How to Unclog Drain Pipes
Drains become clogged for a variety of reasons. Toothpaste, hair, soap and food can all cause drains to clog. A clogged drain may be slow to empty or not empty at all if the clog has completely stopped the flow of water. If only one drain is slow or sluggish, the clog is likely near the opening of the drain. For several drains that are sluggish or stopped, the clog is in an area where the drains meet. Fix a clogged drain with household items.
Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain. Wait one minute, and pour 3 to 4 cups of boiling water into the drain. Use this technique when there is no standing water for a drain that is slow to empty but not entirely blocked. The baking soda and boiling water helps to dissolve clogs.
Place equal parts baking soda and vinegar into the drain. The baking soda and vinegar will foam, which can expand the clog and flush it out. Flush the drain using several cups of boiling water. Use this technique for a drain that is slow but not entirely stopped.
Sprinkle a cup of washing soda into the drain if there is standing water from an entirely stopped drain. The washing soda will break down clogs, allowing the standing water to flow down the drain.
Place a plunger over the drain, and press down to create suction. Press the handle of the plunger up and down slowly several times until you move the clog, and water can freely flow down the drain.
Insert a plumbing snake into the drain and twist the handle to push the snake deep into the pipes. The snake will break apart clogs as it passes through the pipes. Purchase a plumbing snake at a home improvement store.
- For clogs that do not respond to home treatments, contact a plumber.
- Avoid using caustic drain cleaners as the chemicals may damage pipes and water supplies.
Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.
- down the drain image by pix29 from Fotolia.com