Unfortunately, if you live with a drainage system, as every house has, then at some point you’re going to have to deal with a clog. If left untreated, the clog will prevent any wastewater from going down the drains and, ultimately, will backflow into your home. That’s not a situation you want to find yourself in. After all, wastewater and the associated products are hazardous to your health.
But, the good news is you don’t necessarily need to call an emergency plumber. In many cases, you can fix the clog yourself.
Locate The Issue
The first stage is simple, you need to locate the issue. This will help you to decide which section of pipe you are working on.
There are two main options:
- Appliance piping
The appliance piping is the smaller tubes that run from each appliance to the main drain. These pipes generally connect together as they pass through the bathroom. You can decide if you have an appliance problem by testing each appliance drain.
Put a little water in it and then let it drain. If one appliance is draining slowly and the others aren’t then you have an appliance piping problem.
You’ll be able to use a plunger on the affected appliance and move it up and down several times. If this doesn’t clear the clog you can try baking soda and vinegar or unscrewing the rap below the appliance.
- Main drains
Should all the appliances drain slowly then the problem is in the main drains or sewer pipe. This is more serious in that you can’t use any appliance in your house. The main drains run from your appliances to the street, it is your responsibility, even when it is buried under your yard.
As the main drains are long it can be difficult to know where the clog is.
Your best option is to open an inspection cover in the yard and take a look. If it’s dry inside the clog is between you and the house, if it’s full of waste water the clog is between you and the street.
You should invest in one of these high-quality drain cameras. It can be inserted into the pipes and will help you locate the clog. If possible, you should approach the clog from the dry side of the piper as this will give you more detail about what has caused it.
When you’re dealing with a clog in the mains pipe under your yard the best way to eliminate the clog is by using drain rods.
Start by screwing them together and then sliding them into the drains through the inspection chamber. Your camera will tell you where the clog is and how far it is roughly from the inspection chamber.
You can screw additional drain rods on as you insert them. Once you reach the clog the drain rods should be able to poke the way through it. This will release the trapped waste and allow it to rush down the pipe. Be aware that it can splash up, make sure you’re wearing appropriate protection.
Once the clog has cleared you’ll want to put your drain camera back into the pipes and locate the clogged area. Check that the pipe is not damaged. If it is you‘ll need to look at the various repair options, or get professional help.
It’s a good idea to inspect your pipes regularly as it can help prevent problems from occurring
Baking Soda & Vinegar
This can work, in appliance drains and in your man drains. All you have to do is put half a cup of baking soda into the drain and give it a little time to settle around the clog. You can then add a cup of vinegar. It will react with the baking soda and effervesce. The gas produced is under pressure and can blow a hole through the clog.
Once it’s loosened the weight of the water will break it up and get rid of it.
Again, it’s worth inspecting the pipes if possible to see what has caused the clog and if it is completely removed.
Using a plunger is simple, you cover the drain hole and move it steadily up and down to eliminate air and create the pressure needed to move the clog.
However, you should note that a plunger should always be used when there is water in the pipes and, there are several different plungers, depending on which appliance you’re dealing with. Make sure you use the correct plunger for the appliance in question.