How To Handle Clogged Drains

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Clogged drains are the common problems faced by homeowners with aged plumbing systems. They are the only link we have to sewers so it’s only natural that they get blocked every so often. However, clogs can lead to more problems and over time, you may have to contend with waste water backing up. If you have multiple drains backed up in your house, then chances are very high that you will need a professional drain cleaning company to properly resolve the issue. However, if you have a single drain that is blocked, then read on to know how you can tackle the problem yourself.

Flush out drains with hot water

There are drain cleaners that do a great job of keeping pipes free of muck. However, most are very harsh and damage the lines. One way to keep yours clear is to fill it with hot water. Not boiling water, just hot. Keep in mind that water which is too hot can damage PVC pipes so try to limit this method to metal piping, if possible.

Don’t tax the garbage disposal 

Garbage disposal units are extremely handy tools to have. However, just because they do a fine job of slicing and dicing waste it doesn’t mean you can throw in just anything. Dispose only small waste and try to avoid very hard bits. Don’t use them to dispose of metal, glass, wood and other non-food items.

picture of a plumber fixing a garbage disposal
While on the topic of how to dispose of waste, use a drainer or a strainer to prevent the buildup of hair in shower drains. A hose can get rid of it but you can keep it from clogging the pipe.

Use a plunger

The force created when using a cup plunger is surprisingly strong. If you have one, use it to unclog blockages. It may not work with large clogs but you can give it a try. Toilets, on the other hand, need a toilet plunger to suit the shape of the drain. Purchase a couple of different types so you get quick results.

Use a plumber’s snake

This can be your best friend. A plumber’s snake uses a flexible auger to snake down drains and help clear clogs. You can make one too using a clothes hangar but a store-bought unit works best. One end breaks up the blockage while being controlled by a crank at the other end. Once the blockage is broken up, you use water to flush it away.

plumbers clearing a clogged drain.

If roots are a problem, call a professional service. Roots are naturally attracted to water and any gap in drains can lead them to hunt for it. Because they must be prevented from regrowing the same way only a pro will know how to deal with them.

Prepare homemade cleaners

Homemade drain cleaners can work very effectively and most of the time you will already have the resources available at the house. A mix of baking soda and vinegar can be an effective cleaner. It isn’t corrosive so it can be safely used in PVC pipes as well. Caustic soda is another option but you need to take care when handling it. It can cause nasty chemical burns. If all else fails, use store-bought cleaners. As harsh as they may be, they will unclog drains. Call a professional if the problem is beyond your control.

Clogged drains can cause a stink. One way to prevent this is by pouring a brine solution of strong salt water down the pipe. It’s great for kitchen sinks where grease buildup is common. Very strong odors can be alleviated using commercial products.

This issue will always be frustrating but you don’t have to suffer a headache. Use these simple tips to keep yours clean and free of blockage. You can rely on professionals to help you if they don’t work.

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