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Home > Plumbing > Plumbing Maintenance & Unclogging

Plumbing Maintenance & Unclogging

By Francine L. Huff
Plumbing Maintenance & Unclogging

Anything from food scraps to hair can clog up a drain. But next time you find yourself with a clogged drain don't automatically reach for a bottle of chemicals to pour into it. There are some other relatively easy fixes that can clean out your clogged drains and improve your plumbing.

Environmentally Friendly

Before beginning any plumbing repair you may want to try pouring a cup of baking soda and white vinegar in the drain, then stopping it up with an old rag. Rinse with hot water after a few minutes to see if that opens the clog. If that doesn't work, gather your tools for some basic plumbing maintenance.

Fixing Plumbing Problems

You may need to remove the trap to open a clogged drain. The trap is the U-shaped pipe under the sink. Put a bucket under the trap to catch any water or gunk when you remove it. You can use a wrench to loosen the metal slip nuts, or remove the clean-out plug. Clear out any residue in the trap before reattaching it. If you still have plumbing problems after removing the trap you may want to try using a plunger. Make sure you clear any standing water out of the sink before plunging to avoid splashing your eyes.

Using a Snake

You can also use a manual or electric snake, which is a metal spiral that you push into the clogged drain. As you turn the crank you reach further into the clog so you can break it up and pull it out. A snake is useful if the clog is deep inside the drain.

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