Prevention Methods for Clogged Drains

To avoid having drains that are clogged you should use a drain strainer that will catch things such as small pieces of food and hair. When you collect grease use cans for disposal rather than pouring the grease down the drain. You can pour a bucket of boiling water down the drain every week in order to melt fat that can build up in the drain. You can also put vinegar and baking soda down the drain once a week in order to break down the deposited fat. By using baking soda and vinegar it will also give your drain a fresh and clean smell.

The oldest trick in the book to unclog a drain is to use a plunger. A plunger is cheap and you should have one, as it is one of the easiest tools to use when drains are clogged. Place the plunger completely over the drain and give it a few plunges as it typically only takes a few plunges for the drain to unclog.

IMPORTANT: When using a plunger do not put commercial drain openers down the drain and then immediately start plunging. Wait until there is none of the commercial drain in the standing water before you start to plunge.

If you have grease buildup in your drain dissolve one pound of washing soda with 3 gallons of boiling water and pour it down the drain.

IMPORTANT: To avoid burning yourself with the boiling water hold the boiling water close to the drain and slowly pour it directly into the drain. By doing it too quickly you can cause splattering and you may burn yourself.

If the grease buildup is very heavy in the drain, or there is a clog because of hair, you can use commercial drain cleaner that can be purchased at grocery stores or hardware stores.

IMPORTANT: Read the labels and follow the instructions carefully. It is best to use rubber gloves and some sort of eye protection as well. Just like with the boiling water do not pour the commercial drain cleaner in too quickly as it can cause splattering.

You can also use baking soda and vinegar in order to prevent clogged drains. Pour one half cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour one half cup of vinegar down the drain and then cover it letting it sit for several minutes. After you let it sit slowly pour a bucket of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda and vinegar mix can break down fatty acids into glycerin and soap, which will allow for the clog in drain to be washed down.

You can also use salt and baking soda to unclog drains. Use one-half cup of baking soda and one half-cup of salt and pour it down the drain. Next take 6 cups of boiling water and slowly pour it down the drain. Let this sit overnight and then in the morning flush the drain with water. The baking soda and salt will be an abrasive to get through the clogged drain and the boiling water will help in dissolving the clog in the drain.

IMPORTANT: When doing these two methods make sure there is no commercial drain opener in the standing water before pouring in the baking soda and vinegar or baking soda and salt.

You can also use a mechanical snake with garden house to unclog tough clogs in drains. These flexible metal snakes can be either rented or bought. If you use the snake with a garden hose it may be able to clear blockage in the main drain that goes to the street. The first thing to do is to crank the mechanical snake and feed it into the pipe. Now take out the snake and then flush the pipe with the garden hose that is turned on. If the clog persists do not be forceful with the clog as it can cause damage to the plumbing. If the clog is an extremely tough one it is a good option to use a plumber so there will be no major plumbing damage, which can get quite expensive.

Author: Jason Green