5 Ways to unblock your Blocked Drain
Whether it’s grease that has solidified, food bits from washing the dishes, toilet paper or hair, there are many items that could cause a blockage in your drain. We put together five DIY methods on how to unblock your drain in your home. And if you cant fix it yourself, give us a call.
1. The Plunger
Most homes have a plunger stored somewhere at the back of the cupboard underneath the sink for that drain emergency and now is a good time to put it to good use.
Coat the edge of the plunger with some Vaseline for a better seal. Place the plunger over the drain opening making sure that it covers the entire opening. Work the plunger up and down with force for 5-10 minutes. If you hear any noises or feel a change in pressure yank up hard on the plunger releasing the seal. Test to see if the drain is unblocked by running some water through. If it is not, try plunging again. Repeat this 2-3 times before trying a different method. Do not plunge a drain that has chemical drain cleaner in it!
2. The Bent Wire Clothing Hanger
Simple and used by the generations before us to easily and effectively unblock drains using a wire hanger. There are plastic ready to use tools that can be bought from the hardware store for this exact purpose too.
Straighten out a metal wire clothing hanger as best as you can. At the end, bend a small hook into the wire. Make sure it can fit down the plug hole easily and push it past the drain cover. Continue to push the clothing hanger down the pipe until you can feel the potential blockage. Gently twist and “fish” on the blockage and pull as much up with the hanger as you can without pushing the block further down the pipes. When you have pulled out as much as possible, run hot water through the pipes to clear any remaining nasties.
3. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar causes a chemical reaction similar to chemical drain cleaners to remove blockages, however, this method is safer, more environmentally friendly as well as more cost effective. The chances that a household has these two ingredients on hand is also high.
Make sure the pipes of the block are as dry as possible. Do not let water run through them for a while and let them dry. Take 1 cup baking soda and pour down the drain. Using a funnel can make this easier. Follow this with two cups of boiling water and let sit for a few minutes. Add one more cup of baking soda and a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain and cover the opening of the drain with a plug as to not let it foam out into the sink. There might be possible gurgling noises, wait for these to cease before pouring more boiling water down the drain to clear the blockage.
4. Wet and Dry Vacuum
If you are lucky enough to own a powerful wet and dry vacuum, it is worth it to give it a go in your attempt to try unblock your blocked drain.
Set the vacuum to vacuum liquids, cover the drain with an attachment such as an adapted plunger head to fit on the vacuum pipe. Turn the vacuum to the highest setting making sure the drain is covered and sealed. The vacuum might suck the blockage up out the pipes or at the very least, loosen it.
5. Chemical Drain Cleaner
Corrosive cleaners, although effective, must be used with caution and care as it can be unsafe if used incorrectly. Follow the safety instructions and the directions of use exactly as per manufactures’ requirements.
You can buy chemical drain cleaners from any hardware store such as Builders Warehouse. Please note that if you have a septic tank you would need to buy a drain cleaner that is compatible with your septic tank system. Don’t use on a blockage that isn’t draining at all and has stagnant water in the pipes. Do not plunge after using drain cleaners. Read the directions carefully before using the drain cleaner. Most drain cleaners require you to pour it down the pipes, leave for the recommended time to unblock the drain and then flush out with warm water. Never mix different drain cleaners with any other chemicals such as bleach or even mix different brands of chemical cleaners as this could produce toxic fumes due to a chemical reaction that could be hazardous to you and your family. The chemical reaction could also lead to damage of the pipes due to corroding leaving gaping holes and leaks needing to be repaired.
When to contact the professionals?
A blocked drain cannot just be a hassle but can be a cause of frustration and unpleasant experience due to the lingering odours bubbling up from the blockage. If the above tips have been unsuccessful in your attempt to unblock your drain by yourself than it might just be time to call in the experts in blocked drains to handle it quickly and professionally. Unblocking drains are one of our specialities and it would be our pleasure to help.