How Do You Clear Sluggish Drains?
If you find that your drains are sluggish or slow draining, it often means that you have a blockage somewhere in your plumbing line. Since a sluggish drain can result in a clogged drain and eventually cause a back up in the plumbing system, it is important to clear a sluggish drain right away.
The following are a number of tips to clearing a sluggish drain:
1. If the drain is still sluggish, but not clogged, try pouring boiling water down the drain. The boiling water will often soften the material so that hot water will wash it away. Wait about 15 minutes and flush the drain pipes with hot tap water.
2. The first item you can try to clear a sluggish drain is a plunger. Normally kitchen sink drains will have a basket that will lift out to provide better access to the drain pipe. Bathroom sinks will often have a pop-up stopper that will need to be taken out. Run a bit of hot water in the drain and then place the plunger head over the drain. Push on the plunger several times using forceful thrusts to push the hot water into the pipe and push the material causing the slow water drain out of the system. Then, run hot water through the line to see if it is flowing through the system properly.
3. There are chemical drainers available on the market, however, these products can often damage the pipes and they can dispel toxic fumes which can be hazardous if inhaled. You can try a homemade natural drain cleaner such as a mixture of a cup of baking soda followed by a half of cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction will cause the accumulated material in the pipe to break down. It is best to do this before you go to bed and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you can run hot water through the system to wash the material away. There are also natural non toxic drain cleaners available which are very effective at clearing out the material causing a sluggish drain. Natural enzyme drain cleaning products contain live enzymes that eat organic matter and break it down so the drain is cleared and clean. Using an enzyme drain cleaner monthly helps prevent sluggish drains.
4. If you feel the cause of the sluggish drain is deeper in the plumbing pipes, you can try using a snake to clear the drain. You just have to feed the snake into the drain until you reach the obstruction. Then, you can use the snake to tear and break away the material and then flush hot water through the system.
Unfortunately grease, oils, fats, and organic material going into drains can build up in the pipes and cause the water to drain slowly. It is important to keep clog causing materials out of the plumbing system and practice proper maintenance and cleaning practices. It will help keep your drains flowing smoothly for a long time and prevent future drain clogs.