How Do You Successfully Fix A Drain That's Been Clogged With Cat Litter?

Construction & Contractors Blog

Cat litter is a menace to drains, even if the litter says it's flushable. While flushing cat litter down the drain can be a convenient way to dispose of it, it's never a good idea — clumping cat litter absorbs a great amount of water, expands and becomes very sticky. It will adhere to the sides of your plumbing pipes and create a clog that's very difficult to remove. However, it's still possible to break it up and dislodge it. Here's what you should know about clearing a drain clogged with cat litter.

Never Use Drain Cleaner to Clear a Cat Litter Clog

It's important to note that you should never use drain cleaner on a drain clogged with cat litter. In general, it's a bad idea to use drain cleaner to clear clogged drains because it can damage your pipes. When a drain is clogged with cat litter, it's an even worse idea — drain cleaner is typically made of a strong base that dissolves organic matter like hair and grease, which are common sources of clogged drains. It doesn't affect cat litter.

If you pour drain cleaner down your drain, you'll end up with a large amount of drain cleaner sitting right on top of your cat litter clog. This will make further removal efforts dangerous for both you and your plumber. If you did pour drain cleaner down your drain, call a plumber and make sure to tell him or her that you have done so. Drain cleaner is very caustic, and drain cleaner that splashes back from your drain can cause severe burns to your skin or eyes.

Try Using a Plunger to Break Up the Clog First

With that word of warning out of the way, the first step is to try using a plunger in order to break up the clog. The pressure a plunger creates on a drain can break up minor cat litter clogs.

While running some water down the drain (or continually flushing the toilet, if the clog is in your toilet), plunge the drain in order to dislodge small parts of the clog. It's important to continue running water down the drain so that small parts of the clog keep getting swept further down the pipe — if water isn't running, the dislodged cat litter won't move.

If the Plunger Fails, Carefully Use a Plumber's Snake to Break the Clog Apart

If a plunger doesn't work, you'll need to move on to a plumber's snake in order to break up your cat litter clog. You can rent a plumber's snake from any hardware store.

You'll need to use some finesse in order to break up a cat litter clog with a plumber's snake. You need to slowly scrape away the clog from beneath it instead of trying to force it further down the drain by pushing it from above. If you push it from above, you run the risk of breaking off a large clump of cat litter and pushing it into your main sewer line — this can turn your clogged drain into a much more serious sewer line clog.

Push the plumber's snake down the drain very gently until you encounter resistance, and then try to gently work it past the clog without turning the head of the plumber's snake around. Once you're past the clog, begin slowly scraping at it from underneath while running water down the drain. This process can take some time, but you'll eventually clear out all of the kitty litter by slowly scraping away at it and dislodging small pieces of it.

If you're afraid of making the problem worse by unclogging the drain yourself of if you're unsuccessful at clearing the clog, it's time to call a professional plumber, such as from West Sound Plumbing Service. A plumber can either snake the drain for you or hydro-jet in order to break up the cat litter clump, ensuring that water flows freely through your drain again. Remember not to flush cat litter down the drain in the future, even if it says it's flushable — you don't want this problem to occur again!

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