drains and septic tanks - alternatives
DRAIN CLEANERS AND DRAIN OPENERS
To avoid clogging drains, use a drain strainer to trap food particles and hair; collect grease in cans rather than pouring it down the drain; pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain weekly to melt fat that may be building up in the drain; or weekly put some vinegar and baking soda down your drain to break down fat and keep your drain smelling fresh.
Baking Soda and Salt. Pour 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Follow with 6 cups boiling water. Let sit overnight and then flush with water. The hot water should help dissolve the clog and the baking soda and salt serve as an abrasive to break through the clog.
Baking Soda and Vinegar. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let set for a few minutes, and then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it. The combination of baking soda and vinegar can break down fatty acids into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD AFTER ANY COMMERCIAL DRAIN OPENER HAS BEEN USED OR IS STILL PRESENT IN THE STANDING WATER.
Mechanical Snake (and Garden Hose). A flexible metal snake can be purchased or rented. It is threaded down the clogged drain and manually pushes the clog away. If used in conjunction with a running garden hose, it can even clear a blockage in the main drain to the street. First crank the snake and feed it into the pipe. Next withdraw the snake and flush the pipe by inserting a garden hose with the water turned on full. With some luck, it may save you the expense of a plumber.
Plunger. A time-honored drain opener is the plunger. This inexpensive tool will usually break up the clog and allow it to float away. It may take more than a few plunges to unclog the drain. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD AFTER ANY COMMERCIAL DRAIN OPENER HAS BEEN USED OR IS STILL PRESENT IN THE STANDING WATER.
Avoid putting items down your sink or toilet that bacteria cannot digest or that will adversely effect the environment. Indigestible items include grease, fat, hair, cigar and cigarette butts, filters, facial tissue, paper towels, napkins, sanitary napkins and Band Aids