Sewerage flushing: pipe cleaning methods + main causes of blockages

Nikolay Fedorenko
Checked by a specialist: Nikolay Fedorenko
Author: Vladimir Bychkov
Last update: May 2019

The effective operation of the domestic waste water disposal system in an apartment or in your home requires timely preventive measures. But if, nevertheless, a blockage has occurred, then a properly conducted washing of the sewage system will relieve the domestic inconvenience that this problem entails.

It must be understood that in addition to minor troubles, a non-working or inefficient sewage system can lead to larger consequences associated with damage caused by flooding.

Let's look at the causes of clogged sewer pipes and how to eliminate them together.

Sewer pipe flushing options

There are many methods to eliminate blockages in the sewage system.

In order to correctly determine the most optimal of them in a specific situation, you must first find out:

  • the degree of blockage and, accordingly, the complexity of the work to remove it;
  • design features of the sewage system and its length.

Each of the ways to solve the problem associated with the violation of the drainage of drains from an apartment or your home, requires the availability of appropriate tools, equipment or special means.

Let us consider in detail the main methods used to flush the pipes of the sewage system in an apartment or in your house.

Option number 1 - strait with water

Minor violations of the throughput of sewer pipes, as a rule, arise due to deposits of fat in them. To these accumulations are added small fractions of household waste falling into the sink, for example, from the kitchen when washing dishes. Therefore, often a clogging situation occurs in a section of the pipeline that is slightly distant from the kitchen sink.

Hot water spill
If you do not delay the time to solve the problem with body fat, then you can try to resort to the simplest and less costly, if you do not take into account the consumption of hot water, a way to eliminate the malfunction - spilling the sewage system with hot water

To begin with, plugs are installed (you can use a wet rag, if there is no standard one) on the holes for overflowing water, after which hot, approximately 60 ° C water is supplied from all the pickup points to the sewage system under the maximum possible pressure.

Under the influence of excess pressure and water temperature, a small plug or fat deposits will be washed away.

It must be remembered that this procedure is carried out under constant control, in order to avoid overflow of water through the sink.

With good efficiency, steep boiling water pipes will work. A volume of 1-2 liters is enough to flush body fat.

But you should consider some features of the use of boiling water. It will not harm good modern plastic pipes, especially cast iron pipes. However, the main thermal shock will fall on siphonwhose material, like the rubber seals used for sealing, is much less resistant to the effects of hot water than pipes.

Option number 2 - the use of a plunger

An additional help when flushing the sewage system can be provided by a plunger, which is desirable to have in the arsenal to combat pipe clogging in each house.

Depending on the intended use (sink, bathtub or toilet bowl), plungers can differ in the volume of the bowl and the angle of its attachment to the handle.

Using a conventional plunger
An ordinary plunger is a simple device, the main elements of which are a plastic or wooden handle and a rubber nozzle in the form of a bowl

The way the plunger works is quite simple. A step-by-step instruction is as follows:

  1. A sink or bath is filled with a small amount of hot water, with a level of several centimeters at the drain hole, but not exceeding the height of the valve.
  2. The overflow hole is plugged.
  3. Bowl plunger, like a suction cup, close the drain hole.
  4. Make several intense strokes, after which the device is sharply removed.

During effective operation with a plunger, elements of contamination come from the hole together with the wastewater, some of which can be removed before they are returned to the system. The drain is again filled with water, and the pumping procedure is repeated several times until the cause of the blockage is completely eliminated.

In addition to conventional plungers on the modern market of sanitary equipment, a large assortment of their pneumatic counterparts are successfully presented, which successfully cope with blockages of intra-apartment sewers.

Some products can be attributed to the professional class of equipment, with the corresponding cost. But there are also quite decent in quality and affordable devices - from 500 to 1000 rubles.

Pneumatic plunger to eliminate blockages
Such a device works on the principle of a pump, having the form of a large syringe with a suction nozzle. The piston mechanics create a vacuum discharge of air in the cylinder, due to which the mud plug gradually loosens and is pushed out

The undoubted advantage of these devices over the traditional plunger is the greater power of water hammer. The volume of the cylinder, depending on the model, is usually from one to two liters. The device is completed, as a rule, with two adapters: one for sinks, bathtubs and the second for the toilet.

Work is being completed on cleaning the sewage system using plungers of any type by spilling pipes with hot water.

Option number 3 - the use of special tools

The use of household chemicals is another one that allows you to get the desired result, a way to flush drains and sewage systems from blockages.

