Everyone has inevitably dealt with the frustrating situation of a clogged sewer system. The hygiene of the home, the feeling of comfort, the safety of the plumbing equipment of the apartment depend on the timely elimination of the problem. Flushing in the house of sewer pipes is carried out in various ways. Skillfully combining them, it is quite possible to achieve a positive result.
Types and causes of blockages
Before proceeding with the cleaning of sewer pipes, you should find out what caused it. The blockage in the sewer pipe is divided into 3 main types:
- technological. Occurs due to communication installed with violations of requirements, improper slope of pipes, their incorrect section, joints with burrs and scuffs, a small volume of water in the toilet bowl; direct wear of communication;
- mechanical. Occurs due to the ingress of a foreign object;
- operational. The most common type of problem. Clogged sewer pipes in the house occur due to narrowing and blockage of the water flow. The reason is the systematic ingress of fat, hair, food debris, pet hair.
In a private house, clogging of the sewer also occurs due to the displacement of the soil, its freezing in winter.
Removal of problems should be carried out immediately after they appear, as they harden over time, and then no measures will help, except for extreme ones — replacing pipes.
Definition of blockage area
It’s easy to understand that the sewage system is clogged: the water in the sink and bathtub slowly leaves, the drain gradually stops completely, an unpleasant putrid smell appears from the drain, and the functions of the toilet bowl are not performed.
Work on the elimination of clogging begins with determining the location of its localization. It may be located:
- in a corrugated pipe under a sink or bath;
- in sewer pipes in the apartment itself;
- in common risers;
- in a common pipe of a multi-storey building located in the basement;
- at the exit point of the pipe from a private house, where a return filter is installed;
- between sewers.
You can’t do without a call to the house of specialists if the clogging has occurred in common pipes, risers of an apartment building or between wells. With other blockages, you can learn to cope at home on your own.
Do-it-yourself cleaning methods
They clean sewer pipes on their own in different ways:
- washing with water;
- mechanically (using a cable);
- hydrodynamically (using a plunger);
- improvised means (using baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, etc.);
- chemically (using specially designed household chemicals).
These are the most effective ways to fix sewer problems. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Washing with water
Recent blockage is removed by rinsing it with plain water. Depending on the location of the blockage: the sink in the kitchen or the bath, they begin to pour very hot water into the drain hole.
There is a possibility that the outflow of water will not be restored immediately, it will fill the bathtub, the bowl of the sink. This will create pressure that should push the plug. It is necessary to constantly monitor that water does not overflow over the edge of the sink or bathtub, patiently wait for its outflow. Do not be upset if the water does not pass the first time. It is necessary to flush the pipe several times. Initially, the outflow will be slow. Repeat steps several times. As soon as the water flow improves, it is worth continuing to drain the water for a while in order to rinse the sewer well.
If flushing with water does not help, a mechanical method of clogging control is used. For this, a plumbing cable is used for cleaning sewer pipes, which has a second name — a flexible shaft. It is made in the form of a strong and flexible steel spring, has a handle, and a hook at the other end.
Varieties of flexible shaft:
- tape, with a width of 1 to 4 cm.
Purchase a cleaning tool from a hardware store. With a thin shaft with a cross section of 3–4 mm, siphons are cleaned and hair is removed from bath drains. A thick cable does not go into the drain, they will not be able to clean the sink. Such shafts are used in the cleaning of risers. For domestic needs, universal plumbing cables up to 10 mm wide and 2-3 m long are suitable.
You can break through a sewer pipe at home with a cable as follows:
- remove the siphon, providing access to the sewer pipe;
- push the cable into the pipe until it stops in the mud plug;
- to destroy the blockage, rotate the cable clockwise, perform reciprocating actions, try to hook the cork with a hook, pull it out.
Periodically, the cable is removed from the pipe, its end with the hook is cleaned and the operation is continued. When the pollution is destroyed, hot water is poured into the pipe, flushing the drain, and after checking and making sure that the water no longer stagnates, the siphon is put in place.
