end. If nothing is there, auger the pipe again.

Repeat and Rinse

Keep doing the above until you cannot feel a clog. Then, re-plug the pipe, turn the water main back on, and test to see if your house drains. If so, congratulations! You’ve just unclogged your main drain. If not, please call Five Star Plumbing at 361-400-0224 or 210-446-4570 if you live in Corpus Christi, TX, or San Antonio, TX, respectively.

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