I have a horizontal drain pipe running from my kitchen/laundry area, which I had been unclogging with a metal coat hanger.

The end was screw fittings I could remove myself, but the part that the hanger is stuck in seems to be cemented together.

I can pull it out so far, but the hook I fashioned on the end seems to be sticking on one of the joins.

Any suggestions on how I could remove it without taking the pipe off or calling a plumber?

  • How far down inside the pipe is it catching? You can get pliers with extremely long noses that might give you enough leverage near the hook to wiggle it free. – Niall C. Oct 13 '12 at 15:02
  • About a foot - made complicated by the fact there's about 6" between the end of the pipe and the wall, and I can barely see into it! – crb Oct 13 '12 at 15:20
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    For future reference, they make a tool for unclogging drains. It's called a plumber's snake (or auger). Coat hangers are not recommended clog removal devices. – Tester101 Oct 15 '12 at 13:20

If you just pull on the hanger, it should bend before it breaks or damages the pipe. If that doesn't end up being the case, then you'll need to call a plumber but it seems likely you'll have to do that anyway.

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  • A good pair of pliers and a bit of elbow grease eventually solved my problem, but not without an equal bit of worry. – crb Oct 14 '12 at 10:46

You could try twisting the free end of the wire around a six inch piece of broom stick or large dowel. Use this as a handle to pull fairly hard on the wire while simultaneously twisting the wire down in the pipe. This should help to bend the hook on the end to the side so that it will pull free from the pipe joint that it is stuck onto.

If you twist too much with this scheme you risk breaking the wire off in the pipe and then you'll be faced with the same problem of either cutting the pipe to open up another section or calling in a plumber to do that for you.

They do make pipe splicer devices that would allow you to re-join the cut pipe on a DIY basis if you want to avoid the work to get new pipe, fittings and glue to replace the cut off section. They look like the picture to the left below and are available at most big box stores and well stocked hardware stores. Note these are made of soft plastic type of "rubber" and some styles come with a metal jacket around the outside under the clamps that helps keep the "rubber" part from bulging out.

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • Not just for DIYers. Years back a plumber came to unclog a drain. Had to cut a section of cast iron drain pipe that just wouldn't clear. Replaced with PVC (w/cleanout) using these couplings to join to the existing metal pipe. Without these it's sometimes very difficult to make repairs unless you remove a lot of pipe and fittings. – OrganicLawnDIY Feb 16 '14 at 8:36

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