Okay, so you’ve been standing there waiting for the drain to flush the water out but it’s taking far too long. A slow drain or toilet could be a first sign of a problem.
Proper maintenance is needed to avoid clogs (that can potentially mean more stress, more time wasted and more $$$ spent!)… Here are some weekly and monthly steps you can take to prevention:
Once a week maintenance tips:
- Bring the pop-up stoppers up in the bathroom sink to get rid of trapped debris, put in the trash and wash the stopper and put it back in the drain.
- Take out the drain cover of the bathtub drain and use a bent wire or hair-catching brush to remove debris that might have collected there.
Once a month maintenance tips:
- Clean and clear your waste disposal with a stiff disposer brush or mix a few cups of ice and table salt. This will help remove grease buildup and slime off the sides of the disposer. Flush it with cold water added with lemon to deodorize.
- For bathtub maintenance, pull out the overflow plate, and bring the pop-up handle up to grasp the rocker arm. Get rid of accumulated debris and wash thoroughly before setting it back.
- It is also advisable to use a good cleaner to protect all the drains in your home. It has to be non-corrosive and biodegradable so it won’t deteriorate your home plumbing system. It is better to use a nature friendly cleaner than chemical ones as it can be safe to your plumbing system and your family.
To clean your drains effectively, you can use baking soda and vinegar. This is a great way to help eliminate a slow-moving drain. To unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, use the following tips.
- Let a pot of boiling water run down through the drain.
- Throw in about half a cup of baking soda. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- Then, pour in a mixture of a cup of vinegar and a cup of hot water.
- Cover the drain with the plug and let it sit for 5-10 mins.
- Lastly, flush with boiling water.
My Drain is Clogged.. Now What?
With chemical and non-chemical cleaners in the market today, it’s usually your decision what to use. Some people opt to use tools, while others rely on natural ingredients. All we can say is.. you have to be careful and think before you pour different solutions down the drain.
Check out some of the available options:
These are dangerous chemicals that can be purchased at the store. Pure poison, these work by eating away and dissolving hair and particles. The corrosive power of these chemicals does not stop with clogs alone. It can eat away at the pipe itself, depending on the material of your pipe. The caustic nature of these chemicals is also dangerous for your health so use with great caution or avoid altogether.
The most common cause of clogged drains in the bathroom and bathtub is hair. There are products that feature a thin and flexible piece of plastic with barbed sides, generally sold for $2 and up. These tools are wonderful because they fit right into the bathroom and bathtub sink, grab the hair and hair ties, and pull them right out.
Another cheap tool is the “snake” and comes in different shapes for different needs. Each is around $5 and can be compared to a pipe cleaner in flexibility with a handle at the end.
Note that you can make your own tools.
For example, you can take a metal coat hanger, straighten it out, and make a hook on the end to grab the gunk. Videos on Youtube are quite helpful to help homeowners learn how to unscrew sink and bathtub stoppers to reach clogs more easily. Remember to pull the gunk out and NOT to push it through. Pushing it further down the drain will just lead to a deeper clog.
Homemade Cleaning Solution
After using a tool to remove the hair and debris you can use a homemade drain cleaner to remove any remaining buildup. The great thing is, most of these ingredients could be found in your kitchen!
To create your homemade drain cleaner, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the drain, close the stopper, and allow it to bubble and sit for 30 minutes without use.
After half an hour, pour hot water down the drain to rinse it through. You may need to repeat this a couple times for drains with a bigger build-up. This homemade cleaner both deodorizes and cleans for a fresh, well working sink.
If you’re out of baking soda, you can also use the salt and cream of tartar solution.
Mix 1/2 cup of salt, half a cup of baking soda and about 1/4 cup cream of tartar in a bowl. Pour this solution down your drain and then add a gallon of boiling water. This allows the debris to break up.
Enzymatic Drain Cleaners
This is an earth friendly method that involves using live enzymes and bacteria that consume organic scum.
They feed on hair and food waste as well. These organisms digest the waste, then reproduce, spreading the helpful bacteria throughout your septic system.
After you have put in all this effort to clear your drain, take steps to keep it this way. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
If your clog still keeps coming back (and we can assume it could be a real headache!), it is time to call in plumbing experts in Beaumont, TX. These certified pros in Texas have the right tools that allow them to see exactly what is causing the problem and more powerful techniques such as hydro-jetting to clear clogs deep within the pipes.
Follow the tips above and you can avoid costly emergency repairs. In case of a major clog, remember to hire a professional to perform drain cleaning in Beaumont.