The issues of clogged drains and blocked pipes in a house may start as minor issues but later may lead to other vital problems such as flooding, corrosion, slow water drainage and in extreme cases lead to sewage backup and costly plumbing repairs.
Clogged drains are caused by various factors such as excess dirt from washing household items, hair residues mixed with grease and other sticky substances, soap scum made of hard residues and water minerals, food waste particles as well as mineral buildup forming insoluble masses.
However, there are a few different techniques that you can apply to unclog pipes in your house without the assistance or the cost of a professional plumber.
Method 1: Using Chemical Solutions.
1. Mixing vinegar with baking soda
This is one of the most effective and Eco-friendly technique to unclog your waste pipes. A mixture of hot water and baking soda will slacken all the buildups clogging in your plumbing pipes, while vinegar causes a chemical reaction that causes the mud to flow down the drain.
You can start by pouring a gallon of hot boiled water down the clogged drain. Afterwards, pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain and wait for five minutes. Add a solution of one cup of hot water and one cup of vinegar to the drain pipe and wait for about ten minutes. Lastly, pour a gallon of boiling water into the drain to flush the loosened scum from the baking soda and vinegar.
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2. Purchasing liquid drain cleaners.
This is one of the most common methods to clean your plumbing pipes by purchasing the chemical solutions from a nearby store. However, despite the liquid cleaners being very useful, they can cause damage to the plumbing pipes through corrosion, especially if the waste pipes are worn out or old.
To appropriately use the liquid cleaners, you should precisely follow the instructions provided on the product’s bottle to unclog the blocked pipes. You are needed to rinse out the drains with hot water before taking a shower or bath.
3. Using a powder solution.
Powder-based cleaners are preferred by some people rather than using the liquid ones since they are less corrosive on the plumbing pipes. Powder cleaners are made up of sodium hydroxide which works faster to unclog the blocked drains.
When utilizing these products allow hot water to flow through the waste pipe for about two minutes before adding the powder drain cleaner into the plumbing pipes. According to the size of the drain use, approximately two cups of cleaning powder and wait for about two minutes then rinse with hot water.
Method 2: Using Tools to Unblock Your Drain.
1. Using a plunger.
Unclogging your plumbing pipes ranging from your sink, bathtub to your toilet using a plunger is one of the best solutions for your blocked pipes. A plunger is made up of a long aligned handle and a flexible cup-like tool fixed at the bottom. This cup-like section acts as a suction cup to extricate any clogs and force water and air to flow into the waste pipe.
Start by adding about three inches of water level in the sink or tub if no still water was present. The water helps to force any items obstructing the pipe out of the way when using the plunger. You should seal all nearby drains with a rag before plunging to ensure more pressure.
Begin plunging by placing the plunger cup over the drain hole and repeatedly work the plungers handle up and down. Run water to flush away the residues of the blockage after clearing the clog. Additionally, be cautious while using a plunger in case you recently applied chemicals down the blocked drain as these chemicals might splash and harm your skin.
2. Using a drain snake.
This acts as an alternative method to unblock plumbing pipes if a plunger fails to solve the problem. A drain snake is made up of a long flexible piece of steel connected to a handle that is used to extricate the accumulation blocking the waste pipes. An auger at the fore-end of the snake is usually spiral-shaped, and a drain snake is available in most hardware stores.
When using the drain snake, start by inserting the auger end first into the drain pipe. Twirl it roundly to ensure it moves easily through the waste pipe. After inserting the drain snake, slowly start to pull it back out. This approach ensures that all the debris causing the blockage are dislodged. To guarantee the pipes are completely unblocked, repeat this procedure severally.
3. Using a high-pressure drain blaster.
Drain blasters are high-pressure gadgets that blow air into a blocked drain to unclog it. When using a drain blaster, begin by placing the end of this device on the blocked drain and pump the gadget several times to discharge a blast of air. Drain blaster can be purchased in online stores or local home improvement centers.
Method 3: Cleaning the Pipes.
1. Disconnecting and Cleaning the P-trap/U-bend trap.
These are traps found under the plug holes of baths and sinks and can also be located in the tanks of toilets. These traps are usually used to trap debris, prevent clogs from forming into your drainage system and also stop foul odor and gasses from getting into your home.
You are required to place a bowl or a bucket under the trap to catch excess clog and water when you disconnect the pipe. Using wrench unscrew the caps on pipes and flush out the trap with warm water to dislodge the remaining debris. You can also apply drain snake or wire to push the debris obstructing the pipe out.
2. Always keep your plumbing pipe clear.
As the wise men said, prevention is better than cure. Taking care of your waste pipes will prevent your pipes from clogging. Make an effort to wash and clean your drains every two weeks to prevent them from clogging in future.
Some of the activities that will prevent your pipes from clogging are; placing strainers in all your draining pipes, cleaning your pipes regularly to prevent sludge buildup and allowing hot water to flow through your garbage disposal after use to flush away excess debris.