Unclogging Pipes

Homemaking

It’s a common issue in most homes…clogged pipes.  But before you call a plumber and empty your wallet, there are ways you can take care of it yourself.

Food, oil, hair and dirt.  All to blame for the slow drain or the one that has completely stopped up.  It can happen with the bathtub, kitchen or bathroom sink.

Sometimes the clog is easily accessible.  It might be a clump of debris that’s within reach.  Use a rounded bristle brush, tweezers or even small pliers to reach into the pipe and pull it out.

Just like a toilet that gets clogged and needs to be plunged, that may be all your sinks or bathtub needs.  You can use the same kind of plunger for the toilet with these.  Or you can purchase a smaller one, which are sold in most home improvement and hardware stores.

Sometimes plunging the pipe isn’t enough to unclog it.  You might try something I do on a regular basis, pour an equal amount of baking soda down the drain and distilled white vinegar (first dump the baking soda and then pour the vinegar).

Let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Then boil a gallon of water and pour it down into the drain.  You might need to flush it out a couple of times.

With more stubborn clogs, you may need to snake it out.  If you don’t already own one—although, I do recommend every homeowner has one—a metal coat hanger that is bent into a straight line may work.

It may take some effort, poking and pushing into the drain until the debris breaks up.  Be sure to do some flushing in between by running the water.

Finally, let me end with a warning about using harsh chemicals.  My husband one time picked up a drain cleaner that was so potent you had to wear rubber gloves and put a mask over your mouth (that should have been a clear warning).

If your pipes are older, it can actually eat away at the corroded parts, resulting in a much bigger problem than a clog (which happened in our case).  So it’s best to stay away from these types of chemicals.

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