Read full post: Home Plumbing – How to Fix a Slow Drain


Having a slow-running drain in your house can be an annoying plumbing problem. The water and goop seems to take forever to run out, and a greasy residue is always left in your bathtub or sinks when it finally does drain out.

If only one drain in your house runs slow, then the problem is probably centralized to that drain only. If, however, more than one of your drains runs slow, then you could have a much bigger problem: your septic system could be backing up. If you smell a sewer odor or worse yet, if you see raw sewage in your basement, then you will need to contact your city’s local sewer department if your system is hooked up to a city line. If your home has its own stand–alone septic tank and system, and it hasn’t been cleaned out for awhile, you should contact a professional septic tank cleaner.

Home plumbing: How to fix slow drains

While sewer lines often become plugged by tree roots or by broken water tiles, drains inside your home tend to slow down when they become partially clogged with hair, soap scum, grease, et cetera.

All Natural Method

There are many ways to fix a slow drain, and the first method you can try is an old–time home remedy. First, pour a half of a cup of table salt into the drain. Then, pour a half of a cup of baking soda in the drain. Follow this by pouring a half of a cup of vinegar into the drain over the salt and the soda. Let this mixture set undisturbed for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Then, pour either very hot tap water or boiling water into the drain for three minutes. This method should clean the partial clog out of your drain. Repeat the process if necessary, to clear the drain completely.

Plunger/Drain Cleaner Method 

You can also try using a store–bought drain cleaner, or you use a plunger on the slow-running drain. Before you use a plunger, though, if the drain you are trying to unclog is a bathroom sink drain, you will need to stuff an old rag into the overflow hole. This will prevent the plunged pressure from diverting through the overflow hole.

The next step is to run some water into the sink or bathtub. Then, place the plunger directly over the clogged drain. Plunge it up and down several times in short, powerful bursts. If the water drains out quickly, then you will know that the plunging did the trick. If the water is still leaving slowly, though, you will have to repeat the plunging.

Once the drain completely opens up, you should run either very hot tap water or boiling water down the drain to help remove any remaining goop that is in the drain.



Home Plumbing: How to Unclog a Drain Without Chemicals from Sarah Noel Block, MS

Snake Method 

If you can’t clear the slow drain with a plunger, you can try to clear the clog out manually. To do this, you will need a long, heavy piece of wire. Snake the wire down through the drain as far as you can get it, and wiggle it around. If you feel the clog, then continue to wiggle the wire around in an effort to clear the clog, or at least loosen it up. Finally, remove the wire and run either very hot tap water or boiling water into the drain to clear out the debris.

One last note: in order to help keep the drains in your house from becoming slow or completely clogged, the bathroom drains should have screens on them. Screens collect hair and other debris so it doesn’t get into the drain.

Also, don’t pour grease, or anything that is greasy, down any drain. Don’t pour leftover paint, paint thinner, the clean–up from painting, or other thick, sticky solutions down your household drains either.

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