How to Use a Kinetic Water RAM

A "kinetic water ram" is a pneumatic device that is designed to quickly clear clogs from drain waste plumbing. There are different brands, but it's recommended that you look for rams that can be easily pumped to different pressures. The ram uses compressed air to move a solid column of water into a blockage. Since water does not compress, the pressurized column of water exerts tremendous force on the blockage. It also exerts this force on all of the pipes, gaskets, and fittings. And, if the clog does not move, the force must rebound and come back the way it came. Be sure to read the warnings before performing the steps.


  1. 1
    Determine which fixture or drain is is clogged.
    Water Ram
  2. 2
    Make sure that the drain or fixture is holding water.
  3. 3
    Add the correct gasket to the water ram to get the best seal between the ram and the drain or fixture.
    • If using a ram on a bathroom sink or tub, make sure that any overflows are sealed tightly with rags or a plug.
    • On dual bowl kitchen sinks, seal the side you are not applying the ram to. This step is critical and may be difficult. Have an assistant put on rubber gloves and push hard against the plug.
  4. 4
    Pump the ram up to 10lbs. Push firmly against the drain or fixture, sealing it tightly.
  5. 5
    Pull the trigger on the ram.
  6. 6
    Check the drain. If it is still clogged, repeat using the ram, adding 5lbs more pressure each time until the drain is unclogged.
  7. 7
    Flush the drain with plenty of hot water.


  • Only use on fixtures and drains that have a column of water in the drain.
  • Start with low pressure (10 lbs) and work your way up.
  • Hair clogs can be removed more quickly with a barbed plastic strip available at home centers.
  • Kitchen sink drains will likely have clogs caused by grease or masses of vegetable fiber. Because of the way the grease clog forms it is unlikely to be removed by a kinetic water ram. Vegetable fiber clogs may yield to pressure, but they are often too large. Use a sewer tape to remove these clogs.


  • Do not use the kinetic water ram on a toilet. You will likely break the wax seal.
  • Do not ever use if a chemical clog remover has already been used on the clog.
  • Waste drain plumbing is not designed to contain pressure. Applying pressure with a kinetic water ram can cause plenty of damage to the drain system.
  • Clogs can be made more difficult to remove by applying a kinetic water ram to a drain.
  • Hold tightly and seal area that will be rammed tightly. If not done correctly or if an overflow isn't covered a large amount of air and water will escape resulting in a very large, stinky mess.
  • Wear eye protection. The most likely place any blow-back mess will target is the face of the person applying the ram.
  • Starting with 10 lbs of pressure, pay attention to where air or water leaks. If any does, either seal the leaks or stop using the ram and use a different drain clearing method.

Things You'll Need

  • Kinetic water RAM, such as General Wire Products models
  • Seal (rags, plug, etc.)
  • Assistant, if needed

Article Info

Categories: Plumbing Drains Waste and Vents