As of 2021, the U.S. plumbing services market reached a value of around $124 billion.
Blockages can be very inconvenient, and costly to resolve. Fortunately, there are a number of measures you can take to unclog pipes yourself and prevent future blockages.
You can always buy trench drains that can add a protective coverage and ensure that anything from tree branches or food extras do not get into them. This will help in preventing clogs and prevent further damage and expenditure to your drains.
For 5 tips on how to keep clear drains, keep reading.
The traditional go-to for when you want to unclog a drain. There are several types of plungers, with the most common being the sink (standard) plunger, and toilet (cup) plunger.
The sink plunger is designed for use on flat surfaces such as sink or bathtub drains, while the toilet plunger has an additional fold-out flap to make it fit into the toilet drain better.
Plungers are relatively easy to use. You simply place it over the drain to form a vacuum, and use an up-and-down motion, which pulls and pushes the water in the pipe, loosening the blockage.
A plunger is usually enough for most clogged drains, but more stubborn blockages may require a drain snake.
If you are specifically trying to unblock a bathtub drain check out this blog post that goes into detail on how to do so: https://waterworkplumbing.com/5-tips-for-how-to-unclog-a-bathtub-drain/
2. Drain Snake
Drain snakes are suitable for blockages within a pipe. A more ‘budget’ method is to use a wire hanger, but drain snakes are more efficient and can reach further into a pipe.
Hand-operated models are relatively cheap and easy to use.
You simply insert the snake into a pupe and extend it until you reach the clog. It easily bends around curved pipes and has a hook on the end. Twisting the snake will catch the blockage and loosen it so you can then pull it out of the pipe.
3. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Sometimes a plunger can struggle with blockages. Liquid and foam drain cleaners are available, which help by dissolving blocked materials. These contain a lot of chemicals, but you can easily make a chemical-free alternative at home.
When mixed, baking soda and white vinegar react to create foam. This can be poured down a drain and will help to dislodge whatever is stuck. Flushing with boiling water afterward can also help.
You should begin by pouring 1 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. After the reaction has subsided pour down a gallon of boiling water.
4. Pour Fats Into a Container
Blockages are never ideal, so you should try to prevent them where you can. One of the most common causes of blockages in kitchen drains is a result of oil/fats accumulating in the pipes.
To maintain clean drains any excess fat leftover after cooking should instead be poured into a container. It can then be disposed of properly in a food bin or as general waste.
5. Boiling Water Weekly
Boiling water can help unclog drains when they are blocked. It is also a very simple method of regular maintenance.
Pouring boiling water down your drains weekly will help clear any buildup, preventing smelly drains and making them less prone to getting clogged. This is ideal for sinks, showers, toilets, and bathtubs.
Having Trouble Keeping Clear Drains?
Sometimes blockages are just too significant and you will need to hire a professional. However, the solutions above should help you maintain clear drains under most circumstances.
For more household tips check out some of our other blog posts!