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.
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.
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.
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.
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.