Holy Cow! I Unclogged My Own P-Trap!

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remember that post where I said I wasn't interested in learning any plumbing skills?

Well, apparently what I meant to say was that I wasn't interested in learning any plumbing skills unless I was seriously annoyed at my drain and my husband wasn't home to fix it.

Since we're in an apartment, the easy thing to do would have been to call the landlord. Afterall, that's the main advantage of living in an apartment, right? You don't have to fix your own problems...But they wouldn't have gotten to it until who knows when, and that just wasn't going to work for the bathroom sink used by my three boys since nothing was going down.

Concerned that one of the boys would leave the water running too long and I'd end up with a flood in the bathroom, I decided to tackle the problem.

STEP ONE: Find the plunger.

Hmmm, I think we left it in Maryland.

STEP TWO: Try unclogging the drain without harsh chemicals.

I went with the old vinegar and baking soda trick. I got a pretty nifty volcano, but the sink still wasn't draining.

STEP THREE: Unclog by hand.

By this time I was ready for extreme measures, so I went to the Internet. In detailed instruction, here is how to unclog your bathroom sink by hand.

In less detailed instruction, here is how I did it. And I'm pretty sure I didn't mess anything up.

  1. Remove everything from under your sink and change into scrubby clothes. This is a dirty job.
  2. Grab a bucket and some rags. Put the bucket under the pipes under the sink.
  3. Turn off the water using the water shut-off valves.
  4. Unscrew the pieces of the P-trap, the curved part of the drain. The pieces are surprisingly easy to unscrew by hand. Lay each piece on a rag to the side.
  5. The instructions I read said you should stuff a rag into the pipe that disappears into the wall to avoid inhaling any methane. This seemed like a smart idea, so I made sure I did that.
  6. Once all the pieces of the P-trap are removed, you should be able to identify where your clog is.
  7. Using a long screwdriver, force a paper towel through the pieces of pipe to remove any clogs and other nasties.
  8. Reassemble the P-trap, making sure you screw everything together snugly.
  9. Test your work by turning on the pipes.
And voila! Thirty minutes of easy work, no harsh chemicals (or if you skip the baking soda/vinegar step, no chemicals at all), and you have a workable sink again.

Now I've got to figure out how to make sure it doesn't get clogged again. Any suggestions?


Frank Ladd,  April 2, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

Congratulations on fixing your own drain!

As far as your comment"Now I've got to figure out how to make sure it doesn't get clogged again. Any suggestions? " I had three boys and My experience is the only prevention is to have them unplug it themselves. Until they are old enough to do this and learn what a pain it is your only other options are to sell the children or eat them. They just have to stuff all sorts of things down the drain until they get older. I hope for your sake they only put the inexpensive jewelery down the drains. :)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 2, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

Frank - Awesome comment! Made me laugh, and I love the suggestion of making them unclog it themselves when they're older.

Anonymous,  July 2, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

Glad you found the HowTo Helpful ... Nasty job isn't it heh .. But you got to do it.

As for keeping it clean I find that in the winter when i run hot water through it vs in the summer when i use mostly cold water the trap will stay cleaner longer.. maybe using hot water more often can help but I tell you ... I don't think there is a way to keep it clean >:o)

YouRepair July 2, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

Nice to see you got your sink working again... Nasty work isn't it ... makes you wonder where it comes from.. heheh

As for keeping it clean .. I find in the winter when i use mostly hot water the trap will stay clean longer then in the summer when its too hot to use hot water ... maybe using hot water sometimes could help. Chemicals don't seem to do the trick.

Another method is the pump type plungers that have a handle like a bicycle pump. They work sometimes and you don't need to take everything apart unless its real bad.
Best wishes

cheap viagra April 8, 2011 at 11:42 AM  

it's a huge problem! I think the sink is one of the hardest problems at home! today, there are to many ways to fix it but we don't know each solution. We need more websites like this one to solve our problems. Thanks for sharing all this with us. 2j3j

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails


© 2008-2010 The Conscious Shopper

You're welcome to link to any posts at The Conscious Shopper, but please do not use images or content from this site without my permission. Contact me at consciousshopperblog@gmail.com.


I do not accept money for writing reviews, but I do accept products for review and to giveaway. When posting a review, I fully disclose any free samples received from the company. I include information provided by the company in my reviews, but all opinions about the product are my own and I will not provide a good review for any product or company just because they sent me some free samples.


The ideas on this blog are my opinion and are provided for informational purposes and entertainment only. I am not a financial advisor or medical professional. Please do not misconstrue the information on this blog as advice.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP