What Is the Drain Clog?
A drain clog is a blockage in a plumbing system that prevents water or other fluids from flowing freely down the drain. It can occur in any part of the plumbing system, including sinks, toilets, showers, or tubs. Common causes of drain clogs include the build-up of hair, soap, food particles, grease, and other debris. When left unchecked, it leads to slow-draining water or completely blocked pipes, which can cause water damage or other plumbing problems.
How do I know if the drain is clogged with grease?
There are a few signs that can show that your drain is blocked with grease:
- Slow draining:
Notice that water takes longer than usual to drain from your sink, shower, or bathtub. It may indicate grease accumulates in the pipes, causing a blockage.
- Foul odors:
Grease build-up can lead to unpleasant odors emanating from your drains. The smell can be powerful and noticeable when you run hot water down the drain.
- Gurgling sounds:
Assume you hear gurgling or bubbling sounds from your drain when running water. In that case, it may indicate that grease has accumulated in the pipes and is blocking the water flow.
- Water damage:
When a drain is clogged, water cannot flow through the pipes as it should. This can cause water to back into sinks, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures, potentially causing water damage to floors, walls, and ceilings.
- Pipe damage:
If a drain is severely clogged, the pressure from the backed-up water can cause the pipes to burst or crack. This can lead to costly repairs and replacement of damaged pipes.
Suppose water or other materials are backing into your sink, shower, or bathtub. In that case, it clearly shows a blockage in your drain. This can be caused by grease or other accumulated materials in the pipes.
If you suspect that your drain is blocked with grease, it’s vital to take action to clear the blockage before it becomes more severe. You can use natural remedies like baking soda, vinegar, or a plunger to remove the grease build-up. If these methods don’t work, you may need to use a drain snake or call a professional plumber to remove the blockage.
Home Remedies to Unclog the Drains:
How to Unclog the Drains Caused by Hair, Food, and Greases?
Organic matter build-up is potentially more manageable than solid material like hair. The drain clog caused by the food particles and hair can be resolved with various methods. Clogs in drains clog are common problems in kitchens. Here are some tips for handling these types of clogs:
The water’s high temperature can help dissolve and loosen the build-up of oils and fats that can accumulate in pipes. The hot water can also melt solidified fats, which can then be flushed away. Pouring hot water down the drain can assist in dissolving build-up from food and grease. This is a simple and effective solution that can often clear the clog.
It’s important to note that boiling water should only be used on metal or PVC pipes, as it can damage or melt plastic pipes. Additionally, boiling water alone may not be effective for persistent or severe clogs, and additional methods may be necessary.
Baking soda and vinegar for clogs caused by hair and food
Baking soda is an efficient natural cleaner that can help to unclog drains. When mixed with baking soda, water builds a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide gas bubbles. These bubbles help to loosen and break apart the food and grease build-up that can accumulate in pipes. Baking soda is also mildly abrasive, which can help scrub away any debris clinging to the inside of the lines. When combined with vinegar, baking soda can be even more effective. The vinegar starts a reaction with the baking soda to produce a fizzing reaction that helps to dislodge and dissolve any stubborn build-up in the pipes.
To use baking soda to clean your drains, pour about 1/2 cup. Follow this with 1/2 cup of vinegar, and cover the sewer with a stopper or wet rag to trap the fizzing mixture inside. Let the blend sit for 30 minutes, then clean the sewer with hot water. Baking soda is a safe and natural alternative to harsh chemicals. Still, it may not be effective for more severe clogs.
How does the plunger help to unclog the drain?
A plunger is a tool to create suction and pressure to clear clogs in drains. It’s a simple and effective tool that can be used for many types of clogs, including those caused by food, grease, and hair.
Here’s how a plunger works:
Pressing the plunger down over the drain creates a seal that allows you to generate suction and pressure. Pulling up on the plunger creates a vacuum that pulls the clog back toward the surface. Pushing down on the plunger creates pressure that helps to force the clog through the pipes.
To use a plunger, start by filling the sink or tub with sufficient water to cover the head of the plunger. Next, put the plunger on the drain and push it down firmly. Then, pull up quickly to create suction and pressure. Repeat this motion several times, keeping a tight seal around the drain.
If the clog is stubborn, add some petroleum jelly around the plunger’s rim to create a tighter seal. You can also cover the overflow drain (if present) with a wet rag or sponge to create a tighter seal.
While a plunger is an effective tool for many types of clogs, it may not be effective for more severe clogs or those caused by objects lodged in the pipes. If the clog persists, it may be necessary to use additional methods or seek professional help.
