How to Clean Clogged Water Pipes

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Everyone experiences clogged drains in the home periodically. Kitchen and bathroom sinks are especially prone to this annoying development. Food particles, oils and grease, hair and small trash particles are common causes of this recurring problem. While professional plumbers and a variety of commercial products exist, most clogged drains can be opened and cleaned with the following home remedies.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Plumber’s Auger
  • Remove the drain stop and clean any visible debris, including grime, hair, and soap build-up.

  • Boil a large pot of water.

  • Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the clogged drain, followed by the entire pot of boiling water.

  • Drain still clogged? Insert a plumber’s auger, also known as a “drain snake,” into the drain. Continue feeding the auger until it reaches the clog.

  • Vigorously poke and prod the clog with the auger while turning the handle until the clog is broken and dissolved. Continue to turn the handle while withdrawing the auger from the drain.

  • Repeat the boiling water, baking soda and vinegar treatment.

Tips & Warnings

  • An unraveled wire coat hanger can be used as a “poor man’s auger.”
  • Several commercial products exist to open clogged drains as well. Such products are best reserved as a “last measure,” as they tend to be expensive, less environmentally friendly, and potentially dangerous to young children.
  • Certain substances can lead to clogged drains. Avoid placing substances such as grease, oils, paper towels and napkins, paint, and coffee grinds down home drains. Also, try to avoid allowing hair to make its way down drain pipes.
  • Clogs can be avoided, or at least made less common, by keeping the drain surface clear of grime and visible debris. Also, pouring boiling water down the drains periodically is an effective preventative measure.
  • Avoid washing pets in household bathtubs and sinks, as pets invariably send large quantities of fur, as well as dirt and grime, down the pipes. Make pet washing an outdoor activity.
  • Unless you have good plumbing knowledge, avoid disassembling the piping. Otherwise, a relatively small problem could quickly become worse, and far more expensive!

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