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#4700946 - 03/20/18 05:04 PM Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-)
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 335
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
My great tenant reported a slow draining bathroom drain. I have read about using a shop vac to unclog drains by using the sudden "reverse flow" to pull all the crud out of the drain. I have a powerful shop vac with Goretex filter (impervious to water) and tried it. Worked perfect! I had the drain flowing perfectly in less than 30 seconds time, no disassembling pipes, no chemicals, no drain snakes. The vac pulled about a pint of disgusting, soupy black crud out of the drain in seconds.

There are a lot of Youtube videos on how to do this.

My secret weapon for slow flowing shower drains is the Zip It tool. Looks like barbed wire only it is made of plastic. Slip the barbed part into a clogged shower drain and you will pull out a huge clump of hair. Cost about 4 dollars at most big box stores.

The shop vac trick worked so well I wanted to share it.

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#4700947 - 03/20/18 05:06 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19314
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Gotta try that. Thanks thumbsup
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#4700949 - 03/20/18 05:09 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
old1 Offline


Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 1006
Loc: Columbus Nebraska
Neat idea, but when I had rentals I never cleaned drains. It was in the lease that drain cleaning was the tenants responsibility. Otherwise they would put anything and everything down the drain, because they didn't care if it plugged up.
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#4700957 - 03/20/18 05:17 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 841
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Thanks, great tip. Cleaned out a bathroom sink drain the old fashioned way a few days ago.

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#4700964 - 03/20/18 05:22 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 836
Loc: US
Nice!

I've used the zip-it...works well for hair clogs.
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#4700965 - 03/20/18 05:22 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
28oz Offline


Registered: 04/20/17
Posts: 386
Loc: Utah, USA
Great idea, but when I first read the title, I was thinking toilet (probably because my kids clog theirs on a daily basis). I was thinking why on earth you'd want to suck out a toilet clog!! crzy
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-----------------
1990 Nissan 300zx - Castrol Edge Euro 0W-40
2004 Nissan Quest - Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40
2003 Ford Excursion 7.3 PSD - Mobil 1 TDT 5w-40

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#4700969 - 03/20/18 05:26 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: 28oz]
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 335
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
The shop vac is useful when removing a toilet. You can pull all the water out of the bowl and trap in seconds, which makes the job of setting the toilet aside less messy. Handy for replacing the toilet or changing the wax ring.

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#4700974 - 03/20/18 05:32 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12396
Loc: The Motor City
Another trick to try is to bring in the garden hose. With the nozzle I blast away at the drains. This cures slow drains for me.

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#4700987 - 03/20/18 05:41 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
oilpsi2high Offline


Registered: 12/18/14
Posts: 1385
Loc: NY, USA, etc.
I'm going to have to try this. I've been using a plunger but it keeps re-clogging. Tons of hair/[censored] down there.

Good tip.

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#4701044 - 03/20/18 06:55 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3062
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: Oldtom
My great tenant reported a slow draining bathroom drain. I have read about using a shop vac to unclog drains by using the sudden "reverse flow" to pull all the crud out of the drain. I have a powerful shop vac with Goretex filter (impervious to water) and tried it. Worked perfect! I had the drain flowing perfectly in less than 30 seconds time, no disassembling pipes, no chemicals, no drain snakes. The vac pulled about a pint of disgusting, soupy black crud out of the drain in seconds.


Originally Posted By: Oldtom

My secret weapon for slow flowing shower drains is the Zip It tool. Looks like barbed wire only it is made of plastic. Slip the barbed part into a clogged shower drain and you will pull out a huge clump of hair. Cost about 4 dollars at most big box stores.


I've seen these for less than $2 some stores.
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#4701072 - 03/20/18 07:16 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
Rick in PA Offline


Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 3203
Loc: Southeastern, PA
I've done the shop vac trick on our tub on many occasions. A couple of things: I'll remove the filter from the shop vac, so I don't ruin it (it does have a floating ball inside to cut off the suction when it's full). I'll run hot water into the tub until the drain backs up to get a solid pull. I'll hold a wet wash cloth over the overflow (it's hidden under the drain lever), again to increase the pull.

A couple of years ago I got a drain strainer, stainless steel with stainless steel screen, to catch the hair. While I do have to clean it out ~daily (easy clean - use a Q-tip), I very rarely have to use the shop vac trick anymore, maybe once a year.
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#4701119 - 03/20/18 07:58 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
gman2304 Offline


Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 3087
Loc: n.c.
Ive also used my Ridgid vacuum to suction out my A/C condensate drain. Saved me some big bucks by not having to call the HVAC guy in.

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#4701193 - 03/20/18 08:51 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: 28oz]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 3307
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: 28oz
Great idea, but when I first read the title, I was thinking toilet (probably because my kids clog theirs on a daily basis). I was thinking why on earth you'd want to suck out a toilet clog!! crzy

American Standard Champion 4 for serious "business".
if medium duty, Champion 3

Elongated and the new higher height, of course.....
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#4701215 - 03/20/18 09:07 PM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10655
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I've used a shop vac a few times to clear a plumbing clog. I just recently freed up a long stretch of PVC drain line from our kitchen sink to the main waste stack. It's about two 20ft sections of almost level pipe before it spills into the main stack. Luckily there's 2 clean outs along the way. Oh lawd was the stink that was blowing out of the shop vac horrendous! Kitchen sink drains fast and furious now.

I recommend taking the filter right out of the shop vac. Drain crud is nasty. Your right on shower and bathroom drains. Shop vac pulls the gunk right out.
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#4701708 - 03/21/18 10:08 AM Re: Unclog a drain with a shop vac :-) [Re: Oldtom]
28oz Offline


Registered: 04/20/17
Posts: 386
Loc: Utah, USA
Originally Posted By: Oldtom
The shop vac is useful when removing a toilet. You can pull all the water out of the bowl and trap in seconds, which makes the job of setting the toilet aside less messy. Handy for replacing the toilet or changing the wax ring.


Yes, I can see that. But that's different than sucking a clog out. grin
_________________________
-----------------
1990 Nissan 300zx - Castrol Edge Euro 0W-40
2004 Nissan Quest - Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40
2003 Ford Excursion 7.3 PSD - Mobil 1 TDT 5w-40

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