Install the Grease trap to unclog the drain caused by food and grease.
A grease trap prevents fats, oils, and grease (commonly called “FOG”) from entering the sewer system and causing clogs. Grease traps are installed in commercial kitchens and some residential homes to capture FOG before it enters the pipes and causes blockages.
Here’s how a grease trap works:
As wastewater flows into the grease trap, the FOG separates from the water and rises to the top. The grease trap has baffles that help slow the water flow, allowing the FOG to separate and solidify. The separated FOG is then stored in the trap until it can be emptied and disposed of properly.
By capturing FOG before it enters the sewer system, grease traps help to prevent clogs and backups in the pipes. Without a grease trap, FOG can accumulate in the pipes and cause serious clogs, which can be difficult and expensive to remove.
Regular maintenance and cleaning of the grease trap are necessary to ensure it continues functioning properly. The FOG that accumulates in the trap must be emptied and disposed of properly. The trap must be cleaned regularly to prevent odors and bacteria from developing.
How do you Pull the Hair Out of the Drain with Needle Nose Pliers or Tweezers?
Removing hair from a drain can be messy and unpleasant, but it is vital to keep your drains clear to avoid clogs and backups. Here are the steps to adopt to remove hair from a drain using tweezers or needle-nose pliers:
- First, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from any bacteria or sharp edges in the drain.
- Locate the hair in the drain and try to grab it with your fingers. If you can’t reach it, use a flashlight to get a better view and use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull the hair out.
- If you use tweezers, grab the hair as close to the skin as possible and pull it out quickly. Be careful not to break or push the hair further down the drain.
- Using needle-nose pliers, use the pliers’ ends to grasp the hair and pull it out gently. Be careful not to scratch the inner side of the drain with the pliers.
- Repeat the process until all the visible hair has been removed. If the drain is still blocked, you may need to use a cleaner or call a professional plumber to remove any remaining blockages.
- Once you have finished, dispose of the hair in a trash can and clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Remember, prevention is vital to avoid clogs in the future. Consider using a drain strainer to capture hair and other debris before it goes down.
Use a Plumbing Snake to Un-block the Drain Caused by Hair.
A drain snake, plumbing snake, or auger is a long, flexible tool that can help remove clogs from drains. When hair accumulates in the drain and creates a blockage, a drain snake can dislodge the clog and allow water to flow freely through the pipe.
Here’s how a drain snake works:
- Insert the snake into the drain:
The first step is to insert the drain snake into the channel until you feel resistance. This is likely where the clog is located.
- Rotate the snake:
Rotate the snake clockwise or counterclockwise to dislodge the clog. This twisting motion can help break up the hair and allow it to flow down the drain.
- Push and pull the snake:
Slowly push the snake back and forth to dislodge the clog further. Be careful not to push the clog further down the drain.
- Remove the snake:
Once you’ve dislodged the clog, slowly pull the snake out of the drain. The clog should come out with the snake.
- Run hot water:
After using the drain snake, run hot water down the drain to wash out any remaining hair or debris.
Using a drain snake, you can effectively remove hair clogs from your drain and prevent them from causing more severe blockages. Using the snake carefully and not forcing it is crucial, as this can damage your pipes. If you’re unsure about using a drain snake, it may be best to call a professional plumber.
How to Prevent Hair from Clogging Drains in the Future?
Here are some ways to prevent hair from clogging drains in the future:
- Use a drain strainer:
Installing a drain strainer or hair catcher in your sink or shower drain can help prevent hair from entering the pipes and causing blockages. These are inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores.
- Brush your hair before showering:
Brushing your hair before showering can help remove loose hair and prevent it from going down the drain.
- Use a hair trap in the shower:
You can also use a hair trap in the shower to catch any loose hair that falls off while you are washing your hair.
- Avoid pouring hair products down the drain:
Hair products like gels, creams, and oils can build up in your pipes and trap hair, leading to blockages. Avoid pouring these products down the drain and dispose of them in the trash.
- Regularly clean your drain:
Some hair may still drain even using a strainer or hair trap. Regularly cleaning your drain with vinegar and baking soda or a commercial drain cleaner can help remove any build-up and prevent clogs from forming.
Home Remedies to Unclog the Drains: Summary
To prevent drain clogs, it is essential to avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet, use a hair strainer in the shower or bathtub, and avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain. If a drain clog does occur, it is vital to address it promptly to prevent further damage and potential health hazards.