How to Clear a Blocked Sewer Drain


Your home's plumbing system would be incomplete without a sewer drain, which carries wastewater away from your property. When this drain becomes blocked, it can lead to a messy and inconvenient situation. Below is a guide on how to clear a blocked sewer drain so you can lower the cost of services.

Top-down view of a woman using a plunger on a kitchen sink or blocked drain

What is a Sewer Drain?

A sewer drain is a network of pipes that carries wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system or a septic tank. Maintaining these pipes to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage is crucial.

What You Need

To clear a blocked sewer drain, you will need the following tools and products:


A plunger is a simple, handheld tool for creating suction and dislodging blockages in drains. It normally has a long handle connected to a rubber or plastic cup.

Why It's Important: A plunger is crucial because it can clear minor blockages without harsh chemicals or expensive equipment.

How to Use: Remove any visible blockages from the drain. To ensure a tight seal, place the plunger over the drain. Press down on the plunger handle to stimulate suction. Lift the plunger slowly to dislodge the blockage. Repeat the process until you clear the blockage.

Drain Snake

A drain snake is a flexible and long rod typically made of metal or plastic used to remove and break up blockages in drains.

Why It's Important: A drain snake is vital because it can penetrate the drain to break up and remove blockages that are difficult to access.

How to Use: Slowly and carefully feed the snake into the drain. As you insert the snake further into the drain, turn it to unclog it. After breaking up the blockage, pull the snake back out slowly to remove the debris. Repeat the process until you clear the blockage.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Two all-natural cleaning products—baking soda and vinegar—can help unclog drains. Vinegar is made from acetic acid, while baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. 

Why It's Important: Baking soda and vinegar are essential because they dissolve blockages without harsh chemicals.

How to Use: Pour a cup of vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let the mixture sit for several hours or overnight. Then, run warm water down the drain to clean it and clear the blockage.

Drain Cleaner

A drain cleaner is a chemical-based product that dissolves and breaks up drains' blockages. It typically contains solid acids or alkalis.

Why It's Important: A drain cleaner is crucial because it can quickly and effectively dissolve and break up blockages.

How to Use: Carefully follow the instructions indicated on the product label. Dispense the prescribed quantity of drain cleaner into this drain type. Let the cleaner sit for the amount of time written on the instructions. Fill the drain with hot water to rinse and clear the blockage. 

Steps to How to Clear a Blocked Sewer Drain

1. Determine the location of the blockage to choose the appropriate tool or product.

2. Use the chosen tool or product to clear the blockage.

3. Run hot water through the drain to clear the blockage.

4. Regularly clean and maintain your drains to prevent future blockages.

Considerations When Clearing a Blocked Sewer Drain

1. Safety Precautions. Whenever you are handling chemicals or sharp objects, make sure to wear protective gear.

2. Product Selection. Select items that are protective of your pipes and the environment.

3. Professional Assistance. If the blockage persists, consider hiring a professional plumber for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clearing a Blocked Sewer Drain

What do plumbers recommend for clogged drains? 

Plumbers often recommend using a drain snake or drain cleaner to clear blockages.

What acid do plumbers use to unclog drains? 

Plumbers typically use sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid to dissolve blockages.

How do you clear a main sewer line clog? 

Eliminating a blockage in the main sewer line can be challenging and might call for professional help.

How to unblock a main sewer drain? 

Unblocking a main sewer drain requires professional assistance due to the complexity of the task.

Are baking soda and vinegar drain cleaners safe to leave in the drain all night? 

Yes, this combination will usually dissolve the obstruction if left in the drain overnight.

How to Clear a Blocked Sewer Drain When Nothing Works?

If you have tried all the methods above and still have a blocked sewer drain, it may be time to seek professional assistance. All Needs Plumbing offers a $0 callout fee, 24/7 same-day service, a 15% seniors discount, and $150 off hot water systems. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and let our experienced plumbers help you clear your blocked sewer drain.

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