It’s easy to overlook your plumbing system when distracted by day-to-day life. The drains and sewer line, in particular, operate behind the scenes to keep your sinks, tubs, and appliances running smoothly. Yet these systems often don’t receive the attention they deserve until a nasty, inconvenient clog develops. One way to avoid such unpleasant situations is to maintain your drainage system regularly. This guide offers essential tips to keep your home clog-free.
DIY Methods to Keep Your Drains Clear
Performing regular drain cleaning as part of your home maintenance routine reduces the chance of unexpected clogs and backups. Here are some do-it-yourself methods to keep your drains flowing freely:
- Flush drains with hot water: One of the simplest yet most effective preventative measures is to pour a kettle full of near-boiling water down every drain. This practice dissolves minor blockages caused by grease or soap scum and prevents more substantial clogs in the future.
- Use enzyme cleaners: Harness the power of natural solutions like BIO-CLEAN, an EPA-approved enzyme drain cleaner. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, this product is eco-friendly, won’t damage your pipes, and effectively prevents clogs if used once a month.
- Try the baking soda and vinegar technique: Combining these common household ingredients creates a natural cleaning solution for minor clogs. Pour one-half cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by one-half cup of vinegar. The resulting fizzing action breaks down blockages close to the drain. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse the drain with near-boiling water.
- Clean sink traps regularly: The sink trap, the U-shaped pipe under your bathroom and kitchen sink, catches and holds water to prevent sewer gases from entering your home. Of course, the bend in the pipe makes this a prime spot for debris to collect. If your sink starts draining slowly, take the time to unscrew the trap and clean the contents into the trash. Be sure to place a bucket under the sink to catch any water and debris that pour out.
- Invest in drain guards: Mesh screens are simple but effective tools for preventing large debris from flowing down the drain and causing a clog. They’re particularly useful in kitchen sinks and shower drains, where they can catch food particles, hair, and bits of soap.
- Dispose of grease properly: Used cooking grease congeals at room temperature, making it highly prone to clogging your pipes. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, dispose of it in the trash or a designated container.
Basic Plumbing Tools for Every Home
DIY plumbing tasks can seem daunting, but with a few essential tools, you can handle minor clogs and maintain your drains more effectively. Here’s what belongs in your toolbox:
- Toilet plunger: Also called a flange plunger, this tool is made specifically for unclogging toilets. Its unique flanged design helps it create a tight seal against the toilet bowl for more effective results.
- Sink plunger: The classic cup plunger should be reserved for sinks. The cup-like design is perfect for flat surfaces like sinks and bathtub drains, making it easier to create the necessary suction to dislodge blockages.
- Hand auger: This plumbing tool is a step up from a plunger and works on more stubborn clogs. Its flexible metal cable reaches far into the drain to manually break up blockages and restore water flow.
Say No to Drain Cleaning Chemicals
Despite the tempting convenience of drain cleaning chemicals, the best they can offer is temporary relief from minor clogs. These corrosive chemicals generate heat to break down blockages, but a lot of debris remains stuck to the drain walls. Besides, the process damages your pipes over time, leading to more severe problems in the future.
Drain cleaning chemicals also pose potential hazards to your health and the environment. Their toxic nature can cause skin and respiratory irritation, and these chemicals unavoidably contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life when poured down the drain. So while chemicals may seem like a quick fix for a clogged drain, the short-lived effects aren’t worth the downsides.
Leave the Big Jobs to the Pros
While the DIY methods outlined above can manage minor clogs, significant blockages call for professional intervention. Licensed plumbers bring specialized tools and expertise to every job, allowing them to handle more complex issues. Here’s a look at the tools professionals use to get your drains flowing again:
- Video camera inspections: With the help of tiny waterproof cameras on the end of flexible rods, plumbers can visually inspect your drains and sewer lines. The ability to pinpoint the exact location and nature of the clog helps plumbers determine the best drain cleaning method to use. It’s also satisfying to see your freshly cleaned drains in a follow-up video inspection once the work is complete.
- Motorized drain augers: These heavy-duty devices are longer and more powerful versions of hand augers. They can reach further into your pipes and break up stubborn blockages that manual tools can’t handle.
- Hydro jetting equipment: Hydro jet plumbing uses high-pressure water to blast away blockages, scour pipe walls, and wash away debris. This method is particularly effective against grease, soap buildup, and invasive tree roots. Since it only involves water, hydro jetting is eco-friendly and safe for your pipes.
Drain and Sewer Line Cleaning in Seattle, WA
Maintaining your drains and sewer lines doesn’t need to be complicated. With Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, you can rest assured that your drains are in good hands. We have been providing unparalleled service to the Seattle area for over two decades, offering round-the-clock emergency drain cleaning and support. Our team comprises skilled and fully licensed technicians with extensive experience handling diverse plumbing issues. So the next time you experience a persistent clog, contact us at (206) 938-3219 for the sewer and drain cleaning services you need.