Your tub, sink, and outdoor drains are probably not something you pay attention to every day. But when they have a clog or stop working as they should, you’re bound to notice. Just a minor clog from hair or cooking grease can be enough to create a lot of disruption in your home.
Fortunately, most drain clogs can be handled at home, rather than bringing out a professional plumber. Here are some tips to clear your own outdoor and indoor drains.
What Are the Types of Indoor and Outdoor Drains?
There are several plumbing systems that keep water flowing in and out of your home. The potable water system brings water into your home for drinking and bathing, while the sanitary drainage system takes the water out after its used. Storm drainage handles all the weather-related drainage from rain and storms.
All drains can become slow or clogged as you use them, especially with age. You may have a kitchen sink clog from food particles and cooking oil, a shower clog from loose hair and soap, or an outdoor drain clog from dirt, leaves, and tree roots.
Ways to Keep Your Drains Clear
If you have a major clog or a stubborn one that just won’t clear, you may need a professional plumber. Slow drains and minor clogs are a different matter, however, and may be fixable at home.
Try Dissolving Oil with Boiling Water
Clogs that are caused by grease, oil, soap, or food particles may be dissolved with boiling water. This is a safe method that won’t harm your drain, but it’s not recommended for PVC pipes. The high heat of boiling water can possibly melt them.
To try this method, boil about a half a gallon of water and pour it slowly and carefully into your drain. Once it all runs down, leave the tap running with hot water for a few minutes to clear the debris.
Try Dish Soap
Liquid dish soap is a big help for breaking up stuck-on grease on your pots and pans – but it can do the same thing for your drains. You only need an ounce or so to dissolve what’s built up in your drain, so avoid using too much. Otherwise, you may end up with a worse clog than you started with.
Use a Home Remedy
If your first reaction with a slow drain is to grab the Drano, you could be damaging your pipes. These chemical drain clears are corrosive and damage your pipe interior over time. They’re also dangerous for you if the chemicals splash onto your skin or eyes.
Instead of using harsh chemicals, you can rely on household products like baking soda and vinegar. Together, these products create a chemical reaction that can dissolve buildup and clear your drains without harming your pipes.
Just mix one cup of vinegar and one cup of baking soda together, pour it down the drain, and rinse with boiling water. it may take up to an hour to clear the pipes.
Try Drain Unclogging Tools
If you think that the clog is caused by a hair ball or a foreign object, you can see fi you can remove it with a plastic drain clearing tool. These tools are easy to find at hardware stores, available in different sizes, and affordable, so they’re not bad to keep in your home.
Drain clearing tools have a barb on the end that will catch on debris in your drain. Insert it into the pipe as far as it will go, then pull it out slowly. If you can’t bring anything up, try moving it around a bit to catch something.
Avoid any temptation to use a hanger in the same way. While it may seem the same, a hanger is much harder on your pipes than a plastic tool. You could also get a hanger stuck by accident.
Take Apart the P Trap
If you know there’s debris in your pipe that you can’t bring up with a drain tool, you may need to disassemble the pipe. The P trap is a curved area of the pipe that’s designed to keep liquid or gas from traveling back up, but that makes it an easy place for debris to get stuck.
You can call a plumber for help, but this is often a simple DIY job. Locate the P trap on your pipe and put a bucket underneath to get any water that may come out. Loosen the plastic nuts that hold the P trap together with tongue and groove pliers or a dry cloth rag for better grip.
Remove the trap’s elbow carefully and clear the debris out by pushing it into the bucket. Reassemble the pipe and test it to see if the water will drain.
Dealing with a clog or slow drain?Contact us at Moore Home Services to schedule an appointment!