A few valuable tips and tricks can go a long way in saving both time and money, when it comes to cleaning the drains in your home or business. Though a professional plumber can be called to deal with any major issues, these visits can become costly, and are often avoidable if the relevant care and maintenance is applied.
Regularly Flush Your Pipes
Like most things in life, prevention can be the cure, and dedicating a small but regular amount of time to the cleaning and maintenance of your drains, can help avoid disasters such as clogged pipes and backed up appliances.
One easy method of reducing the likelihood of drain obstructions is to ensure pipes are flushed regularly. This is easy to achieve simply by filling the sink or bath tub up with hot water, and then releasing the plug and letting it drain.
Whereas light usage, for example running the faucet, sends water down the pipeline, this filling makes sure the entire line is flushed out, along with any debris that might be inside it.
Expert drain technicians recommend against the use of any chemical cleaners for regular drain maintenance. Though these cleaners can provide a temporary solution, in the long run, the harsh chemicals and acids that they contain can damage pipes and lead to even more problems.
If You Have a Clog
If drains do become blocked, there are a few tricks that can be tried at home, inexpensively, before the plumber is called. One of the most tried and true techniques to clearing a clogged drain is the use of vinegar and baking soda.
These can be bought relatively cheaply, for under five dollars, at most grocery stores, and they may even be sitting in the pantry already.
First, remove as much of the backed up water as possible by scooping it out with a jug. Pour one cup of baking soda and then 1 cup of vinegar into the affected drain, then replace the plug and leave the solution to work for thirty minutes.
After this, the plug should be removed and a kettle full of boiling water poured carefully down the drain. If the blockage hasn’t been cleared, the steps may need to be repeated a second time. By using this method, drains can be unclogged in a safe and chemical free way, using inexpensive items from around the house with minimal risk.
Click here to watch a demonstration of how to unclog your sink with baking soda and vinegar.
Another traditional method of clearing drain blockages, is plunging. A plunger can be purchased from most hardware stores relatively inexpensively, and is easy to operate. Though some obstructions can be cleared, there is also the risk that plunging may compact the blockage making the situation worse than it was to begin with.
To attempt to clear a pipeline, a few inches of water is necessary in the blocked sink or toilet, in order to allow the plunger to form a good vacuum seal. Position the plunger over the blocked drain and push down sharply and forcefully, then repeat this process until the blockage is removed.
One final way to clear a blockage is to remove the pipe’s clean out plug, if accessible, and try to dislodge the obstructing matter using a wire coat hanger or plumber’s snake. A bucket should be placed beneath the pipe, and protective eye glasses should be warn while performing this fix.
Insert the coat hanger into the pipe and try to gently break apart the mass by pushing against it. Though this method can be effective, it is possible if incorrectly performed, to cause further damage to pipes resulting in leaks.
A plumber’s snake can be purchased for around ten dollars at most home and hardware stores, though a metal coat hanger is a good alternative.
Important Things to Remember
Caution should be used when trying out any tips or tricks for cleaning and unclogging drains. While regular care and maintenance, as well as some easy unblocking techniques can be financially beneficial, they also have the potential to cause more problems if done incorrectly.
By following instructions carefully, and stopping to seek professional help if uncomfortable with the procedure, these ideas can help with the maintenance of clean and blockage free pipes.