How to Unclog a Main Drain


There are two main pipes in our home. One brings water to the house (the main water line) and the other takes the water away (the main drain). Drain pipes usually have a tendency of getting clogged with debris either from food, from stray hairs, from tree roots or anything else that leaves a water facility in our home. Sometimes these blockages manifest themselves in water refusing to drain from your sink or water backing up through any of the other facilities like your shower or sink. Other times the water drains for a bit but doesn’t after a while. To fix this, you will need a drain snake.

The Process

A snake is a device that allows you to free up your drains without having to physically take everything apart to do so. It travels down the pipe to the blockage, hooks onto it and allows you to pull it out. You can do this for smaller blockages (like a blocked kitchen sink) with a wire hanger. An alternative would be to call a plumber to have it done if you are not sure of getting it yourself or if you do not have the time. This is decidedly more expensive than renting a drain snake for yourself, but the job will be handled.

If snaking does not work you might have to have to go to jet cleaning. This is a process of forcing water through the drain to force out the clog

If you have tree roots in your drain the drain may have to be replaced or lined with a material that will prevent the roots from cracking the pipe in the future

If the location and reason of the clog is not know a plumber can put a drain camera into the pipe to locate the problem more quickly.


A clogged drain is a big nuisance. Because the clog can be cause from different problem you may want to save some time and frustration by having a plumber come and find out the cause before you invest time and money.