At some point in time, we have all experienced the frustration that accompanies drain blockage.
Despite using a drain cover, tiny objects may filter through the mesh and into the pipeline, which could have disastrous effects in the long run. As the residue keeps piling up, the diameter of the pipes decreases, meaning there is hardly enough room for water to flow.
The immediate response would be to call a plumber or a certified company, but there is no guarantee that they will arrive on time. And waiting would not be a wise idea if it is a severe issue.
Therefore, we have dedicated today’s guide to provide homeowners with DIY drain maintenance tips. None of these methods str complicated, and they might help you clear a blocked drain quickly, thereby reducing the need for renovations.
Steps To Clear A Drain Pipe Blockage
Contrary to popular opinion, blocked drains are not that common irrespective of the maze of drain pipes running across your home. Similarly, despite having numerous bathroom or kitchen appliances, they should not clog even after regular use.
Long story short, clogging is an abnormal situation that you need to address immediately. While it would be best to contact a professional service to clear the debris, there are a few things that you can do if the issue isn't complicated.
So, read the following sections to find useful tips that will help with DIY drain maintenance.
Flush The Drain
Sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective when it comes to drain cleaning. For instance, users can pour hot water down the drain pipes to remove all kinds of waste.
Flushing the drain helps unclog the pipes to ensure the uninterrupted movement of waste. Naturally, when the water flow decreases, it means that grease inside the pipes has formed a tight wall with other materials to restrict movement.
If you fail to act soon, debris build-up will further reduce the diameter of the pipes until waste disposal comes to a standstill. This may be followed by irreparable damage or overflowing bathroom and kitchen appliances, giving rise to major plumbing issues.
So, it would be best to have a customised drain cleaning guide to focus on maintenance and reduce frequent clogging. Speaking of drains, let’s now look at the three most common pipe systems and how to take care of them.
A. Shower Drain
Think about this - you are having a refreshing shower when you notice that the water is draining slowly. This should immediately put you on alert because ignoring the issue will lead to the shower drain overflowing, followed by a lengthy unclogging procedure.
You must note that shower drains don't often clog, meaning the issue is pretty serious when they do. The most common contributor to clogs is hair and soap particles that form tiny balls of stubborn debris.
For DIY maintenance, it would be best to install a strainer that will catch all unwanted substances to keep the drain clog-free. But in spite of that, if you encounter problems with water flow, call a professional plumber to deal with the issue.
B. Kitchen Sink Drain
The kitchen is the focal point of the house and experiences maximum footfall throughout the day. Hence, it is essential to keep it clean, including the sink drain.
Needless to say, that it takes quite an effort to keep the kitchen sink clean because from cooking to washing, all the debris passes through its pipe system. Be it leftover food, soap, or vegetable bits, numerous items get stuck in the drain, thereby clogging it.
So, we suggest that you dispose of the trash, including scraped vegetable bits, in the garbage. This will keep the pipes free from chunks of waste and soap, allowing the water to flow unobstructed.
In addition, refrain from pouring soups down the drain, as it leads to grease formation that sticks to the interior of the pipes. You should also focus on weekly maintenance by pouring hot water or a chemical solution to steer clear of plumbing issues.
C. Toilet Drain
Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks in drain maintenance is looking after a toilet drain. When the toilet clogs, it makes your home inhospitable, meaning you cannot afford to take any chances.
Most of the time, the pipe is full of unwanted waste that is difficult for the toilet to flush. From steel bits to kids' toys, numerous things can contribute to a blockage. In fact, trying to flush too much toilet paper may also cause a clog.
Therefore, it would help if you dump facial cleaning papers like baby wipes down the trash. Also, pour hot water or chemicals into the pipes every month to enhance their longevity. But if all else fails, you will need to call certified drain cleaners to remove the clogs.
Common Drain Cleaning Tools
Now that you know about some of the problems when it comes to drain cleaning let us highlight a few drain cleaning tools for your benefit. Two of the most common tools that every home should have are a plunger and a snake drain auger.
The former is perfect for domestic purposes, and if you find the water draining slowly, use the plunger straightaway. Provided that the blockage isn't serious, the plunger might be able to free the drainpipe without any hassle.
On the other hand, when the plunger is ineffective, you can turn to a snake drain auger for clearing stubborn clogs.
Natural Drain Cleaners
For DIY drain maintenance, you can use homemade drain cleaners, which offer an efficient method of cleaning blocked drains. It saves you the cost of hiring a plumbing service without you needing to use harmful chemicals.
That said, we have shortlisted the five best natural cleaners by using baking soda as the common ingredient:
A. Baking Soda And Vinegar
A combination of these two substances may act as a powerful cleaning agent; no wonder plumbing services use this mixture for commercial purposes. All you need to do is pour 1/2 cup of each product into the drains and let it rest for an hour.
You can then flush the drains with boiling water to remove the blockage.
B. Borax And Vinegar
To create a more potent mixture, you can use borax along with baking soda and vinegar. While the quantity of baking soda remains the same, use 1/4 cup of borax and vinegar before flushing the drain with boiling water.
Wait for one hour, and then use hot tap water to wash away any residue.
Unknown to many, salt acts as an effective cleaning agent against tough clogs. You can add 1/2 a cup of baking soda and a similar amount of salt down the clogged drain; let it rest overnight.
The following morning make sure to flush boiling water down the pipes to complete the process.
D. Lemon Juice
Another organic ingredient that proves beneficial for clearing a blocked toilet or sink is lemon juice. Although it is priced higher than vinegar, 1/2 a cup of lemon juice and baking soda may clear stubborn clogs.
Not to mention that it smells better, so all you need to do is let it rest for a while and then wash the drains with boiling water.
E. Cream Tartar
We have found that using baking soda, salt, and cream tartar could free a blocked drain. Take a tightly sealed jar and pour two tablespoons of cream tartar, 1/2 a cup of baking soda, and 1/2 a cup of salt into it.
Then shake the jar to mix the ingredients and pour half the solution down the drain. After half an hour, you can wash the residue with boiling water, and hopefully, that will clear the blockage.
After you have exhausted all the methods mentioned above, you may use chemicals as a last resort. Be it plumbing services or ordinary citizens, using enzymatic cleaners is often the go-to option for many people. Simply because it does not require a lot of effort.
However, they do have a strong smell due to the use of lye and sulfuric acid, meaning you must wash the residue properly. Also, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before getting to work.
You may even contact a plumbing service if you are unsure about using toxic substances. But nonetheless, it is extremely effective and clears oil, paper, hair, and other residue stuck in the sink or toilet.
Keeping Up With Your Drain Maintenance
Are you confident that you can clear a blocked toilet or other bathroom and kitchen appliances without calling a plumber?
We will leave you with this tip: carry out weekly maintenance, which will make the installations last longer. And whenever in doubt, you can refer to our guide for all the information.
See you soon, bye!