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5 Effortless Ways to Clean a Clogged Drain

5 Effortless Ways to Clean a Clogged Drain

Some homeowners are lucky enough to rarely ever have to deal with a clogged drain. But when it does happen, it can create a shock.

Generally a backed up system is something that can be dealt with without the help of a professional, and actually won’t take long at all. Below are five do-it-yourself ways to maintain your drain and septic system.

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1. Water and Vinegar Mixture

In a one gallon jug, fill up with one half scalding hot water and the other half distilled white vinegar. Before you go to bed, you should pour this down the toilet that is closest to the main line and then flush.

This mixture will help to loosen up any blockages and melt grease that has solidified in the drain. You should be using this mixture once a month to maintain a healthy drainage and septic system.

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2. Using Dry Yeast

This can be done once a month, and many choose to do it on the same schedule as their AC filter replacement. You will need to flush down the contents of an entire ¼ ounce packet of active dry yeast in your toilet. You should choose the toilet that is the closest to the main line.

Why yeast? It helps to enhance the role of the good bacteria that is necessary for the septic tank to eat away the waste.

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3. Utilize a Plunger

Before putting the plunger into action, remove the strainer on the drain and then reach your fingers into the drain in order to pull out anything solid that could be clogging the pipe. This is gross, but it is also highly effective. If there seems to be nothing obviously apparent, take out the plunger. Put the sink plunger over the drain and fill up the sink with 2 to 3 inches of water.

Give the handle of the plunger a few pushes up and down as this will form a seal around the plunger. Pushing harder and sharper will help to clear out any blockages, but you should be starting gently in order to lower the risk of splashes out of the sink. If the plunging is successful, you will see the dirty water go down the drain with quick evacuation.

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4. Work Under the Sink

When all else has failed, you may need to just start work under the sink. To do this, you will need the biggest bucket that you can find, that will still fit under the sink, keep it right beneath the trap. If your sink has a drain plug on the bottom, you will need to take it off with a pair of slip-joint pliers.

If your system is a drain-free setup, you will need to use a pipe wrench in order to loosen the threaded collars that are used to hold the trap together. There will be a rush of water into the bucket, unless there is a major clog. Poke a flexible wire to loosen this clog up.

5. Rethink Garbage Disposal Use

To put it simply, stop using your garbage disposal. Not only does using this machine close the nutrient loop, it can cause a sewage overload. Organic matter is intended to be returned to the soil, ideally by way of a compost bin. It was never intended to be added to the household waste in the septic tank. In addition to this, the chopped organic matter will actually increase the chance that you will have problems with clogged pipes. This is true for homes that are on a septic system as well as those that are on a municipal sanitary sewer.

Ideally, you should practice all the safety measures that would prevent a clogged drain system. But if not, use these simple practices to quickly deal with your clogged drain.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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