The following types of tools are distinguished:

  • liquid;
  • gels;
  • granules (powders).

We will tell about how to wash drains, siphons and sewer pipes using preparations of each specified type using the most popular modern means as an example.

Synergetic to eliminate blockages. It is a concentrated liquid. Contains plant A-tensides, soda and water. According to the manufacturer - completely natural.

Synergetic Blockage Fluid
The product is supplied in a 5 liter liter bottle or canister. From one drain hole for half an hour, 250 ml to 1 liter of liquid is poured. The procedure ends with a plentiful strait of sewage water, preferably hot

Advantages of Synergetic:

  • does not cause allergies;
  • contains substances capable of complete biodegradation in water into harmless components - water and carbon dioxide;
  • fights bacteria;
  • harmless to microflora of septic tanks.

The fluid works efficiently in plumbing fixtures, eliminates body fat and unpleasant odors, but with severe blockages and plugs with hair inclusions she can not cope.

Sanfor - thick gel. 250 ml of the product is poured into the drain hole. With small blockages, it is enough to withstand from 5 to 15 minutes, with strong ones - a little more, and after that, flush the system for a minute under strong water pressure.

Sanfor Pipe Wash Gel
Sanfor cleans well not only fat, food residues, but also hair, and the chlorine contained in it perfectly disinfects communications and removes germs

According to the majority of real user reviews, it can be concluded that the gel for its price is 110 rubles, it is really effective and better than many expensive chemical products fights blockages and sewer odors.

A 750-gram bottle is just enough for a one-time washing procedure for three drains (kitchen, bath and toilet).

The only advice from housewives is, if possible, to leave the gel poured into the pipes, without spillage, for a longer period than indicated in the instructions. Moreover, the tool is safe for all types of communications.

Bagi granules from blockages Pothan. The product comes in a 250 gram capacity.

Remedy for Bagi Pothan blockages
With a one-time procedure, it is recommended to pour 50-70 g of Pothan powder into the drain, then pour half a glass of hot water into the product

After 3 minutes, thoroughly rinse the pipe under the maximum possible water pressure.

During the reaction, an unpleasant odor and foam may be released. Therefore, it is necessary to work with the drug very carefully and in the means of protecting the skin and respiratory organs.

Despite the apparent aggressiveness of the tool, users confirm that it does no harm to cover the plumbing. The powder has a good rating and a large number of offers on online resources.

Reaction while using Bagi Potkhan
Reviews confirm the effectiveness of Bagi Pothan and visually observed during its use a strong chemical reaction, accompanied by hissing, as well as the release of foam and steam

Option number 4 - folk methods

There are methods to flush pipes without the use of specially purchased off-the-shelf products. This helps in the knowledge of the main components that make up the preparations, and the chemical processes that occur when they interact with other substances.

Caustic soda - caustic soda. This is an alkali with a rather wide range of applications - from cooking and cosmetics, to industrial washing and fuel production on a solid scale.

Caustic, which has the ability to decompose organic substances, is part of many household products, including those designed to eliminate sewage blockages.

In a dry substance, caustic soda is granular and flaky.

Sewage flushing with caustic soda
For washing the sewer it is better to use granular sodium hydroxide. In one drain, it is enough to fill 3-5 tablespoons of the substance and pour 300-400 ml of hot water

Spillage of the sewage system with running water after the procedure using caustic is carried out no earlier than 2 hours later.

Baking soda and vinegar. For one drain, you need to cook up to 250 g (half a pack) of soda and 100-150 g of vinegar. Soda is poured into the drain in dry form, it can not be mixed with water. Cooked vinegar, before pouring it into the drain hole, it is advisable to slightly warm in a microwave or container with hot water.

Immediately after pouring vinegar, the hole should be closed as tightly as possible with a rag so that the chemical reaction is directed inside the pipe. After half an hour, boiling water is poured into the drain (you can have a whole kettle), and the system is spilled from the water supply.

Soda and vinegar for flushing pipes
The option to flush the sewer with soda and vinegar will be useful for small clogs caused by fat deposits. With traffic jams and hair congestion, it is unlikely to help

But this method can be effective if it is possible to seal the entire sewage system, including drain and overflow openings.

Argument - the reaction is accompanied by the release of a large amount of carbon dioxide, the strength of which, in the absence of leaks, may be enough to simply push the resulting plug further into the sewer and get rid of it with a subsequent spill of the system.

