We have already talked about preventing blockages, and if you have followed our advice you should be blockage free unfortunately not everyone has read that article, and there are people out there right now with blocked or partially blocked drains. This article describes a few methods that should easily unblock a drain without the need for calling a Plumber.
Water that’s draining away slowly or not at all is a clear indication of a blockage that needs attention whatever you do don’t leave it; the blockage will only get worse, so bad that you’ll have no other option but to call a plumber
Unblocking drains isn’t a nice job, so the first thing you need to do is accept the jobs going to be dirty, smelly and unpleasant. The prime culprit of blockages is hair, food and fat and hair, food and fat that’s been hanging around in a drain for a while don’t look, feel or smell good. Put on some old clothes and some disposable gloves.
Method 1, By Hand
For blockages under the sink or bathroom basin firstly take a photo of the pipework on your phone, this is so you have a quick reference to fit it all back together.
A blockage will likely be in the bends or trap, unscrew the parts and take a look. Remove excess gunk out of the pipes by hand or anything else that will do the job (preferably something you can throw away afterwards)
Screw the pipes and joints back together make sure they are done up properly and run the tap to make sure there’s no excess water escaping.
For blockages in the shower pull what you can out of the shower waste by hand, (you won’t be able to get to the pipes underneath) and if this doesn’t do the job move onto one of the methods below.
Method 2, Boiling Water
Pouring a kettle of boiling water down the drain is sometimes enough to breakdown and move a blockage.
Always remove what you can by hand first, and if the boiling water doesn’t shift the blockage wait a couple of hours before you take any pipes apart (if that’s the next course of action) as you can scald yourself.
Method 3, Plunger
Every household should have a plunger; the simple plunger creates a vacuum in the drain that shifts obstructions. Place your plunger over the plug hole and push up and down a few times, remove the plunger if water runs away you have been successful, if not give it a go a few more times.
Method 4, Drain Cleaner
Stubborn blockages can sometimes be broken down with drain cleaners. (Please Note we don’t recommend using chemical drain unblockers) You can purchase a commercial drain cleaner such as Jeyes fluid and Mr Muscle or you can make your own. For a homemade cleaner simply put 120ml of baking soda along with 60ml of salt down the drain along with 250ml of heated vinegar leave this for 20 minutes then run hot tap water if the water drains ok the blockage has broken down and gone away. In the event of the blockage remaining after using a commercial or homemade drain cleaner be very careful if you end up removing pipes as these cleaners are corrosive and could burn your skin. Also if you end up calling a Plumber make sure you inform them, you have used drain cleaner.
Method 5, Call A Professional
Don’t worry if none of the above methods doesn’t work for you, you have done everything you could, the only option left is to call a professional Plumber.