How to Treat a Blocked Drain

Some of the most frequently used things that are used in our homes are our kitchen and bathroom sinks and as a result, they often become clogged or even blocked. This is because food, hair and the such like tend to go down the plughole and over time debris builds up. This naturally causes big problems and may having you immediately calling for an emergency plumber, but there are somethings that you can do yourself to address the problem. Here are a few of our tips:

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Some would say this is an old wives tale but actually, it works! Pour approximately half a box of baking soda down your blocked drain – don't add water yet. Then pour just over 100ml of vinegar into your sink. Now apply a metal stopper – the plug is great but many are plastic. You are now likely to see a “volcano effect” like the ones in science class. Wait 30 minutes and then pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER IF YOU HAVE PVC PIPES.

2. Boiling Water

If your problem is less serious, you could just try boiling water alone as this can dissolve any organic debris that is causing the blockage. Use about a kettle full of boiling water and repeat if necessary. Don't pour boiling water directly onto porcelain sinks as this may cause them to crack.

3. Use a Plunger

If the above options fail, it may be because the blockage is too large and you need to remove a large obstruction. This is where a hand plunger comes in handy. Firstly, make sure you are using a cup-shaped plunger as they work better on sinks. Handheld plungers are easier to use but a full-length one will work equally as well.

Remove any obstacles and half fill the sink with water. Place the plunger over the drain, ensuring that you have a firm seal. Now make rapid, full plunges to remove the blockage.

4. Use a Drain Snake

You will find these types of device in many hardware stores. They are effectively a spring steel wire that goes into the drain. Simply twist and move the snake around until the blockage has been cleared. The drain snake is designed so as to be able to move around any bends in the piping.

5. Remove the P-Trap

The U-shaped bend that you see under the sink is called the P-trap. It can normally be undone with a wrench. Make sure you have a bucket underneath before starting to reduce the potential for mess. Undo the P-trap and clean, reapply and use as normal.

If all of the above efforts fail, you will need to call upon the services of an experienced emergency plumber as the problem could escalate throughout your home and neighbouring properties. Make sure you call a plumber who will be with you in just a few hours to keep the problem to a minimum.

If all of the above efforts fail, you will need to call upon the services of an experienced emergency plumber as the problem could escalate throughout your home and neighbouring properties. Make sure you call a plumber who will be with you in just a few hours to keep the problem to a minimum.