How To Unclog A Urinal?

Row of three urinals with two of them having out of service signs

Jun 25, 2024


If you are a commercial property owner of a business, whether it’s a small office, restaurant, or retail space, then you really should know how to unclog a urinal. Patrons may complain that you have a slow draining urinal or a clogged urinal, and you’ll want to attend to this matter quickly.

You can try to handle a clogged urinal on your own, but tougher blockages may mean you need to call in a professional for this task. Coastal Commercial Services, Inc. specializes in providing expert plumbing solutions for your commercial property, including handling clogged urinals. In this article, we explore how to unclog a urinal and how you can prevent a clogged urinal from arising in your place of business.

What Causes a Clogged Urinal?

Some people are surprised that urinals can get clogged, though like a toilet, sink, or anything else connected to a water pipe, urinals can see their fair share of clogs. The most common cause is mineral buildup, especially in a place like Florida where we have hard water. The mineral deposits can stick to pipes, eventually leading to the urinals in your restrooms taking longer to drain.

There’s another reason beyond your plumbing system and urinals that leads to clogs. The urine that goes into the urinals is full of calcium, uric acids, and uric salt crystals, adding more minerals to the water. In time, these things build up in the urinals p-trap, accumulating in the drain pipe.

Unclogging urinals may be something you’re willing to try, and below, we outline some ways you can do this yourself. However, if you’d rather not know how to unclog a urinal yourself, you can always call a professional commercial plumber to handle this issue for you.

Ways to Unclog Urinals

Clogged urinals are a common problem for public restrooms and commercial properties. If you’re willing, you can try these tricks to get things flowing again.

Try a Plunger

First, take a look and see what kind of blockage you have in the urinal. If it is a simple blockage, a standard plunger will help you get the job done. Be sure you remove any plastic insert, urinal blocks, splash guards, and urinal cakes on top before you begin with the plunger. Don’t forget to remove anything that doesn’t belong as well, such as cigarette butts.

You can then remove the drain cover by unscrewing the drain cover from the wall. Set the drain cover aside and begin simply plunging, though watch out for any splash back. Pump the plunger a few times and you should find that it clears up. You can test this out when you flush the urinal and will know you’re successful if the water goes all the way down the drain with ease.

Use a Urinal Auger

Unfortunately, a plunger can’t help when you need to remove tougher blockages. You’ll then want to rely on drain augers for the task. A drain auger for a urinal is different from a drain auger for a toilet. A urinal auger has a drum and strong cable attached to the drain auger. You can wind and push it inside with ease.

Either manual or electric drain augers can be used. Electric ones feature a motorized drum, minimizing your efforts. Manual ones require you to crank them by hand, which creates fewer vibrations in the drain hole. It should help you clear your drain line, but if you flush the urinal and it’s still clogged, there is one more option you may want to try.

Snake the Drain Opening

If you are still unable to break blockages, you can snake the drain opening instead. You’ll need to use the drum of the drain auger to feed the cable into the drain to break up blockages. Slowly turn the cable into the drain, then turn the handle in the opposite direction after feeding it down the drain and hopefully, you will have been able to pull out the blockages.

In the event that you have stubborn clogs or you do not want to do the dirty work yourself, you should call a commercial plumbing company who will be able to clear the way of this blockage in your urinal.

Closeup of a white single urinal

Preventing Urinal Clogs for Optimal Performance

The bathrooms may not be the most glamorous part of your business, but taking the right preventative actions can help you avoid clogs in the urinals in the future. Here are some tips to minimize these inconveniences at your commercial property.

Clean Your Urinals Regularly

Cleaning the urinals in your bathrooms with regularity can help prevent the buildup that causes these blockages from occurring. It will also prevent foul smelling urinals that can allow odors to impact other areas of your business.

Remove Uratic Salts

Products that break down the clogging components left behind from urine are a great way to keep things flowing optimally. You can use eczema cleaners or urinal cakes, both of which can kill bacteria and germs while preventing buildup. They also serve to keep your mens’ restrooms smelling fresher.

The Importance of Regular Urinal Maintenance

Maintaining the restrooms at your place of business is important for many reasons.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Restrooms, and urinals in particular, are a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens to thrive. The main reason to keep your restrooms clean is to prevent the spread of these germs to your employees and your clients.


Issues with urinals can arise, causing water to flow out onto the floor. Not only is something like that unsanitary but also, it can create a liability for anyone that uses your restroom. They may slip and fall, becoming injured. Maintaining your urinals ensures you don’t encounter these issues.

Making a Positive Impression

When you have dirty urinals with clogs that won’t flush, or the bathroom smells foul, it leaves an impression on your customers, though not a good one. Clean urinals, especially in businesses that are in the food industry, send a deeper message that you care about all the finer details and want your customers to feel welcome to come back.

How to Choose a Professional to Unclog a Urinal

Whether time is of the essence or you don’t want to tackle this chore on your own, you can choose to hire a professional to ensure your urinal clog is handled expertly. The best way to find the right company for the job is to start by looking at plumbers who work on commercial plumbing projects. It is not recommended to hire a plumber for a commercial job who only works on residential plumbing.

Additionally, you will want to look for a commercial plumbing company that has been well-established in the local area for many years. They should have many reviews about their services, and you may be able to find references through other business owners too.

When you need commercial plumbing services to help you with urinal issues, look no further than Coastal Commercial Services. Our unwavering commitment to excellence in service is something that has been ingrained in our family-owned company for decades. We have been providing plumbing services in the commercial sector for well over 20 years and have the deep knowledge required to solve the most challenging plumbing problems for businesses.