Green Dad’s Guide to Pipes and Pumps

sink plumbingPouring chemicals down the drain should be avoided at all costs, as the majority of household cleaning supplies are extremely toxic. Not only can these cleaners harm the person who is handling them, but they also do damage to the environment and to your plumbing. According to the plumbers at Emergency Plumbers Services, the majority of drain openers contain sodium hydroxide. While this chemical is effective at its job, it is also very corrosive and can cause burning in the lungs, eyes and skin. Because of this, it is best to come up with some alternative methods of maintaining your pipes and septic system. One great example for your septic system is to install a level sensor for liquids. This will alert you before the problem becomes too large.

Unclogging Drains

Dealing with a clogged drain is never a fun experience. Whether this problem occurs in the kitchen or the bathroom, eliminating the clog is usually a hassle because very few people deal with clogs until they have a significant blockage. While you might be tempted to pour a chemical down the drain, there is a green remedy that is less expensive and just as effective.

To start, you will need half a cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar. If the clog is in the kitchen, dump the baking soda down the drain and chase it with the vinegar. The drain will begin to fizz, so leave it for around three to five minutes. Next, turn on the hot water for a good minute or so, which will unclog and remove debris that the baking soda and vinegar have loosened.

Manual Methods

If the baking soda and vinegar method fails to remove the clog, there is a good chance that you have a large piece of debris in your pipes. In this case, it is a good idea to start with a sink plunger. This is different from a toilet plunger, as it has a smooth bottom, which allows suction on the sink. Another method that you can try is using a drain snake. You can push the snake down until it reaches the clog and then turn the handle to chew away at the debris. Eventually, this should remove the blockage. I usually use a metal hanger that I have untwisted and left a tiny hook at the bottom. I then snake the wire down into the drain a little ways then spit it around trying to catch hair or whatever gunk is blocking it and then pull it back up to dispose of the gunk.

Maintaining the Septic Tank

When you run into problems with your “nofollow”>septic tank, it can become a major expense. As a result, it is a good idea to maintain it, which can save you some money. Once a month, pour one-quarter ounce of active dry yeast into the toilet that is located closest to your main line. The yeast will help grow good bacteria in your system, which is necessary to break down what is being deposited into the tank. Most septic clogs happen somewhere along the main line. To keep it clear, pour a one-gallon mixture of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent boiling water every month. This mixture will eliminate any blockages that have formed, leaving you with a main line that functions perfectly.

Preventing Future Problems

Of course, it is a good idea to prevent problems with your pipes before they begin, if possible. Start by keeping a drain basket over all of your drains. This prevents hair and food particles from ever entering your pipes, as they are a main source of blockages. In addition, never pour grease down any of your drains. Grease coats the pipes and is very difficult to remove once you get a buildup. Even though a professional plumber can easily unclog your pipes, it is better to keep them clear of debris in the first place.

[About the author: James White is a freelance writer and father of two adorable children. Read more articles from James on his blog Image]

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