unclog a drain pipe

How Do You Unclog a Old Drain Pipe

You can effortlessly unclog a drain with old pipes without calling a PRO if you use the right tools and technique.

The truth is, clogging is a common problem of all plumbing systems, and you just can’t avoid it. So, it would be best if you know the techniques of unclogging a drain. This way, you can save your valuable time and money both.

This guide will teach you “how do you unclog a drain with oil pipes.” We will discuss several proven methods.

So, are you excited to start your DIY project? Let’s start.

What Tools Do I need to Unclog a Drain with Old Pipes?

1. A plunger is the first tool that comes to mind when the task is to unclog a drain. It is also known as plumber’s friend that can clear clogs from the tightest corners, sinks, tubs, or toilets.

2. Use a cable or plumber’s snake or drain snake- a long and flexible steel wire, and a hand crank. It is a useful tool to unclog drain with old pipes. This tool is available up to 100’, but to dislodge a household clog, 25’ is enough.

3. A closet auger is another tool that is designed especially for snaking out toilets. It also consists of a hand crank, and the wire is attached to a rigid shaft instead of a spool. The head of a closet auger is bent that allows you to go within the toilet pipe’s tight curves.

4. For too big or too tight clog, use an electric power auger. It is a large cable auger that runs with the help of an electric motor. This machine can cut through within any clog, even tree roots too.

How to Dislodge a Clogged Sink with Old Pipes?

Removing Drain Pipe and Trap

Using a plunger, you can quickly clear a clogged sink.

1. Fill the sink halfway with water and start plunging.
2. Work the plunger up and down several times before quickly pulling towards the drain opening. If the kitchen sink is a double-bowl, take a wet rag, stuff it into the opening of one drain while you plunge the other drain opening. On the other hand, if you face a problem in your bath sink, stuff the wet rag into the overflow hole. The pressure will be delivered straight to the clog due to the wet rag, in both cases.
3. If you are not getting a satisfying result with the plunger, take the cable auger.
4. Grab a pipe wrench and remove the trap of the sink. You also can use your hand to unscrew the large and threaded PVC plastic traps couplings.
5. Use a bucket to collect the water from the trap and ensure you don’t have a clogged trap.

Cutting Through the Clog

1. A horizontal trap needs to be removed that extends from the stub out in the wall.

2. Continuous feeding of the cable has required the stub out until you experience resistance.
3. Pull the 18” cable, and next, you will need to fasten the lock screw.

4. The handle needs to be cranked following the clockwise direction and, at the same time, the pipe needs to be moved further forward.

5. Continue pulling the 18” cable and follow the same process until you finish breaking any clog.

6. Pull the cable back if you feel the cable catches something. To do so, turn the crank anti-clockwise.

7. Once you clear the pipe thoroughly, make sure to take out the auger.

8. Now reposition the trap arm and trap. Now you have to check if the water is draining correctly or not. For this, open the hot water faucet if water drains improperly, no need to worry. Gunk from the busted-up clog often slows down into a wobbly logjam.

9. Now fill the sink with hot water partially and use the plunger again.

10. Continue the process until you get an easy draining of the water.

How to Snake a Tub Drain with Old Pipes?

Block Overflow Plate

Sudden shut down is a rare case of a bathtub. In fact, within a day or few hours, clog doesn’t build up in an old pipe. It is a slow process and takes several weeks to form.

To dislodge the clog of a sink, use a plunger first.

1. First, open the tub drain screen and use a bent wire to take out hair or soap gunk.

2. If the tub has a pop-up drain, lift the lever to an open position. Then pull the stopper from the drain hole by grabbing it.

3. Clean it thoroughly and ensure no hair or soap gunk is there.

4. If it doesn’t work, take a wet rag. The overflow plate has a hole in its bottom. Use the wet rag to cover the hole. Then start using the plunger.

5. Use a cable auger if the problem still exists.

Extra Clog Up Through Overflow Plate

1. At the end of every tub, there is an overflowing plate. You have to remove it at this step. Remember that the stopper linkage will also come out with the overflow plate.

2. Insert at least 30” of the wire into the overflow plate.

3. Turn the hand crank clockwise and push forward. Shortly, you will find the blockage, but don’t stop turning the hand crank. Continue turning the hand crank until you reach the P-trap that is placed below the tub.

4. Now take out the cable and run hot water through the drain.

5. Last, reposition every part of the drain that has been disassembled during the process.

What are the Natural Ways to Unclog a Drain with Old Pipes?

As stated earlier, we will discuss a couple of natural methods of unclogging a drain with old pipes. Poisonous-free chemicals are used in these methods and they are really useful.

Method 01: Mixture of Vinegar and Baking Soda

This method is very effective in cleaning any clog. Make a mixture of vinegar (1/3 cup) and baking soda (1/3 cup). Once it starts fizzing, pour the mixture into the opening of the drain. Due to the fizzing characteristics, gunk and hair will get removed. After pouring the mixture, give it a rest for at least half an hour. Finally, use hot water to flush the drain.

Method 02: Mixture of Salt and Baking Soda

This combination is also similarly effective in removing any clog.

Mix ½ cup of salt and baking soda and then pour it into the drain.

Give it a rest for the next 15 minutes and then pour boiling water into the drain. Salt, baking soda, and boiling water will create a destructive chemical reaction that will unclog even the drain’s toughest gunk.

If you want to clean the drain using chemicals, your job will be much easier. You can use a drain cleaner for the old pipe.


The reality is, a clogged drain is a part of life. With the above methods, unclogging any drain is quite stress-free. Even you can clean the toughest drain clog with the help of the techniques mentioned above.

What technique do you follow to unclog a drain with old pipes? Feel free to comment in the below comment box. Your comments are highly appreciated.