Almost every homeowner has had to deal with the annoying job of cleaning out a clogged drain. If left unattended, a clogged drain only builds on itself, causing your pipes to back up and even burst. However, did you know that there is a correct method of cleaning out your clogged drain? Let’s take a closer look.
How Do You Know if Your Drain is Clogged?
First things first: how can you even tell if your drain is backing up? It usually starts slow, but you might notice a little bit of standing water when you shower, or that your sink takes an extra minute to drain after being filled. The problem is, the longer you leave the problem alone, the faster it grows. It is typically best to attend to a clogged drain as soon as you notice the drain slowing down.
In kitchen sinks, old food or wayward napkins typically cause the backup. In showers and bathroom sinks, the culprit tends to be hair.
Tips for Snaking Your Drain
If you catch a clog early, a simple snake tool will do the trick. If you don’t have a snake, and the clog is fairly close to the surface, you can try using a long piece of curved metal, such as a stretched out wire hanger.
To properly snake your drain, make sure you observe these tips.
- Guide the snake through the drain while slowly turning in a clockwise rotation.
- When you hit something solid, make sure it isn’t the pipe itself by applying some force – if it gives at all, it’s the clog.
- Gently press and then pull upwards while turning the snake to dislodge some of the food or hair.
- Slowly remove the hook from the pipes with the drain substance balanced on it.
- Dump the substance (food, hair, etc.) into a prepared bucket before entering the pipe again.
- Once you have removed the majority of the clog and the snake is no longer being halted, pour boiling water directly down the drain.
- If you want, finish the job by pouring a septic-safe dissolvent down the drain to dissolve any leftover substance.
If your toilet is the item that’s clogged, a standard snake tool may not do the trick. Instead, a toilet auger will reach down the pipes and dislodge anything that may be stuck. If the clog has built up over time (e.g. flushing paper towels or baby wipes), then the problem might require a professional plumber’s assistance.
How to Prevent Your Drain from Clogging
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for your pipes to clog. You can take preventive measures to avoid backed up pipes and standing water. Just observe the following tips.
Do not, under any circumstances, flush non-flushable items.
Paper towels, baby wipes, feminine products, napkins, and diapers all fall under the “non-flushable” category. Toilet paper and waste should be the only thing going into your toilet.
Try shaving into a trash can rather than the sink.
If you shave daily, the stubble is small enough that shaving into the sink is fine. However, if you are trimming a lot of hair at once, try cutting the excess into a trash can. Hair quickly wraps around itself inside pipes and prevents other debris from passing through.
Clean out your drain periodically, even if you don’t think it’s clogged.
As already mentioned, clogged drains start small, so you might not even know there’s something inside. Snake it periodically just to prevent any bundles of hair, food, or debris from growing.
Place solid foods in the trash can rather than running them through the garbage disposal.
If you don’t have to put it in the garbage disposal, don’t. Solid leftovers, eggshells, etc. should be recycled as composting materials or thrown away.
Schedule an annual septic system inspection.
Professional septic system servicing is the best way to prevent your pipes from backing up. A licensed professional can see when pipes are under stress and whether or not the septic tank needs pumping. Nipping small problems in the bud always saves money.
How Can Norway Septic Help?
Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.