For a plastic pipeline, flexible nozzles with a rubberized braid are chosen so as not to damage the pipe walls.
At the end of the work, the cable is washed with hot water and cleaning agents, wiped dry with a rag. Store rolled up.
Clearing blockages with a plunger
Plunger — one of the most common tools for plumbing, consists of two parts: a rubber valve in the form of a hemisphere and a wooden handle.
A household plunger has a pump principle. It is placed over the drain hole of the sink or bathtub, pressing firmly against it. Water should cover the valve of the plunger, if necessary, it is added from the tap. Then they begin to pump water, while the valve is not torn off from the drain hole.
When the plunger handle is pulled back, water rises outward through the pipeline following the valve. When pressing on the drain zone, the water moves upward by inertia, but encounters resistance. In this case, the weed plug is loosened and shifted from its place. After pumping the water 4-5 times, the device is sharply pulled out, and the water flows down, carrying away the pollution with it. To achieve the result, the procedure is repeated several times.
To clean sewer pipes from household fat, they use substances that are available in every home: salt, vinegar, baking soda. There are several proven recipes for their use by hand.
- You should create an alkaline mixture: pour a glass of soda into the drain, pour 3 cups of boiling water. And so repeat several times if the previous attempts failed.
- Pour 0.5 cups of soda into the drain hole, add 0.5 cups of distilled vinegar, preferably preheated in the microwave. Close the drain with a cork or tightly plug with a rag, leave for several hours. A violent chemical reaction will occur, which will affect the destruction of the weed plug. Then pour a liter of boiling water into the sewer pipe. Deposits from the inner surface of the pipe will be removed.
- Often in the kitchen sink, the outflow of water slows down due to fatty deposits. You can eliminate them like this: pour half a glass of salt and baking soda into the pipe, pour in about 3 liters of boiling water there. Leave it like this all night.
The disadvantage of these methods for eliminating a mud plug is the use of boiling water. It is effective when used for iron pipes, but boiling water harms plastic sewers. An alternative would be very hot tap water. However, this may result in reduced performance.
Household chemicals against blockages
The modern household chemicals market offers a wide range of products for cleaning sewer systems. They have a liquid and powdery consistency. According to their composition, they are divided into: acidic (used for the bathroom) and alkaline (used for kitchen sinks).
Household chemical for cleaning sewer pipes is an aggressive reagent that, when in contact with water, enhances its properties. Use them to dissolve the fat accumulated in the pipes. When using such means, all precautions are observed so as not to get a burn of the skin, respiratory organs, and not damage the eyes. It is important to read the instructions first and follow them. It is not recommended to mix acidic and alkaline reagents, it may be unsafe.
The most requested tools include:
- «Mister Muscle»;
- «Tiret turbo»;
Before buying, you should consult with the seller: some of the household chemicals have a high percentage of acid, which affects plastic pipes. And for pipes made of steel, the chemical method is not suitable at all, it causes corrosion in them.
Sewerage systems should be treated with care, to avoid gross errors in their operation. Construction debris, rags, plastic bags are not dumped into the pipes, hoping that they will be washed off well with water or they will gradually dissolve. On the contrary, in contact with water, they turn into a dense plug, which is difficult to remove.
For preventive purposes, in order to remove fat and soap deposits, hot water is poured into the drain. It is useful to open the faucet at full power so that the water beats hard into the drain hole. It will be enough to do this procedure 2-3 times a week for 5 minutes so that the mud plug does not collect.
Special rubber or plastic mats in a fine mesh are put into kitchen sinks, which prevent the penetration of the peel from vegetables and fruits, food particles into the drain.
A substance that is useful in terms of preventive measures against clogging can be made independently: mix thoroughly a glass of salt and baking soda, add a quarter glass of cream of tartar. Lay the resulting powder in the drain, pour hot water, and after a few minutes — cold. Carry out the procedure once a week.
And, of course, you should always remember that any problem is easier to prevent. This also applies to the situation with sewer clogging.