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So I have a 2011 Ford Escape and its been leaking into the drivers side for a month or two now, finally figured out that the problem is the sunroof drain but we've tried everything and can't get it unclogged.

Initially used a compressor and blew air into it and thought it worked for a few days but I think it just compressed whatever was in there lower and now its super clogged towards the bottom. Tried a drain cleaner but it wouldn't reach the clogged spot and then used some weed wacker refill thread and it goes down but then gets completely stuck 3-4 feet down. I think that the clog is too compacted and the thread isn't strong enough to push through it. Finally tried some Drano last night and somehow its still clogged in the exact same spot and the thread still can't push through it.

Honestly have no idea what to do at this point, tried basically everything I found online and really don't want to have to replace the tubing. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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It's unfortunate that you put Drano down there. Now you're going to have to deal with taking it apart while preserving personal safety from a known caustic. My dad was a plumber and hated going on service calls where the customer had used that stuff.

Bottom line, you're probably going to have to take it apart (carefully!) and clear the clog manually unless the Drano happens to work if given some time. Hopefully it won't damage anything else when it comes out...
 

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Have no words on the Drano and where it ends up and what it does when it gets there.......

Have you tried some larger diameter string trimmer cord? Several sizes are readily available.

I would get the largest that is available(or try what I have), cut it to a length several inches longer than the current plug spot, and put it in an electric drill. Feed it down while running the drill at low speed. Probe the plug, pull back, probe... rinse repeat. It might not hurt to add some vinegar(Drano is a base, vinegar slightly acidic) while running the drill. It may cause foaming. It may also cause foaming down the drain, and break things loose.
This is a process that may take some time, but should get there if you are patient. If it is plugged with stuff that turned to dirt, the dirt should absorb liquid, become mud, and be visible when you withdraw the string to check progress. Either way, it was once mixed with water, and should mix again. Unless someone put some Portland cement down the tube... or some gasket forming 'stuff' or ???
tom
 

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Is it the front or the rear drain? The front one I think is partially accessible under the dash on the drivers side, if the blockage is where it is accessible maybe massaging the tubing is possible, I don't think it is very stiff, but rubbery.
 

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I was able to clear mine while twisting some weed eater cord down the drain tube WHILE squeezing HOT water down the drain tube with a 50 ml syringe at the same time. It took a few tries but eventually became unclogged.
 

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Both of my front sunroof drains were clogged recently which caused wet carpet on both front driver and passenger sides. I used a 4 foot piece of pretty stiff (slightly flexible) electrical wire to clear the clogs. No more wet carpet.
 

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Have no words on the Drano and where it ends up and what it does when it gets there.......

Have you tried some larger diameter string trimmer cord? Several sizes are readily available.

I would get the largest that is available(or try what I have), cut it to a length several inches longer than the current plug spot, and put it in an electric drill. Feed it down while running the drill at low speed. Probe the plug, pull back, probe... rinse repeat. It might not hurt to add some vinegar(Drano is a base, vinegar slightly acidic) while running the drill. It may cause foaming. It may also cause foaming down the drain, and break things loose.
This is a process that may take some time, but should get there if you are patient. If it is plugged with stuff that turned to dirt, the dirt should absorb liquid, become mud, and be visible when you withdraw the string to check progress. Either way, it was once mixed with water, and should mix again. Unless someone put some Portland cement down the tube... or some gasket forming 'stuff' or ???
tom
I tried manipulating a large diameter trimmer cord in a detergent solution over several days in a row, then, as a last resort before rerouting the drain hose, I straightened out a coat hanger. I inserted the end with the spiral twist and worked it back and forth and rotated it against the clog. . . and finally it broke up and started to drain. I wasn't sure the rubber drain tube would survive, but it did!
 

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This is an old post, but I had the same issue. If you can't clear the clog by snaking a wire or something from the drain in sun roof, you have to take off the interior trim next to the windshield. If I remember correctly there is a hose coupler connector there and my Escape had bits of debris stuck too big to make it through the coupler. It should take about 10 minutes to disassemble. If it's the rear drains, it's a little more involved, but it is similar process with the interior side trim panels.
 

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This is an old post, but I had the same issue. If you can't clear the clog by snaking a wire or something from the drain in sun roof, you have to take off the interior trim next to the windshield. If I remember correctly there is a hose coupler connector there and my Escape had bits of debris stuck too big to make it through the coupler. It should take about 10 minutes to disassemble. If it's the rear drains, it's a little more involved, but it is similar process with the interior side trim panels.
Do those trim peices pop off easily and can they be installed without needing to glue anything back? I've "unclogged" my drains like 5 times in the last 3 months and when i test it they work and drain properly, then we get rain and they leak all over coming from the bottom near the carpet, the handle near the door, and from the sunroof itself.
 

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Do those trim peices pop off easily and can they be installed without needing to glue anything back? I've "unclogged" my drains like 5 times in the last 3 months and when i test it they work and drain properly, then we get rain and they leak all over coming from the bottom near the carpet, the handle near the door, and from the sunroof itself.
They pop off pretty easily. Just go slow. You could also use trim removal tools. Cheap and found on numerous sites.
There are youtube videos that show this as well.
 
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