Man uses compressed air to unclog sink, instantly regrets it

It’s especially fun when it’s caustic Drano sledge.

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I’ve used the hand-pressurize variety. It occasionally works for minor clogs, and when it does it is convenient. Plus, if you get one of the ones shaped like a gun, you get to go “kapow!” when pulling the trigger.


BRB, gotta go pour every cleaning product in my house down the overflow hole in my sink.


Yes, he did it. Just needs some cleanup now.

I’d be worried about damaging pipes. Same with chemicals like Drano.

A hand-cranked sewer snake is cheap and effective. I got one for CAD 11 on sale at a local tool shop but the equivalent now seems to be ~ CAD 20 or more on Amazon. I use an untwisted coat hangar for the basin and shower drains. Those plastic thingies look promising even if overpriced.

And moved it along to a new place. About 20 feet out from the house where the water cools and the fat re-deposits!

it’s not rocket science ooh it might be…
reaction follows re-reaction

best we have mr muscle max gel pipe unblocker

I unclogged a handbasin using concentrated sulphuric acid I bought from a plumbers supply shop. It worked a treat. I read the instructions and got several sets of butyl gloves, a p2 mask and safety goggles. I put the acid straight into the drain pipe under the sink. Slowly and carefully. Very, very carefully. And then I got out of the room for a while to avoid breathing the fumes. Apparently handbasins often have hair balls and sulphuric acid is good for dissolving hair. It’s only for PVC drains. It worked quite well. I might give compressed air a try next time.

I understand that you are a careful person and don’t need to hear this, but in case someone else is reading your post:

if you use any chemical (especially a strong acid) to unclog a drain and it doesn’t work, don’t use afterwards compressed air or any physical method, you risk to spray yourself with said chemical, and you will be very sorry!

You will have to flush all traces of acid before trying everything else (but that could be difficult if the drain is really clogged).


Just used my plastic thingie, think it cost about $2 a few years ago, for my tub draining slowly. Useful for hair clogs or this weeks combination hair and paint clog (tub was just resealed/painted by my landlord’s minions). Metal snake better at pushing through blockages, plastic has hooks better for harvesting hair? Also use a hand plunger.


We lived in an apartment with a big square ceramic sink, resting in a granite countertop vanity. We needed to soak some clothes in soapy water, so filled the sink with hot water directly from the tap. About 10 minutes later there was a loud pop and the sound of water falling. The sink had cracked in half and dumped the water into the vanity.

My guess is the hot water caused the sink to expand, but the granite didn’t, and was cut a little too exact around the sink to take the expansion. We didn’t fill the replacement sink with hot water to test the theory.


I’ve seen some crazy things with thermal expansion/shrinking. But my favorite is a story I heard from an old timer*. He was called to fix a big institutional sink at a church. The kitchen person sounded scared, and was muttering about the supernatural. When he arrived, he found the stainless steel sink half curled up, and largely torn from the counter. To make a long story short, someone had put a very hot dutch oven down directly into the sink, got worried by the loud pinging noises, and poured a bunch of ice around it to cool things down. I’m not sure of the exact physics that took place. Stainless steel is a very poor heat conductor, so the heat of the dutch oven and the cold if the ice would have both been fairly localized. In any case, the stresses were too much for the sink. It must have thrown a lot of steam as it collapsed, because the kitchen crew thought perhaps a demon had manifested there.

  • old-timer story skepticism rules apply. I figure this is a plausible, single grain-of-salter, though.

Having once seen a hotel spoon (big stainless steel spoon, about 18” long) pulled out of a floor drain in a restaurant kitchen I’ll believe this. (I couldn’t begin to figure out how the spoon got into the drain in the first place) Sink counters come in a variety of weights, and the cheaper ones aren’t that thick.

It would probably be a good idea to figure out if the clog is before or after a vent pipe. (If you use a plumber’s helper, and the water see-saws up and down afterwards, probably after.)

If it’s after, the compressed air is going to fire the gunk in the plumbing up the vent pipe and out on the roof and/or it’s all going to fall back down and erupt from the sink.

Whatcha gonna do with that? I hope knitting a sweater.

Hadn’t thought about it, maybe clone it and grow some spare kidneys or a liver for my gf or myself? You never know you need it until it’s an emergency, so would be good to have it on hand.

At least now it is in a big enough pipe that it isn’t stopping up my drains.