Chemical Drain-Clearing Methods
Most commercial products used for unclogging drains contain caustic and corrosive chemicals that are not only bad for you and the environment but also hard on your pipes. Chemical drain cleaners damage galvanized PVC, iron, and copper pipes. They should never be used on any completely clogged drain because the abrasive materials can devour pipes while clearing the organic materials.
Manual Drain-Clearing Methods
There are safer methods of unclogging drains. Here are some things to try at the first sign of a clogged drain.
Of course, the trusty plunger is a tool that no household should be without. Sometimes, all a drain needs is a few quick pumps to create enough suction on the pipe to remove the debris that is causing the obstruction. Just force the plunger down several times and then stop to test whether the water drains. Repeat the process if the drain is still stagnant. Remember to run hot water to flush away any remaining particles in the gutter when clear.
A Drain Snake
You can use a plumber or drum auger when the plunger isn’t working. These are more commonly referred to as drain snakes. Like the plunger, these tools are inexpensive ande handy to have around in case of a clog. Drain snakes often work on close stubborn clogs that don’t respond to your plunging efforts. Here are two videos on how to use the plumber’s auger and the drum auger.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Along with manual techniques, numerous other ways to clean out backed-up drains exist. Baking soda and vinegar can work wonders on pipes without dangerous chemicals or damage. Pour about one-quarter cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by about one-half cup of vinegar. Mixing these two substances will result in a ? boiling. Reaction that harmlessly works to loosen clogged debris from pipes. Just follow up with some hot water to clear out any remaining residue.
Enzymatic Drain Cleaners
Another alternative is to purchase an enzymatic, bacteria-based preparation sold in hardware stores. These products are all-natural, non-toxic “green” solutions that work long after the initial treatment. Since this treatment consists of putting live enzymes and bacteria into your pipes and plumbing system, they establish beneficial colonies that consume organic matter, including hair, foodstuff, and soap film. To put it another way, enzymatic drain cleaners eat the yucky stuff.
These products work best when used in a maintenance capacity to prevent clogs in the first place. Mix the product with lukewarm water. Cold water restricts the growth of bacteria, and hot water kills microorganisms. Put the solution into the drains at night. The bacteria need several hours of water not running for the populations to become established. Running water will flush them through your system. For best results, treat drains monthly.
Chemical drain cleaners are not always the best choice. They are dangerous to store around small children and pets, and they are not precisely earth-friendly. The next time your drains become slow or clogged, reach for one of the many non-chemical solutions available today.
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