Plumbing Services

Drain Cleaning – How to Get Rid of Clogged Drains

Clogged drains create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. The resulting foul odors can cause serious health issues for you and your family.Drain Cleaning

Most homeowners are familiar with basic drain cleaning methods like running the garbage disposal or using a plunger to clear a toilet clog. More severe blockages require more involved West Chester Drain Cleaning techniques.

When a drain becomes clogged, most homeowners reach for the plunger. This household tool is inexpensive, simple to use, and often effective. In fact, it should be the first thing you try when you encounter a blocked drain.

The basic design of a plunger is a rubber suction cup attached to a stick or bellows-like structure made of wood or plastic. There are several different plunger designs, however. Some are designed to fit over multiple sizes of drain openings. Others have a smaller cup that works best on sinks or tubs. Still others are more suited for toilets.

To use a plunger, fill the toilet bowl or basin about halfway up and make sure the flange at the bottom of the plunger is fully extended. If the water level is too low, add a little with the bucket to improve the plunger’s ability to create suction.

Place the plunger’s cup over the drain opening and press down on it firmly. As you push down and pull up, the pressure created can dislodge many common drain clogs. After plunging several times, the clog should disappear and the water will flow freely again.

If the clog persists, try using a chemical drain cleaner. Caustic cleaners like lye (sodium hydroxide) and caustic potash can destroy organic material, while oxidizing cleaners like bleach and peroxide slowly break down grease and other materials.

If these drain cleaning methods don’t work, consider calling in a plumber. Sewer clogs can be more difficult to treat, but plumbers can usually clear them by feeding a cable into a pipe and hooking onto the clog to pull it out. Clogs that are too severe for plungers can be broken up or pushed with a snake.

Boiling Water

Boiling water can be an effective drain cleaning tool for certain types of clogs. If a clog is caused by organic materials like food waste or hair, the heat from boiling water can help soften them and dissolve them so they can be easily flushed away. This is a much less abrasive and more environmentally friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners.

For best results, use a large pot and carefully pour boiling water down the drain. Try to do this in stages so the hot water can work for a few minutes between each pour. You can also combine this with baking soda to create a natural cleaning and deodorizing solution that will dissolve mineral deposits and help scour organic material from the sides of your pipes. Be careful not to use this method if your drain is connected to plastic pipes, as the high temperature of the boiling water could melt or damage them.

Another effective, albeit slightly messy, drain cleaning hack is to mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. This creates a fizzing reaction between the alkaline baking soda and acidic vinegar that can dislodge many common clogs. This is particularly effective for bathroom drains clogged with soap scum or hair, and kitchen drains that are blocked by grease.

If you don’t have any baking soda on hand, you can also use a cola-based drain cleaner. Just be sure to use a name-brand cola that contains lots of sugar, since this will be more effective at melting away greasy clogs. Simply pour the cola down your drain and leave it for a few hours; after that time, rinse out the drain with a pot of hot water and your clog should be gone.

Dish Soap

Although it may seem counterintuitive, a bit of dish soap is often enough to clear a drain. The sudsy substance can help break up clogs caused by hair, grease, or sticky foods. It also works to lubricate pipes, which can prevent future clogs and make it easier for water to flow through your drains.

Before using dish soap to unclog your drain, it is important to clear out any visible obstructions. Once that is done, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of boiling water. The combination will eat through and dissolve most solids. You can repeat this process as needed to maintain your drain health.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional liquid dish soap or a bar, it’s important to choose one that is free of harmful chemicals. Look for a product that is organic, vegan, or gluten-free and has no dyes, phosphates, triclosan, or parabens. Additionally, look for a bottle that is recyclable or made from post-consumer recycled materials, such as glass or aluminum.

Another great option is this organic, vegan-friendly, and nontoxic dish soap from Meliora Cleaning Products. The eye-catching bottle looks great on your kitchen sink and the formula works hard to cut through grease and baked-on food residue. The low-sudsing dish soap is skin-safe, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free and has a pleasant, fresh linen scent.

If you’re aiming to reduce your plastic waste, this is a great alternative. The bar comes in a recyclable paperboard box with no plastic packaging and the soap itself is biodegradable, compostable, and free of harmful chemicals like phosphates and triclosan. Additionally, the brand offers refills for this product to further reduce your plastic footprint.

Chemical Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners offer a quick, inexpensive fix for blockages. They typically dissolve clogs quickly and effectively, particularly those caused by hair, soap scum, or grease. They are also relatively easy to use and come in a wide variety of formulas to tackle almost any type of clog. On the downside, however, they are usually harsher on pipes than other cleaners and can sometimes mask an underlying problem. They can also be hazardous to health if not used properly, as many contain chemicals such as sodium hydroxide (lye) and sulfuric acid that can be harmful to both humans and pets if inhaled or ingested.

When using any chemical drain cleaner, it’s important to follow all instructions on the label carefully and to take safety precautions to protect your skin, eyes, and face. This includes wearing thick rubber gloves, a face mask, and goggles, as well as ventilating the area to reduce fumes. Liquid chemical cleaners are especially dangerous as they can splash and splatter, which can cause severe burns.

When choosing a chemical drain cleaner, look for one that is safe for your pipes and septic system. Oxidizing cleaners, for example, contain ingredients such as bleach, peroxides, or nitrates that strip away electrons from the material in the pipe, which breaks down and loosens the obstruction. These types of cleaners work best on organic materials such as food or hair and are typically safer for pipes than acidic cleaners. Caustic drain cleaners, such as lye or caustic potash, are effective on most clogs but are especially good for those resulting from grease. They are typically less effective on hard-to-break down blockages, such as clay or cast iron pipes.

Sewer Cleaning

The sewer line is one of the most important lines in a building. It carries wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewage treatment plant, so it needs to be free of blockages to work properly. Unfortunately, the line gets clogged with many different things, including leaves, garbage, roots, and sand. This is why it is essential to have it cleaned regularly. A professional technician can use mechanical or hydraulic cleaning to clear the lines of any obstructions.

Eliminate bad odors

Slow or clogged drains are the perfect habitat for bacteria and mold. They can cause respiratory problems and lead to serious illnesses. Professional drain cleaning eliminates these odours, keeping your home smelling fresh and clean.

Save money

Sewage backup and overflows can be expensive to repair. In addition, they can cause extensive damage to your property. Regular sewer cleaning prevents clogs and keeps your pipes in good condition, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

While it may not be the most glamorous chore, drain cleaning is an essential part of keeping your home healthy and functional. By using the tips above, you can keep your drains and sewer lines clean and safe for the whole family. And if you ever experience a problem, be sure to contact a professional plumber right away. They will be able to help you solve the issue quickly and effectively. And with proper maintenance, you can keep your drains and sewer line working well for years to come. Just remember to avoid flushing items down the drains that are not meant for it, such as baby wipes, menstrual products, and grease or oil. This will prevent clogs and overflows.