There are multiple reasons why your drain could be blocked. Accumulation of grease, food waste building up or a concentration of chemicals are some of the more common drain cloggers. And while there are options to fixing this, from using a drain cleaning service or getting a clogged drain cleaner, you might want to roll up your sleeves when you hear how much some of these services charge.
This article we have detailed out some of the tips you need to know regarding drain cleaning. These steps range from easy DIY clogged drain cleaner techniques to identifying the best drain clearer in the market.
1. Start simple, use hot water
Ever heard the saying, the simplest solution is probably the right one. In this case, it is true. Using a hose to pump hot water through your clogged drains could be what you need to get your pipes back to peak performance. The combination of heat, force and water pressure can cause the buildup to melt and cogged materials to get dislodged saving you some money.
The best way to do this is to use a hose down the clogged drain for about 15 minutes. It is also important that there is a lot of pressure behind the water flow so it can dislodge any build-up that could be clogging your drain.
2. Start within, use what you have:
Before you call a plumber or head out to the hardware store to buy expensive tools, you can use what you own as a clogged drain cleaner. Here are a few items you can use:
Every bathroom has this and it could be what you just need to unclogged your drains. If your sink drain is giving you grief, consider specializing and getting the sink plungers which are built solely for use in the sink.
Irrespective of what type of plunger you are using, the same technique is used to unclog the drain. You simply need to place the plunger over the drain opening and press it in a continuous motion going back and forth for about 3 minutes. It is important that you use a uniform amount of pressure because it is the steady pressure build up that causes the dislodgement of gunk.
If the drain is set over an overflow vent, it is necessary you cover the vents before you begin. If you do not do this, the air and the pressure you are creating with the plunger will escape making your effort futile.
To ensure air doesn’t escape from the plunger, all you have to do is place some petroleum jelly to the plunger’s rim. The jelly acts as a seal temporarily preventing air from escaping.
3. DIY liquid cleaners:
Who says you cannot create your chemical clogged drain cleaner? If your plunger or the hot water doesn’t work, a great next step is to create your own drain cleanser with common items found in homes. This cleaner will work like the commercial chemical cleaners by breaking down any build up in the drain.
However, unlike their commercial counterpart there is a risk of damage to the pipes or deterioration if you keep on using the cleanser making it a once in a while solution used to get things moving.
A common DIY creation you can quickly whip up Is a combination of baking soda and vinegar. When combined together, these substances combine to dislodge the gunk blocking your drain.
Do not attempt to mix these together then pour down the drain. You need to pour one after the other down the drain. That means, you could choose to pour a cup of baking soda first then a cup of vinegar. Subsequently, use water to rinse off the broken-down gunk as well as whatever chemical left in your pipes.
4. Buy a drain snake:
This might be the only tool you might not have lying around the house. The average drain snake is sold for about $30 and can be bought at any store that sells tools near you. This tool is what professional plumbers use to clear blocked pipes and empty the drains.
To use the drain snake, you need to do the following:
– Put the snake into the pipe by turning the handle clockwise till you hit the resistance within the drain.
– Turn the snake against the gunk blocking the drain so the snake can latch onto it
– Slowly remove the snake from the drain pulling away the blockage.
When you are done, you might want to run a hose with hot water for good measure.
5. Or you could use Soda:
Another easy but overlooked clogged drain cleaner is the soda in your fridge. Because of the substances used to make these drinks, sodas like Pepsi and Coca-Cola alongside other sugar drinks can provide a similar reaction to what your homemade chemical cleaner provides albeit safer.
Sodas contain phosphoric acid which work by breaking down the clogged debris in the drain, which can then be dislodged with hot water.
How to prevent your drain from getting clogged
The truth is instead of spending time and money to fix a clogged drain, you would be better off if you never had a clogged drain to deal with in the first place. The best way to do this is to perform monthly maintenance checks on your drain. You could take it a step further by doing an in-depth inspection yearly.
Being proactive could mean you prevent the buildup from happening which means you would never have to consider a drain replacement.
Apart from this, a great way to prevent your drain from being clogged in the first place is to be mindful of what goes into the drain. Take the time to know what your drain can process and what it cannot. Do not put fiber rich foods, animal bones, paper products, food wrappers, kitchen grease or any stringy food items. These are the most common drain clogging agents.