Drain Cleaning Tips

Plumbers know how to clean and maintain all the plumbing in a house. Drainage line cleaning is not a problem for a professional, but chances are you aren’t a plumber.

For those of us who aren’t trained to take care of plumbing, it can seem like a daunting task. Sewer lines are long, and all the water and waste we flush goes down them. If your drains start making strange noises, or if they start smelling bad, it is time to clean them out.

Sometimes basic drain clog and blockages of drains and sinks may be cleared out fairly easily without calling a plumber, it's a good policy to never attempt to correct an issue unless you feel 100% confident in your ability to fix the problem.

Here are few things you should do when you sense a problem brewing just beneath the surface:

Always Keep a Plunger Handy

First things first, try using your plunger. A plunger is a simple yet effective tool in eliminating any minor clogs from your plumbing system, and it only take a few small steps to use it effectively. When your sink or toilet does clog, make sure the area is filled with some water to ensure the plunger can gain suction. Then proceed to cup the plunger over the drain and plunge repeatedly until the water levels go down.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A common cleaning solution a lot of people use to degrease is baking soda mixed with vinegar. The chemical reaction that is caused when these two are mixed is foamy and will bubble. The bubbles will help the baking soda scrape away grease that can be causing clogs.

When the grease cools off, it can become very sticky. Other types of debris will get trapped in the grease that is sitting in your lines. It is possible to get grease in your sewer lines even if you don’t dump a lot down the drain. Over time build-up will occur, and this cleaning trick is quick and easy and can be done anytime.

Boiling Hot Water

Hot water boiled on a pot or tea kettle will serve as lubrication and loosen up any sources of blockage so it can be easily removed. This is especially true for any grease or oil buildup, which is known to harden within the drainage pipe and become impossible to remove. You should pour hot water down the drain periodically to prevent any blockages from forming.

Keep Grease and Oil Far

Keep Grease and Oil Far Away of any drains. It’s a mistake too many homeowners will make. If you are looking for a way to discard grease and oil safely, you are much better off storing it in a container first before discarding it in the regular garbage.

Use a bent wire hanger

Believe it or not, your wire coat hangers can also double as a plumbing tool! First, take your hanger and straighten it out as much as you can. Then, take one end and bend it so that it resembles a hook. Once you’re ready, send your hook down the drain and start pulling up everything that’s causing your clog – hair, gunk, etc. When you feel like you’ve gotten it all, flush with hot water.

Avoid Chemical Pipe Cleaners, Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners can be harmful, as previously mentioned. So what can we use to keep our drains clean and steer clear of big clogs? Enzymatic cleaners use natural enzymes and bacteria to help eat away at the things that will cause your drain to clog. The enzymes then convert the oils, fats, and other biological compounds into different elements like oxygen and hydrogen.

Enzymatic cleaners tend to be a little pricier than chemical drain cleaners. But you can sleep easy knowing you don’t have to worry about your kids being harmed with chemicals floating through the air. Not to mention the potentially harmful impact they can have on the environment.

Wet/Dry Vacuum

If you have access to a shop vacuum that can handle both wet and dry clean-up jobs, you may be in luck. Wet and dry vacuums can be used to treat stubborn clogs.

To start, set your vacuum to liquid mode. Next, cover around the vent to prevent any mess and create the tightest seal you can over the drain. If your vacuum is powerful enough, it should unclog the pipe and draw the clog into the vacuum bag. This may not be a foolproof method, but it is worth a try.

Hire a Professional

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Alright, so this last tip isn’t a DIY, but it is important to mention. If you have tried multiple homemade drain cleaning remedies to no avail, it is time to call a professional drain cleaner. It can be dangerous to mix a bunch of chemicals, or repeatedly use over-the-counter drain cleaners. A professional drain cleaning service will have tools and expertise that will ensure your pipes are cleared effectively.

Hiring an experienced, licensed plumber will increase your chances significantly that the job is finished correctly the first time. A good plumbing company or sewer and drain cleaning service will respond immediately, especially in case of an emergency, the last thing you want is to incur thousands of dollars in unnecessary damages.

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