What to do in Case of Blocked Drains or a Plumbing Back-up (Pt. 2)


  • Hair – Not that the man of the house can’t have long and luxurious hair but most times it’s the lady or ladies of the house. Hair falls out and gets caught in the drain line.
  • Soap – Soap does not always break down and wash away. A small layer of soap film is left behind or pieces of soap break off and this causes a slow build-up, combine that with the aforementioned hair and you’ve got one messy back-up.


  • blocked drains or plumbing back-upPlunge – The same technique and plunger used on the kitchen sink can be used here. Do not use a flange plunger.
  • Remove Shower Drain – You can remove the shower drain. Most are just drains that push over a piece of pipe and are sealed using a rubber gasket. You can pop the drain out and attempt to gather and hair/soap/????? out of the drain. You can straighten a wire coat hanger and bend a small hook at the end. Insert the hanger and try twisting to catch any hair or debris.
  • Rodding – You can attempt to use any number of rodders like a tape rod or a hand held canister rod. If these are not successful a power rod may need to be used.
  • Chemical Drain Cleaner – please see above

**In all instances above a tool called the Kinetic Water Ram by General Drain Cleaners can be used. This product uses a blast of air against the lying water before the blockage to dislodge the debris in the line. If you decide that this tool is right for you please read the instruction manual carefully. You can shatter a porcelain toilet using excessive pressure.


  • Foreign Objects – If a toy, cell phone, etc., gets past the trap in a toilet quite a bit of the time it ends up laying in the waste line. This object is perfect for toilet paper, grease, hair, soap etc. to get caught. It acts like a dam or a snag, catching things as they go by.
  • Grease – Please see above
  • blocked drains or plumbing back-upPaper Towels – THESE ARE NOT MEANT TO BE FLUSHED DOWN A TOILET. They do not break down like toilet paper.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products – See directly above.
  • Tree Roots – If you live in a mature neighborhood it’s likely you have trees around your sewer line. Tree roots seek water and the roots penetrate the seams in the waste piping to get at it. Tree roots act like a huge net for all suspended solids.

** If a there is a belly or a back pitch in the waste piping you run the risk of waste sitting in the belly. As the waste passes by it catches and sits. The material will decay and turn to sludge (the black stuff you find in plumbing waste piping) and clog lines. Sludge can be tricky to remove.


  • Power Rod – Have a plumbing professional find a clean-out near the stoppage and rod. Not all plumbers put clean-outs where they should be when installing the plumbing so you may have to remove a toilet or another plumbing fixture to get at the stoppage. If you have no where to rod from, a clean-out may need to be cut in and installed to ensure a proper rod out and facilitate service if any future blockages occur.
  • Chemical Root Removal – Any sewer lines stopped up with tree roots need to be rodded first to punch a hole through and the root cutter used needs to be increased in size clearing out as much as possible. There are plenty of chemicals that kill tree roots however not all are created equal. Root X has a foaming formula that gets the roots that hang from the top of the sewer pipe killing the roots and keeping the lines clear for a significantly longer period of time than the competing root killers.

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