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This is Basically Every Single Way You Can Possibly Unblock a Drain and Deal With Any Related Damages

5:26:00 PM

Clogged drains can be one of the most annoying problems to deal with in the home. Not only do you have to waste time trying to figure out what’s clogging the pipes, but you also have to spend time trying to get it free. Not to mention the smells that come with it.

From the kitchen to the bathroom, there are several steps you can take to prevent your drains from becoming clogged in the first place. And when they do, what you can do to make them free again.


What Causes Clogs?

Before we can start helping you with the problem, it helps to go over what the most common sources of clogs are. Being aware of them will make you more vigilant about keeping your drains clear of these items so that you won’t have any clogs in the future.

● Hair: one of the biggest culprits of blocked drains. It is easy for it to bind with grease, creating a clumped, sticky mess that you can’t get rid of. To prevent hair clogging your drains, place guards to catch them and clean them out regularly.
● Soap: it’s supposed to make you clean, not make your sinks worse. If you are using soaps that have a high-fat content, it can bind with the minerals in your water and create a hard residue along your pipes that builds up over time. Run a few soap-free washes and clean your pipe pressures to remove any traces of soap.
● Dirt: washing yourself and your clothes can lead to a buildup of dirt along your pipes. Shake or rinse dirt off of your clothes before sticking them into your washing machine.
● Mineral Buildup: if you have hard water, then this is going to be avoidable. The minerals will layer over each other and create a hard plug that can be difficult to remove. You’ll have to regularly remove the buildup or have a water softener installed to take care of the problem.
● Food Waste: garbage disposals aren’t capable of taking care of all your food waste. Create a compost pile to take care of your bigger pieces of garbage.
● Toilet Paper: sometimes, it can just clog together and prevent your toilets from flushing. A plunger is usually all that’s necessary to take care of the job, but if not, then you should contact a professional to remove the blockage.
● Small Objects: especially if you have children, small objects can easily find their way into your pipes. If you don’t have kids, this can still be an unavoidable problem. Nothing but water, toilet paper, and human waste should go down your toilet. Other objects should be thrown away responsibly.
● Tree Roots: this isn’t a problem you can easily see or prepare for. Pay attention to your foundation and any large trees that may be growing close to it. The roots will find any crack and work their way in, sometimes into your pipes. This isn’t something you can take care of on your own; call a professional.

Using Soda

Soda is naturally fizzy, and the agitation of the bubbles against the clog may be all that’s needed to get the job done. It’s also caustic so it can also clear away any mineral buildup you may have. Buy a cheap 2-liter bottle of soda and pour the entire thing down the drain. Wait for at least an hour before turning on your hot water again to see if it’s still clogged or not.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Everyone has baking soda and vinegar somewhere in their home, and it can be one of the first methods to resort to when dealing with a drain. Combined together, they create a fizzing solution that can get rid of mild clogs.

Pour boiling hot water into the drain and wait until the water clears. Add half a cup of baking soda, and then one cup of hot water mixed with one cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to do its work for at least an hour, but you can wait longer if you want to. To see if it’s done its job, turn on the hot water to see if it drains. If it didn’t work, then it’s time to move on to a stronger solution.

Using Snakes

Venting a laundry drain isn’t easy, especially when it’s tucked away behind your washing machine. Some of the methods mentioned above won’t work either, so you may have to resort to more physical methods of removal. Getting a drain snake or millipede is easy enough; just go to your local hardware store. However, you should definitely get some advice on how to use one, as if they’re used incorrectly, it’s very easy to puncture your pipes and create an even bigger problem. It may be better to get a plumbing professional to snake your more serious clogs to prevent this from happening.



Plungers

Ah, good old plungers. They’re a staple in every bathroom, and for good reason. No one wants to deal with a clogged toilet, especially with the smells that come out of it. If you notice that your toilet isn’t draining completely, just shove the end of your plunger as far as it can go into the toilet and start plunging. Take care of splashing and exercise patience. It may take several tries and hard plunges to finally clear the clog.

For smaller drains, such as those in the sink or the shower, you need a smaller plunger to get the job done called a cup plunger. You’ll first have to remove the grate or guard over your drain and apply the cup plunger until you have a tight seal. Then plunge away, periodically running hot water to see if the clog has been removed.

Cleaning the P-Trap

This is the curved pipe under your bathroom sink that’s designed to catch any debris so that it doesn’t get into the rest of your pipes. However, if you haven’t cleaned this in a while, then clogs are bound to happen. Thankfully, this is a job you can complete yourself; it just might be a little gross.

Place an empty bucket under your sink to catch any excess water that may be in your pipes. Use a wrench to undo the pipe and empty the contents into the garbage. Rinse out the p-trap in another sink and screw it back into your pipes to see if the problem has been taken care of.

Using a Garden Hose

If you’ve tried everything else to get rid of a clog and the problem persists, it’s time to look at more powerful methods. If you have a garden hose that’s long enough, snake it through your window and into your home. Secure it to the opening of your drain with duct tape. Then turn the water on full force to blast the clog free down your drain. It will take a long time to set up, but hopefully, the pressure will be high enough to take care of the problem.

Creating a Siphon

If you have a flooded basement and your sump pump can’t do the job, then you may have to create a siphon to get rid of the water. Have you and a friend get a garden hose and place your thumbs over both ends. Carry one end inside and place below the level of your pooled water; the other end should be placed outside. This works best if your yard is on a slope. Gravity should be able to take care of the rest for you.

Using Industrial Clog Removers

There are plenty of products in the market that are designed to remove the clogs from your drains. Some of them foam up, others are thick gels that are designed to simply push the clog away. They work in different ways so it may be best to get several if you have a particularly stubborn clog. Just exercise caution; do not pour all of them down your drain at once, as this can create dangerous fumes that shouldn’t be inhaled. Rinse your sink out with hot water between the use of each product to prevent this from happening.

When to Seek Professional Help

You may want to save money by trying to fix the problem yourself, but that isn’t always viable. If there is only one thing in your house that’s clogged, then it can be a simple problem you can undo yourself. However, if it’s a particularly serious problem and you’ve tried everything else without success, or if there are several fixtures that are clogged at the same time, then it would be best if you seek professional help. It’s much too big for you to handle on your own. You don’t want the problem to become more expensive than you’re prepared to pay to repair.

It’s important that you pay attention when it comes to clearing your clogged drains. You’ll be dealing with a lot of water and waste, and not being mindful can lead to a bigger mess. Exercise caution and if you ever experience any doubt, put the tools away and get a professional to help you instead.

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