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Do you love spending the day at the beach? Well, who doesn’t!
Whether it’s an outing with the girls or a family vacation over summer break, there’s nothing like some fun in the sun. That is, until we get home and have to rinse all the sand off ourselves and end up making a mess in the bathroom! (Especially if you’ve got sandy kids running all over the place…)
While washing sand down the drain might seem like the natural course of action, your rinse may actually be causing damage to your plumbing, especially if you live in an older house. So it’s best to get the sand out as soon as possible before you get some nasty clogs in your pipes.
Fortunately, you can get sand out of your drain before you have to give the plumber an emergency phone call.
That being said, getting sand out of drains can be quite the chore. Drano won’t work in this murky situation – you’ll have to secure some particular equipment and be ready to get your hands dirty. So, here are a couple of ways you can get sand out of your drain:
- Drain showers
This is the easiest method to start with since it doesn’t require any tools, but you’ll have to put your hands to work. You’ll need water – a lot of it. Warm water will suffice, but you can use hot water if you’d like to clear out everything else in the pipes too. Then, disconnect the pipes – this is where it gets… exciting. You’ll want to scoop out whatever sand is visible with your hands. This will make the cleaning process much easier. Just think of it as building a sandcastle! The next step is a little more fun (but still messy) – pour all the water in a swift motion down the drain. You want as much pressure as possible so the water washes out all the remaining sand out of the pipes. Repeat this step until no more sand comes out the other end. And make sure you’re either outside or have something to catch the sandy water, or you’ll have another disaster on your hands…
- Pressure washer
Similar to pouring flowing water down the drain, you can take it up a notch and use a pressure washer to really flush out that sandy debris. The high water pressure will aggressively flush down any existing debris – especially sand, which can be particularly difficult to clear out. When using this method, you either want to disconnect your pipe so the water can exit freely, or make sure you plug your other drains (kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtub drains, and any other drain openings) so the water from the pressure washer doesn’t come out in another location in your house!
- Blow bag
The name sums it up – a blow bag is a very strong rubber ‘bag’ that is designed to clear out clogged drains by expanding (or blowing up). You attach the bag to the open end of a hose, stick the bag down the drain, turn on the water and let the bag work its magic! The pressure should be enough to move the sand out of your pipes.
- Electric snake
This is a favourite among plumbers.
It is a snake-shaped piece of metal attached to a motor, similar to a drill, which is used to break up stubborn clogs. You stick the snake down your clogged drain and let the machine do its magic. The sand should get broken up enough to travel through your drainage and leave you with unclogged, smooth flowing pipes. Now, you probably don’t have one of these lying around your house. But if you call around your local hardware stores, you might be able to rent one for a day to get your drain cleaning done.
The best part of all the above methods is that they can be used for any drain in your house, not just your shower drain. And if you’re not able to manage using any of these at-home methods, you can always give your trusty plumber a phone call to take care of the issue!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there sand in my shower drain?
Poor construction can lead to sand entering your pipes, either through holes or other means. If you make frequent beach trips or live in a sandy area, this can also cause sand to accumulate in your shower drain, also with other debris, hair and more. Liquid cleaners can work on the latter, but you’ll need heavier duty methods for sand, especially if the clogging is severe.
Does Drano dissolve sand?
Unfortunately, Drano does not dissolve sand. It will work on other things clogging up your pipes, but sand will require you to get your hands dirty. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there that you can try with varying degrees of effort.
How do I prevent sand from going down the drain?
The best way to stop sand from getting into your drains is simply to not bring it into your house. If you’re heading back from the beach, leave your shoes outside the front door and brush off as much excess sand as possible. This way, the amount of debris going down your drain is minimal. Showers aren’t the only way sand can get into your pipes though. Make sure before you throw any sandy articles of clothing or towels into your washer, you shake them off thoroughly. The best way to do this is to leave them in the sun to dry – it’ll be much easier to shake them off when they’re not wet.