Option No. 5 - hydrodynamic flushing

The use of chemical and other special equipment can bring the expected effect with the organic nature of the blockage. But even organics, in large quantities, or compressed, can resist these methods of flushing pipes. But we are not talking about dissolving traffic jams resulting from construction waste or other large inorganic waste that has got into the sewer.

Therefore, to flush pipes with large blockages, one should resort to the modern hydrodynamic method. To implement this method, it is necessary to have special equipment that can be used both in everyday life and in production.

The permissible diameter of pipelines served by the hydrodynamic method is from 50 to 300 mm.

The hydrodynamic kit consists of a hose withstanding high water pressure and nozzles with nozzles. For apartment sewerage, as a rule, trihedral (punch) nozzles are used. A good turner is quite capable of making a nozzle for a punch yourself.

Device for hydrodynamic flushing of sewers
Translational, deep into the pipe, the movement of the hose with simultaneous breaking of the blockage occurs due to the strong pressure of the water jets ejected from the nozzles of the nozzle

Step-by-step flushing of the sewage system using hydrodynamics is as follows:

  • determination of the nature and degree of complexity of the blockage and, based on this, the selection of nozzles;
  • immersion of the hose with the nozzle in the sewer system and the connection of the pump;
  • using reciprocating movements, advance the hose with the tip towards the blockage;
  • increase, if necessary, the power of water pressure until a result is achieved.

This method effectively destroys and flushes even the most petrified, inaccessible blockages. Most often, it finds application to eliminate traffic jams in the sewage system of a private house and in industrial networks.

If there is no way to resort to hydrodynamic flushing, it is worth using plumbing cable. It also quite effectively copes with blockages in sewer pipes.

The main causes of clogged pipes

There may be several reasons why periodically there are problems with the normal functioning of the sewage system. However, in any case, the main condition for its normal operation is the timely and correct implementation of preventive measures.

Reason # 1 - body fat

The first reason is those fat deposits or organic plugs that were discussed above and which inevitably arise during the operation of the sewage system, mainly when washing dishes.

An effective way to combat body fat can be grease trapmounted under the kitchen sink.The main function of this device is to isolate fat from waste water.

The design of such a device is quite simple, and if desired and the right approach, it can be made independently from improvised means.

Grease trap for kitchen sink
Through the inlet, contaminated effluents enter the grease trap chamber. The chamber has at least two vertical separator partitions. The first with a gap from below, the second from above

Lighter than water fat formations remain on the surface of the first compartment, and defatted effluents, passing through the upper gap of the second partition, enter the sewer.

A general preventive measure to prevent accumulation of fat and small pieces of food waste in the pipes is periodic, preferably at least once or twice a week, by spilling the sewer system with hot water with the highest possible pressure. This procedure must be carried out from 5 to 15 minutes.

Reason # 2 - Hair Corks

A lot of trouble, especially in sewer drains from showers and bathrooms, deliver hair. To prevent the formation of hair congestion, it is necessary to create a barrier for hair to enter the sewers.

In a large number and in various variations on sale, you can find protective grilles that cover the drain hole or are attached to the bottom of the device on the suction cups.

Hair catcher
An original modern plumbing fixture is a hair catcher. It is a decorative element placed on the drain hole, with a chain fixed on it with silicone stops

The chain is lowered into the drain and the hair, as well as other debris, are retained at the limiters, without getting further into the sewage system. All that is needed is to periodically remove the chain and clean it.

This item, in addition to useful, also performs a decorative function.

Reason # 3 - deposits in siphons

A common cause of blockage is deposits accumulated in the bends of the siphon of the exhaust system. These devices have a useful purpose - they provide water seal.

Due to the design features, there is always sewage in the bottom of the siphon, which, by creating pressure in the system, prevents sewage odors from entering the room.

Kitchen sink siphon clogging
It is in the siphon and sump that a large amount of household waste accumulates, therefore, for the normal operation of the sewage system, this plumbing equipment needs periodic preventive maintenance, which consists in manual cleaning and washing

It will not be difficult to disassemble and clean the siphon, but the benefits of these works are undeniable. Removal of not only large debris, but high-quality washing of all parts of the siphon from grease and small waste is a guarantee of stable operation of the sewage system.

Reason 4 - installation errors

Constructive or technical blockage is the result of violations committed during the construction of the sewer or complications arising during its operation.

The main reasons for this may be:

  • insufficient diameter of sewer pipes;
  • improperly installed drainage system;
  • subsidence or breakage of the sewer pipe;
  • non-compliance with the minimum pipe slope.

