The Sewer blockages are a common problem faced by thousands of homeowners. Often, a plumber is called in to fix problems, and for a fee he makes repairs and cleaning. Now you can perform a timely cleaning of the sewer pipes yourself. You should know that doing this is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. This article will help you find out why a blockage appears, how sewer pipes are cleaned, what methods are there to eliminate blockages in pipes, and how to take preventive measures. And now about everything in order.
What leads to blockage of sewer pipes
Why are sewer pipes clogged? The answer is pretty simple. During operation, all kinds of debris and pollution get into the sewer pipes: sand, grease, small stones, food debris, animal hair, hair and other debris.
There are often burrs inside the pipe, in this place all this debris constantly accumulates. Often this happens simply at the junction of pipes. Now imagine that all the grease, hair, organic and food residues, soap suds and other debris accumulate in one place. Gradually, the pipe is filled with debris more and more, the diameter of the pipe narrows, which prevents the normal passage of the fluid flow. This is how a plug is formed. Please note that if you do not carry out maintenance work, the sediment will become harder and denser over time. This is fraught with the fact that the pipes will have to be replaced altogether.
Do not forget about the mistakes of improper use of the sewerage system. Indeed, most often such traffic jams are formed precisely because of tenants who pour out fat, dump large garbage, food, newspapers, paper, rags and even the remains of building materials into the system. All this does not pass without a trace.
Misuse of sewage is not the only problem. There are many reasons for blockage in the riser:
- the slope and section of the sewer pipes are incorrectly selected;
- the presence of a large number of bends in the pipeline, especially with a small cross-section;
- even one knee in the system, but at an angle of 90˚, can lead to a traffic jam;
- joints are poorly made, they have a large number of burrs, to which debris clings;
- small amount of liquid in the toilet cistern.
All these reasons can lead to the end result – the pipeline will have to be cleaned. And if this is not done in a timely manner, then problems may arise. As soon as you notice that the water does not come out well from the sink, you need to sound the alarm.
First aid for household blockages – 9 easy ways
Perhaps, in order to clear the blockage in your kitchen sink, the following simple and absolutely harmless to pipes (of any kind) will be enough.
Method 1. Cleaning the pipes with boiling water or hot water
Perhaps this is the very first aid measure, which is often enough to remove blockages. If the pipes are steel, pour about 1 liter of boiling water into the drain hole and wait 20 minutes. To clean the plastic pipes, we simply start up hot water from the tap for about 20 minutes (the water temperature should not exceed 60 degrees). A not too tightly seated cork should drain into the drain. We check the result by letting in a small stream of water. Did not help?
Method 2. How to clean pipes from clogging with a plunger
- We plug all the overflow holes in the sink tightly with a wet rag to block the passage of air and provide a hydraulic column.
- We press the plunger to the drain hole, then pull it sharply towards you. We repeat these actions several times in order to properly “stir up” the cork and break it into small parts.
- We check the result by releasing a small stream of water.
- We start up a stream of hot water for a few minutes so that the cork goes down the drain safely.
Method 3. How to clean the pipes in the kitchen from fat using soda and salt
- Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt and pour down the drain giving you trouble.
- Follow by pouring 1 cup of heated vinegar down the drain (it will foam and bubble).
- Cover the drain with a plug or duct tape to prevent the mixture from escaping.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run hot tap water or pour boiling water down the drain for 30-60 seconds.
- For stubborn clogs, repeat the process.
If you perform this method once a month on a regular basis you will keep your drain clear and fresh.
Method 4. Removing the blockage with vinegar and soda
- Pour 150 grams of baking soda into the drain hole, and pour the same amount of 9% vinegar on top.
- Close the drain with a plug to prevent foam from flowing out.
- Wait a couple of minutes, then run hot water at full strength – this will help push through the plug.
Method 5. Unclogging with hydrogen peroxide
Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture down your clogged drain and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Be especially careful as this chemical can cause burns. Do not attempt this method if you have already poured baking soda down your drain, as it will cause an unwanted chemical reaction.
Method 6. How to unclog a blockage in pipes using a vacuum cleaner
Do you have a vacuum cleaner with a blow-out function? Fine! We wrap the pipe of the vacuum cleaner with a rag so that it fits snugly into the drain hole. The strong airflow from the vacuum cleaner will push through the stagnation.
Method 7. The simple detergent and hot water cure for grease clogs
For those who love using coconut oil in your beauty routine, you might notice your drain has been slow. It’s possible you have a grease clog in your drain. There’s also the “oops” factor of accidentally pouring or spilling grease into your kitchen sink after cooking.
We’ve got you covered. Put two tablespoons of dish washing detergent into a pan of boiling water, then slowly pour the hot water into the drain. This is especially effective at breaking up fatty grease clogs because you are returning the fats to a liquid state, then the detergent helps move the grease out of the drain and down the pipes.
Method 8. How to clean the pipe from blockage using a plumbing cable (and how to replace it at home)
If the kitchen sink is heavily clogged, you can use a special plumbing cable. This metal device looks like a brush with a long flexible handle (sold at hardware stores). Wire-rope cleaning of water pipes is best for metal structures – it can even partially remove rust. But for cleaning plastic pipes, the method is not suitable, since there is a risk of damaging them by excessive mechanical pressure.
