Put Down the Harsh Chemicals! Five Alternative Ways to Clear Your Drains

Sewer and drain replacement

If we can offer you one piece of advice that we hope you will hold dear to your heart for the rest of your life, it is to never use the harsh chemicals you find at the grocery store that claim to clear clogs from your pipes. Those bad boys can burn through any type of material blocking your drains, which means they do equal damage to the pipe itself. What should’ve been a cheap solution will come back to bite you, when the corrosion from the harsh chemicals that you’ve poured down your sewer lines corrodes them to the point that they crack and break, setting you back thousands of dollars in sewer line repair, possible flooding damage, and restoration.

There are many inexpensive and easy methods of clearing clogs that don’t hurt your pipes in the process. Because we’re in a good mood, and we sort of like you, we put together an easy clog-clearing list for your reference:

  1. Level One: Prevention
    Before you ever have an issue with your plumbing, some home experts recommend performing a monthly maintenance to help keep your pipes free of buildup that leads to clogs. This is a fairly simple task, simply fill your kitchen and bathroom sinks with hot water, and then let them drain at the same time. The pressure of the hot water going through the drains at the same time will push out any buildup before it becomes a problem.
  2. Level Two: Minor Blockages
    If you notice your water draining slowly, or you’re finding the blockage is isolated to just one sink, here is a natural and inexpensive method for clearing it:

    • Run hot water in the sink for about a minute to clear away any loose debris.
    • Next, pour baking soda into your drain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The baking soda will absorb and loosen up the grease and oil buildup that is too stubborn for water to wash away on its own.
    • Next, pour about a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Vinegar oxidizes the baking soda (and attached grime) and turns it into a liquid that will wash away.
    • Follow this drain spa treatment by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain, to deeply clean those pipes.

    In some cases, you may want to try this two or three times before moving to the next strategy.

  3. Level Three: Moderate Clogs

    Sometimes, those stubborn clogs just need a little encouragement to make their way to clog heaven. You can do this with an inexpensive plunger. We recommend using a plunger that has not been used on your toilets already, because… ew. Unless you have unconventionally large drains, it might work better if you use a smaller plunger, about a third of the size of a conventional toilet plunger, to really target the suction power of the plunger. Simply run a few you inches of water in your sink and implement a few forceful plunges to push the clog through the drains.
  4. Level Four: Stubborn Clogs

    Before calling in the pros, we have one more inexpensive tip for clearing out that blockage. You can find an inexpensive auger at your hardware store. Often, unless your clog is deep down in the abyss of your drains, you can use one of these snakes to break up the blockage that is causing you the problems. Just a word of warning– pulling out the hair, gunk, and grease that blocked your drains is not for the faint of heart.
  5. Level Five: Extensive Clogging

    If you’ve tried all the previously-mentioned suggestions and you’re still having problems, your best bet is to bring in a pro to run a hydro jetting plumbing service on your whole system. Hydro jetting plumbing involves running a high-powered hose through your pipes, which pushes any objections, debris, even invasive roots out of the system. Hydro jetting plumbing is so effective that your plumbing is left in nearly-new condition after the fact. It is not a bad idea to get a hydro jetting plumbing service once every two years, to remove blockages that could lead to busted pipes or more expensive damage down the road.

Do you have any other tips for clearing clogs? We want to hear them in the comment section!

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