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Keeping Drains Clean

Clogged drains are a common problem in every house. From time to time we notice our water going down slowly and backing up in our sinks, tubs, and showers. Unfortunately, most homeowners are under the assumption that nothing short of the most powerful chemical arsenal will work to unclog our drains. However, this is not true. There are simple steps that you can take to try to keep your drains "tuned-up" and running freely. And if your drain does need the help of something more powerful, there are safe home remedy alternatives to the traditional liquid drain cleaning products.

Being cautious of what you put down your drains is one of the best ways to prevent a clogged drain from forming. Things such as cooking grease, coffee grounds, and hair and soap scum should be put down your drains with discretion. Use an old coffee can or milk carton to store cooking grease and make sure your drain openings have a screen or grate to catch hair and soap scum.

There are a few other methods that can be used to keep your drains running freely. You could try running hot water through them after each use; pouring a cup of vinegar into the drain and chasing it with boiling water; and also pouring 1 cup of baking soda followed by 3 cups of boiling water. In addition, if the water isn't going down the drain, pour a cup of washing soda over the drain area and let it set for a while to work its way down to the clog.

If your sink is still clogged, you may want to try using a plunger. Simply place the plunger completely over the mouth of the drain and rapidly pump it up and down until the water rushes down the drain. If the water remains clogged in the drain then you may need to try something a bit more forceful.

The next step up from a plunger would be an expansion plug. An expansion plug is a flexible rubber nozzle that attaches to a garden hose. They come in a variety of sizes for different size drains. Simply insert the nozzle into the drain and turn on the water. The rubber nozzle will expand which will create a tight fit while the concentrated water pressure will work to free the clog.

In most cases, your problem will be solved after you have performed all of the above procedures. However, if you notice that all of the drains in your home are running slowly, you may have a bigger problem and chances are the source is within one of the main sewer lines. If this is the case then you'll want to call in a professional.

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