With such malfunctions, any preventive measures and flushing the system will give only a temporary result.

Slope of sewer pipes
According to SNiP, the slope angle of apartment sewer pipes should be 3 cm per meter for 50 mm pipes and 2 cm for pipes from 85 to 100 mm

Therefore, in order to save yourself from constant problems with sewage, it may be better to immediately resort to "surgical measures" - to repair or replace the sewer-drain system or its faulty part.

Reason number 5 - overgrowing of sewage

Cast iron and steel pipes are often exposed to this problem for a long time. Roughnesses formed on their inner surface cause hooks of hair, threads and other small debris, which eventually grow and become the center of the cork.And fat from kitchen sinks and dishwashers exacerbates the situation.

For preventive cleaning of the sewer system from cast iron and steel, flushing methods that were described above are quite acceptable. But an effective solution, albeit somewhat dramatic, will be to replace such pipes with metal-plastic.

Deposits in cast iron pipes
The clearance in cast-iron pipes in the absence of a preventive wash narrows, reducing their throughput. Failure to take timely measures can lead to a complete stop of the sewer system and the need for repair

Guidelines for the proper use of sewage

Despite the fact that every adult knows the purpose of the sewage system, often the human factor often results from its malfunction. Confidence that everything will “slip through” into the sewers gives the shortsighted tenant a reason to dump anything into the system.

The main prevention against blockages for this reason is a memo that in no case should be thrown into the sewer:

  • large food debris and fats;
  • construction garbage;
  • paper if it is not a soluble toilet;
  • thick paper towels;
  • diapers, wet wipes and cotton buds;
  • pads and condoms;
  • pet litter;
  • Adhesive plasters and dental floss.

It must be firmly understood that sewage is not a garbage disposal.

Therefore, the temptation to quickly send to the toilet, and not to the bin that you no longer need and forget about it, you must contrast the understanding of the consequences that such actions will lead to, and which will soon remind of themselves.

Flooding an apartment from a clogged sewer
Irresponsibility and negligence in using sewage systems threatens problems not only perpetrators who neglected, but also house neighbors

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Video detailing the procedure for cleaning and washing with your own hands the elements of the drain siphons under the bathtub, sink and kitchen sink:

The video deals with how to clean the sewer system using caustic soda:

A short video about the procedure for hydrodynamic flushing of the sewer system in the apartment:

The considered options for eliminating the causes of blockages in the sewage system by flushing are the most effective. Their effectiveness and the ability to perform at home is confirmed in practice.

Knowing the instructions and tips on the maintenance and prevention of sewage, as well as their observance, will help to avoid undesirable consequences, and will provide the opportunity to use plumbing equipment in comfort.

If you know other effective ways to clean the sewer from clogs and use them effectively, please share your experience with other visitors to our site. Leave your comments in the contact block located under the article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Anton

    Informatively. However, if clogging is frequent, it means that an error in the design of communications is inevitable. I have this with the hydrobox. The drain is located almost at the level with the outlet pipe, so gravity is difficult. Well, the second reason is long hair.Here, as it is written, a catcher and plunger help, which very effectively helps push or get an obstacle that seems to have already washed off and interferes with the effective leaving of the water. Fats and deposits are over the years.

    • Vitaliy

      Most of the blockages are obtained over the years, when the diameter of the pipe decreases due to growths.

  2. Dmitry

    From the description of folk methods, the hair moves. In modern bathrooms and kitchens, plastic siphons are installed in at least 90% of cases. I don’t know about caustic soda, but baking soda with vinegar, subsequently supplemented with boiling water, is, if not a sentence, then a very high risk of getting deformation and even leakage of a siphon or corrugated tube as a bonus to clogging (which is even more likely). Pouring boiling water into a plastic drainage system is cool)))

    • Timur

      You write nonsense, these folk remedies do not consist of aggressive chemistry and the siphon will not suffer from them in any way. About boiling water in general a joke. No pipe is deformed from boiling water, they hold up to 140 degrees according to the standard.

      • Expert
        Nikolay Fedorenko

        Polyvinyl chloride - 110-120 - loss of shape, deformation, polypropylene - 85-95 degrees, polyethylene - 60-65 degrees holds, but not higher, cross-linked polyethylene - 90-100 degrees (holds and above, but for a short time). These are GOST values. And this despite the fact that the material will not be secondary and will be 100% high-quality, which is rare.