When you have a clogged drain, it can be a source of frustration, inconvenience, and even embarrassment. Many property owners experience clogged drains at one point or another.
The good news, however, is that you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on professional plumbing services, as unclogging a drain is a relatively quick and simple task that you can carry out yourself.
The first thing you should do is to find the clog and to determine whether it clogs the drain and if there is some water seeping through. Most people immediately resort to ineffective methods to get rid of the debris build-up which, in most cases, will only move the clog further down the pipe, where it is harder to reach.
In this article, we will look at three effective home remedies to clear a clogged drain. Keep reading to learn more.
Best Way to Clear a Clogged Drain
Drain Cleaner. The first and most effective way to unclog a minor blockage is to head over to your local hardware store and buy a drain cleaner, which is usually a mild chemical-based product that causes a reaction to break down the debris build-up. Caustic drain cleaners contain ingredients such as lye and caustic potash while oxidizing drain cleaners include household bleach, peroxides, and nitrates that release heat and gas through water to break down debris. If you are dealing with backed-up standing water, oxidizing drain cleaners are likely to be the most effective option.
Plunger. If something blocks your drain completely and there is water backed up between your house and the obstruction, a plunger may be a more suitable alternative to a drain cleaner. Unclogging a drain with a plunger is easy, and plungers are inexpensive. There are three different types of plungers, namely a common sink plunger with a rubber cup and straight handle, an accordion plunger for clearing toilet clogs, and toilet plungers with a cup and soft rubber flap that folds out and fits over the toilet drain. To unclog a drain with this method, plunge straight and vertical to ensure that the seal doesn’t come loose. Also, get the air out of the cup by pressing the plunger down slowly to create suction and a better seal. Submerge the plunger underneath the water.
Snaking. If a drain cleaner or plunger doesn’t get the job done, your next step is to use a drain auger, also called a snake. A snake is a coiled spiral tool that is around ¼ inches thick, and you use it by pushing the end down the drain toward the obstruction. When the tip of the snake moves into the clog, it may break down a part of it and also allow you to pull it out. Snaking is a suitable method if an obstruction is deep within a drainpipe and challenging to remove with a plunger or drain cleaner.
Can You Pour Vinegar Down the Drain?
You can pour vinegar down your drain. As a matter of fact, it’s actually a good thing to do, especially if you follow it up by pouring baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) down the drain. When vinegar reacts with baking soda, they release carbon dioxide, which breaks down clogs. This is a good alternative to using chemicals to break down clogs.
Preventing a Clogged Drain
The best way to prevent your drain from clogging is to pay attention to what goes into your pipes. Coffee grounds, grease, hair, and soap scum are widely regarded to be the most significant sources of debris build-up.
Here's what you can do to prevent drain clogs in the future:
Use Filters. Cover your drain openings with drain-grates, screens, or filters, depending on the setting. Shower drain openings should be suitable to catch smaller debris particles like hair and soap scum while kitchen sink drain-grates should be able to catch content like coffee grounds and rice grains.
Save Cooking Grease. Before washing your cookware, pour all the grease residue and oil into a can or cardboard container. When the container is full, dispose of it in the trash.
Hot Water, Baking Soda, and Vinegar. After using your sink, use hot water to rinse your sink and flush the pipe interiors from oils and food residue. You can also throw a handful of baking soda into the drain with hot water to clean your drain pipes and leave your sink and plumbing smelling fresh. Pour one cup of vinegar into your drain on a regular basis and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse it with hot water to keep your drains free from obstructions and organic build-ups. If drain clogging is a regular occurrence, clean your drains once a week by pouring salt and baking soda into the drain and adding vinegar. After the mix started foaming, rinse it off with about two liters of boiling water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add some lemon to the mixture.
Clean Your Drains Regularly. By making a habit of keeping your drains clean, you will save yourself the frustration that comes with clogged drains. In most cases, a drain obstruction is the product of months of organic build-up inside pipe interiors. Keeping your pipes and plumbing clean is, therefore, essential to prevent drain clogging.
If These DIY Tips Don’t Work…
As a busy individual who has to attend to your career, family, and personal finances, keeping your drains clean may not always be your highest priority. You may also find that an obstruction is too dense and far down your drain pipe to remove with the methods listed above.
If you live in Houston, however, help is but a phone call away. Pioneer Plumbing & Septic offers a wide range of high-end plumbing services that include clogged drain clearing.
Our highly skilled and experienced team can clear any drain, including sinks, showers, toilets, and main drains. Our services center around our clients’ convenience and requirements. To restore the flow of your drains to their former glory, contact Pioneer Plumbing & Septic today for a free quote.