Saturday, September 01, 2012

How to unclog a laundry chute

I'm getting traffic from people doing searches for "how to unclog a laundry chute". This post is for those people. Methods will vary from chute to chute. But here are some general guidelines.

 >DON'T try to unclog it by dropping heavy objects down the chute. Clothes packed into a tight space can support a lot of weight. And if you are having a hard time removing a pair of jeans from the chute, you'll have an even harder time removing a pair of jeans and a brick.

 >A wire hanger is a good choice. The drawback is that you'll risk snagging your clothes. This warning might come late for some, but you probably should avoid throwing your Sunday best and your designer slacks down a tight space that might have nails sticking out.

 >Your friends told you to use a broomstick. But you need something that's more flexible than that. Try a long piece of PVC pipe. You can also try wire stakes from a yard sign. I happen to have plenty at my house, but some of you might ask a politically minded friend if you can have one.

>When all else fails, you might have to cut through the wall. Make sure that there aren't any wires or pipes where you are cutting. The chute itself will probably be made of sheet metal or wood with a smooth, coated surface. In my case, I was able to use a claw hammer to tear out the drywall to get to the chute, then I used tinsnips to cut the chute open. But you might have to find a power saw that can cut through wood, metal, and plaster.

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