- The cable is placed in the pipe and rolled. Here you can direct the movement both from yourself, pushing the blockage into the sewer pipe, and towards yourself, pulling out the plug.
- When cleaning with a cable, periodically it is necessary to supply water to the sink so that the flow of water rinses off the released dirt.
- We run hot water for a few minutes in order to drain the remains of sediments into the sewer.
If there is no cable on the farm, then an ordinary metal hanger will come to the rescue, from which you can make a mini-cable. Cut it with pliers so that the resulting wire has a small hook at the end (see the picture below).
Method 9. How to Clean Pipes With Citric Acid
Citric acid works well with lime deposits in pipes. It has proven its effectiveness many times. The hostesses note that the tool allows you to cope with the problem even the first time.
- First, pour 100 g of citric acid into the drain hole and pour 250 ml of boiling water into the component, and after 20 minutes open hot water.
- Instead of citric acid, juice from fresh lemons is suitable. Take 100 ml of it and pour it inside the drain. Leave the product on for 1 hour and then run running water.
- We also recommend reading our other article, where we talked in detail about how to clean the toilet from limescale. Read on for more details.
Do not add lemon juice to a drain that has recently been treated with commercial drain cleaner, as it can produce toxic gases.
Professional methods of cleaning the sewer system
If your sewage system is clogged at your company or in your house and it was not possible to remove the blockage on your own, you will have to resort to the help of professionals. Companies such as https://yks.kiev.ua/services/chistka-kanalizacy/ that provide sewer line cleaning service have in their arsenal all the necessary tools and devices for quick and high-quality elimination of blockages of any complexity. Therefore, if all home methods have been tried and not crowned with success, feel free to call the sewer blockage cleaning specialists who provide services in your city.
Electro mechanical cleaning of sewage blockages
Mechanical blockage cleaning is an effective way to eliminate stubborn blockages. For cleaning, a flexible steel spiral is used, which allows you to remove solidified waste and foreign objects from the pipeline. This method is suitable for cleaning stormwater, domestic and industrial sewers.
Advantages of mechanical blockage cleaning:
- cleaning of the most inaccessible sections of the pipeline;
- removal of solid objects that have accidentally fallen into the drain pipes;
- restoration of sewer communications in a short time;
- the possibility of cleaning at low temperatures.
The mechanical sewer cleaning method is suitable for pipes with a diameter of 50 to 600 mm. The total length of the pipeline must not exceed 100 meters. The mechanical cleaning method can be used for sewer pipes with complex wiring configurations.
How is the mechanical cleaning of the sewer carried out? The main working tool is a flexible steel spiral equipped with replaceable nozzles. The spiral rotates due to the work of an electric motor. Replaceable nozzles grind and remove deposits accumulated on the walls of the pipeline.
The flexible spiral shows good results in the places of bends and bends of sewer pipes. The nozzles effectively remove blockages and objects that impede the movement of wastewater. The choice of nozzles for mechanical cleaning depends on the complexity of the blockage and the type of pipes.
Mechanical cleaning allows you to eliminate contamination in one go, additional cleaning is not required. A steel spiral with replaceable nozzles is effective even in the case of complete flooding of the sewage system with waste water. Another advantage of mechanical cleaning is that it does not involve the use of aggressive chemicals.
Hydrodynamic flushing of the sewerage system
Hydrodynamic flushing is one of the most effective ways to clean the sewage system. This method is actively used by companies who are engaged in flushing sewer pipes and eliminating sewer blockages. The blockage is removed using a hydrodynamic machine. The powerful water jet effectively removes dirt without damaging the integrity of the pipes. This method is suitable for cleaning storm sewers and other drainage systems.
Advantages of hydrodynamic flushing of sewerage systems:
- fast and gentle cleaning of the pipeline;
- the ability to extend the life of pipes;
- good result even with complex piping configuration;
- suitable for cleaning pipes made of any material.
The hydrodynamic machine efficiently cleans the pipeline from any deposits, including silt, sand and fat deposits. This method is environmentally friendly as it is carried out without the use of chemicals. Also, during the operation of the hydrodynamic unit, there are no emissions of dirt and dust into the environment.
You can flush the drain with a water jet at any time of the year. Even at subzero temperatures and freezing of pipes, hydrodynamic cleaning shows the best result. The cleaning procedure is universal: it is successfully applied both in apartment buildings and in private estates. The diameter of the pipes that can be cleaned in this way ranges from 5 to 100 cm.
Tips to prevent frequent drain & sewer blockage issues
Simple prevention of blockage of sewer pipes can prevent big problems. Let’s see how to prevent blockages:
- When washing oily dishes, use detergents;
- Periodically spill the drain with hot water (1-2 minutes);
- Do not forget to periodically clean the siphon settling tank and the siphon itself;
- Use special nets to prevent coarse waste in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom from entering the sewer;
- More often on old pipes, less often on new tubes, pour chemical pipe cleaners down the drain. These are special substances for cleaning such as “Drano Max Gel”, “Tiret Professional”, etc.
- Do not pour thick mortars down the drain;
- Do not throw large household waste, craft paper, wallpaper, clothing, etc. into the sewer.