Pipes are literally everywhere in your home: Basins, showers, sinks, baths, etc. Cleaning them on a regular basis will not only get rid of unbearable odors and buildup of micro-organic residues, but most importantly prevents the drainage pipe from clogging.
The main indicator of a clogged pipe is the slow draining of water from your basins. In extreme scenarios, your waste pipe may stop draining completely. Once completely clogged, it is rather difficult to clean the drainage pipe since you cannot reach the inside of the pipe and clean it manually.
Fortunately, there are other ways to flush your drainpipe and remove the clogged debris.
Pipe Types And Sizes
• Kitchen Drain and Hand Basin Pipes: 32mm
• Shower Pipes: 40mm
• Washing Machine Pipes: 40mm
• Sinks Pipe: 40mm
• Bath Tub Pipe: 40mm
• Toilets: 110mm
• Fittings Pipe ( Faucets and Valves): Varies according to fittings
Out of all the drainage pipes, the kitchen drain is most-often clogged. This happens because of liquid fats, small bits of leftover food, coffee grounds, etc. Among these, liquid fat is the biggest culprit since it forms films of grease on the pipe walls and slowly creates a buildup of waste. The best way of preventing this is by not pouring waste oil into the sink and instead, disposing of it with an airtight cover into the garbage.
Few Ways To Prevent Odor And Clog
If you want to avoid the odor and waste buildup that clogs the pipes, check out these ways of cleaning pipes.
Try To Reduce Grease Buildup
Hot water with dishwashing detergent
As mentioned above, grease buildup is really bad for the kitchen drainpipes. Combine hot water with dishwashing detergent and slowly pour the solution down the drain. Repeat it for a couple of times and then just flush the drain with more hot water from your faucet.
White vinegar, baking soda, and hot water
Another ‘All Natural’ way to reduce odor and waste buildup in the kitchen drainpipes is by treating it with white vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. This may sound like old telltale but it actually works wonders. Pour ½-cup baking soda down your kitchen sink, followed by ½-cup of vinegar (white). Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then pour hot water down the drain. This not only removes waste but also prevents the pipe from clogging and being damaged.
Removing Clogs In Pipes With Handy Tools
Minor clogs in your kitchen sinks, toilets, and bathtubs can be easily removed with the traditional and handy plunger. Fill up the sink up halfway with water and submerge the plunger. Hold the straight handle of the plunger and push it up and down to dislodge and clear any the food particles clogging up the sinks and basins. This makes way for the water to go down the drain and does not affect the pipe’s structure.
Drain snake, also called drum snakes or top snake is a plumbing tool that is a great option if you want to reach out all through the clogged pipe and remove the particles. It can remove clogged materials from sinks, shower drain. There is a separate snake tool for toilets called ‘toilet augers’. Its metal cable can be 25 feet to 50 feet in length, perfect to reach and remove the most stubborn particles.
Using this requires a little more work than a plunger does. Remove the stopper from the drain. Some might need unscrewing while others can be simply pulled off. Clean of any gunk or hair from the stopper and set it aside.
Turn the snake as its rope goes down the drain so that it rotates and scraps the side of the drainpipe. The rotation collects all the dirt and hair clogging the drain. Slowly remove the snake from the drainpipe and wash off or throw away the particles that the tool as collected. You can repeat the same steps for a toilet auger to clear away any clogged debris from your toilet pipes.
Aerosol drain cleaner
Another option among plumbing tools is the Aerosol drain cleaner. These can blast debris and particle clogs out of the drainpipes with compressed air or gas. Just make sure to use the adapter as per your sinks stoppers and be careful with pressure since it may damage the pipe.
Drain Cleaners: Enzyme Cleaners, Foaming Cleaners, Traditional, Chemical Cleaners
Biological cleaners such as ‘Harris Septic Max’ and ‘Bio-Clean’ contain enzymes and are a lot safer to use than foaming or chemical cleaners. These are great for preventing harmful bacterial and other clog buildups.
Using biological cleaners periodically overnight is the best option to avoid unnecessary pipe blockage and odors. However, for completely clogged drainage pipes, biological cleaners are not as effective as chemical cleaners and plumbing tools.
Chemical cleaners or foaming cleaners are really not good for the environment and if used incorrectly could pose health hazards and damage your drainpipes. It is very important that you read the instructions carefully before you use these. Do not use chemical or foaming cleaners that are completely clogged with standing water. This will create a hazardous pool of chemicals and gross particles, which could also endanger the use of mechanical tools.
Preventing Future Clog, Smells And, Residue Buildup
Cleaning pipes is no ordinary task. It can get messy, requires time and patience and, may cost you a lot of money. The best option is to periodically clean your sinks and pipes to prevent the clog buildup and odors.
To prevent these hassles from cropping up do the following:
Biological and Enzyme drain cleaners
Using Biological and Enzyme drain cleaners, like Citra Dain or Zep, are the best options to keep your drainage pipe clean and odor-free. Like mentioned above, they are relatively safer and more environmentally friendly than cleaners that contain chemicals. In addition, chemical cleaners may cause damage or even break your pipes that might lead to a further mess.
Even if you treat the sink and basin pipes once a week with biological and enzyme cleaners, it prevents future hassles that clogged drains cause.
Cover them with drain screens
Other simple ways to prevent pipe clogging are using drain screens to cover all sinks and basins. Moreover, instead of pouring the waste oil into the sink, you could seal it in an airtight pack and dispose it in the garbage.