How to Clean Out Your Water Pipes

Clogged drains are a nuisance, but they can also be easy to clear.

Clean water pipes are underappreciatedClean water pipes are underappreciated
To prevent clogged drains, use a trap to catch hair (in bathroom sinks) and food particles (in kitchen sinks) before they make their way into the water pipes. In addition, fill a kettle with water, bring it to a boil, and pour it down your unclogged drains each week to clear whatever may be building up in the pipes. When a clog occurs, you can tackle the problem in a couple of ways, depending on the severity of the clog.

Clear the pipe of any visible gunk like hair or food particles.

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a roiling boil.

When the water is boiling, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of ammonia down the drain. Flush the drain with all of the boiling water.

If the pipe is still clogged, feed a plumber's auger (also known as a sewer snake) into the pipe until it hits the clog and will not go any further. Poke the clog with the auger, turning the handle as you do so, to break it up. As you withdraw the auger, continue to turn the handle.

Repeat the baking soda/ammonia/boiling water process (or use a chemical drain cleaner) when the auger is removed from the drain.

Things You Will Need

  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • Chemical drain cleaner (like Drano)
  • Plumber's auger (also called a sewer snake)

Tip

  • Use a small plunger to help pull up a shallow clog.

About the Author

Gail began writing professionally in 2004. Now a full-time proofreader, she has written marketing material for an IT consulting company, edited auditing standards for CPAs and ghostwritten the first draft of a nonfiction Amazon bestseller. Gail holds a Master of Arts in English literature and has taught college-level business communication, composition and American literature.