Drain clogs are one of the most frustrating household problems that can occur. They happen when hair, soap scum, and other debris build up in your pipes and cause a blockage. A major problem with clogged drains is that they cause your sink to back up and leak over time. If you've ever had this problem before, you know it's no fun! Luckily for you, though, there are ways to clean your drain safely, so this doesn't happen again!
- USE WHITE VINEGAR
White vinegar is an extremely potent substance in the battle against clogged drains. Pour it straight down your drain, and voila! Not only will it dissolve hair, soap scum, gunk, and other grime left behind by nasty blockages, but it also disinfects to boot. Be careful not to pour too much white vinegar into your drain, or you may end up with a pretty serious problem on your hands--a big bubbly overflow of nothing but plain ol' stinky white vinegar!
- USE BAKING SODA
Baking soda is also safe to use for some types of clogged drains; however, baking soda must be used carefully if there may be metal parts in your plumbing system (e.g., garbage disposals). If this is not a concern, pour one cup of baking soda down the clogged drain and follow immediately with one cup of white vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will fizz and help to clear the blockage by pushing it further down your pipes.
- USE A PLUNGER
Ensure you have enough water in the drain so that it doesn't suck up debris from your pipe into its chamber when you plunge it. If it is a kitchen sink clog, try using a plunger to remove the debris blocking the drain. Using your plunger seals off the chamber so you can create strong pressure to help break up or loosen gunk that has collected in your pipes over time. You should not use this method on a toilet because there is no water in it and therefore could be broken by excess pressure created by plunging, making more work for yourself to fix if needed later down the road.
- USE A PLUMBER'S SNAKE
Drain snakes are long, flexible tools that can feed clogged drains to clear out debris and hair. When using one of these, make sure there is plenty of water covering the snake, or it may get caught on anything jutting out from the drainpipe walls. Once it has gotten to the end, turn the handle counterclockwise (if it goes clockwise when you feed it in) until you feel resistance, then turn back clockwise slowly while working the snake around inside the drain so that it loosens any buildup. If necessary, flick your wrist slightly while continuing to push or pull back and forth gently. See if this has cleared up your drain blockage. If not, repeat as often as necessary until the drain is no longer clogged.
- USE A CLOGGED PIPE SNAKE
A clogged pipe snake can usually reach places where other tools cannot, so it is often used when drains need to be unclogged if they tend to get clogged frequently. This tool comes with its container for holding dirty water and leaves only clean water behind once you're finished using it. Follow the manufacturer's directions when using one of these snakes to clear your blocked pipe. If necessary, repeat as many times as necessary until the drain is working properly again…
- USE A KITCHEN TRAP SNAKE
A kitchen trap snake (sometimes called a sink plunger) is attached to a power drill to clean out the drain in the kitchen. Like using a regular plunger in the bathroom, please attach it to a power drill so you can apply more force to get through tough clogs. You should not use this method on a toilet because there is no water in it and therefore could be broken by excess pressure created by plunging, making more work for yourself to fix if needed later down the road.
- USE A DRAIN AUGER
These plumbing snakes come with a crank handle to insert into your plumbing problem at one end and connect to your drill at the other end (ideally, an electric drill for safety reasons). The drill will then spin out of control inside the plumbing problem tearing it apart damaging walls, floors, pipes, or other plumbing fixtures; the method is usually reserved for professional plumbing workers
- USE A WET/DRY VACUUM
If you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, this is an ideal tool for unclogging your drains. For smaller clogs, use the "wet" function. Turn on the water flow so that the vacuum sucks up all of the water and debris. If you have a larger clog, use the "dry" function and follow it immediately with a plunger to remove any other chunks.
Cleaning your drain will help prevent plumbing problems. The key is to find a cleaner that matches the type of clog you're dealing with and follow directions carefully. When in doubt, call a plumber! We hope these tips have been helpful for you today.