How Do You Unclog a Drain With a Septic System?


Clogged drains are a common problem, but they can often be resolved without calling in a professional. What’s more, you don’t need to use toxic chemicals to clear out your clog. With a little patience and some tried and true methods, you can often unclog your drain by yourself, in a reasonably short amount of time. 

If you are a homeowner with a septic tank, there may be other considerations you need to look at when removing blockages in your septic system, so that back up doesn’t negatively affect your septic tank, or cause issues with septic tank pumping or solid wastes in the septic tank.

  • First, try to physically remove what’s causing the problem. One common cause of clogs is hair collected around a pop-up stopper or strainer. You may be able to perform drain cleaning and remove the hair and clear the drain clog, or you might be able to use a drain stick to clear clogs in the drain pipe caused by a hair in a P-trap or an S-trap. Cleaning a sink trap can remove clogs caused by buildup or a foreign object, a plunger can clear clogs that aren’t too far into the pipes, and a plumbing snake can clear deep blockages.
  • A chemical drain cleaner can break up stubborn clogs. Choose a product suitable for your system and the type of pipes you have. For instance, if you have a septic system, make sure the drain cleaner is septic-safe. Never mix drain cleaners, and don’t use any drain opening tools after you’ve used a drain cleaner. Because the chemicals in drain cleaners are harsh chemicals and can have chemical reactions, be careful not to let it come into contact with finished fixtures like faucets, stoppers, or drain trim.
  • A less toxic alternative is a natural drain cleaner. Aside from being gentler on your pipes and features, natural drain cleaners are less likely to negatively impact the environment than chemical drain cleaners, utilizing specific enzymes, or other septic safe drain cleaners.
  • DIY Drain Cleaner: Put ½ cup baking soda into your drain, making sure it all goes down. Pour in ½ cup white vinegar into the drain, covering it immediately with a stopper or rag so that the bubbles stay in the drain. Wait 2 minutes and pour another ½ cup of vinegar into the drain, again stopping it with a rag or stopper. Wait 15-30 minutes, then pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain. You may have to repeat the process for a stubborn clog.
  • Dish Soap and Hot Water: This is especially good if the clog is caused by grease. Just squirt a good amount of soap down the drain, following it with a pot full of boiling water.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda, and pour it down the drain. Let it foam and the chemical reaction takes place, and it should break up the clog and clear the sink drain/shower drains, kitchen drains and more.
  • Prevention is the best cure. Never pour coffee grounds, grease, or anything else that can solidify or clump into a sink or drain line. If you use a garbage disposal, run plenty of cold water to flush down food particles. Frequently clean pop-up stoppers and strainers, and consider using a treatment designed to reduce buildup and corrosion in pipes. This will help prevent slow drains and gurgling, and the need for a plumber’s snake/auger.

When You Need a Professional Plumber’s Help

If you can’t seem to clear the clog, whether in your kitchen sink, main line, wastewater line or anywhere in your plumbing system, it may be time to call in the professionals at A-1 Sewer and Septic Service. Having served the residents of the Kansas City Metro Area since 1968, we’ve earned a reputation for efficient service at affordable, up-front prices. We’re available on your schedule, and we offer same-day and weekend service. Give us a call at 913-631-5201, or reach us through the Contact Us page on our website.

Listen To Our Satisfied Customers

“I have used A-1 on several occasions and the service has always been speedy and of high quality. I always appreciate the coupons you have online”

Terry Baldridge

“Tim was very knowledgeable! I would definitely have him back out. Thanks!”

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“Chuck arrived within 30 minutes on a Sunday and was extremely professional and curtious. I’ve been using A-1 annually for 10 years now to clean roots out of my main and the price is always fair and the staff always top notch. Just wanted to say thanks again to Chuck.”

Kris S.

“Hired them to clean out tree roots from main line. Were on time and did a great job. Have used them before and never been disappointed.”

LeVera Howard

“A-1 was excellent! I recommend them to all. Chuck was so great to work with and gave us really great advice to keep our pipes clean. Thank you!”

Shereen McClellan North

“A-1 is the best for sewer & septic issues! They’re responsive, quick and so helpful! We had a main line issue and that night our kitchen sink backed up. They had the same service tech out the next morning. Very professional and reliable. We’ve never had anything but amazing service from A-1!”

Jenny Miskell McLellan