Obstructed plumbing drains
If the obstruction is in a fixture trap, usually the trap can be removed and cleared. If the obstruction is elsewhere in the pipe, other means must be used.
These professional cleanout augers are long, flexible, steel cables commonly called “snakes”. They may be run down drain pipes to break up obstructions or to hook onto and pull out objects. Augers, including electrically powered ones, are made in various lengths and diameters and are available at your local Littleton plumbing-supply or hardware stores.
Small obstructions can sometimes be forced down or drawn up by use of an ordinary rubber force cup (plunger or “plumber’s friend”).
Grease and soap clinging to a pipe can sometimes be removed by flushing with hot water for 10 minutes or so. The use of chemical cleaners is not recommended. They may not do anything for a solid blockage, and if they don’t work, you will have to plunge or use a snake, exposing yourself to the water with the caustic in it.
Sand, dirt, or lint sometimes clog floor drains. Remove the strainer and ladle out as much of the sediment as possible. You may have to carefully chip away the concrete around the strainer to free it. Flush the drain with clean water. If pressure is needed, use a garden hose. Wrap cloths around the hose where it enters the drain to prevent backflow of water. You may have to stand on this plug to keep it in place when the water is turned on.
Occasional flushing of floor drains may prevent clogging, says the plumber of Littleton technicians.
Garden hoses, augers, rubber force cups and other tools used in direct contact with sewage are subject to contamination. Do not later use them for work on your potable water supply system unless they have been properly sterilized.