Unblocking a drain can seem as appealing as a Monday morning, however, here are some methods you can use which will clear away your blocked drain easily and effectively. Depending on the resources you have available to you, the extent of the blockage and what is clogging up your drain will depend on what version you employ.
Unblocking a Drain Naturally
If your drain is congested because of oils or fats, then you can dissolve this using a combination of boiling water and soap. However, you want to take care that you do yourself a burn injury or melt the sink seal. Alternatively, you can use natural enzymes which you can usually locate in your pantry. Consider combining salt and bicarbonate soda of equal portions into a cup and mixing with a cup each of water and vinegar. This natural method of unblocking a drain is harmless for you, your sink, pipes and the environment. The downside to this method is that if you have a severe blockage, it may have minimal impact in clearing away whatever is blocking up your drain. Most health food shops and pharmacies will have bacteria based enzyme cleaners that can be met with success. If you happen to have a large drain, an effective way to clear our any blockages is by using water jetting. The force of the jet can sometimes remove whatever is congesting the drian allowing liquid to move freely down the pipe. This is more commonly used on bigger drains.
Old School Methods
An old, basic yet effective way of unblocking a drain is to use a plunger to extract the debris from the pipe. The force of the push sucking air through the pipe to clear the congestion works well. Prior to using your plunger cover the overflow with a damp cloth. This will ensure a closed seal and force the air up into the blockage, dislodging the clog. In the instance you have a double sink, make sure that you close off the second sink to allow pressure to build up. Do not be dissuaded if after the first attempt, your sink is still blocked. Several goes will usually get rid of your blocked sink.
For a blocked drain that is severe and has been blocked for a few days, a commercial sink or external drain that carries a lot of liquid, you might want to hire a drain auger. Using these requires a bit of know-how and can be dangerous if not used correctly. Wearing protective clothing and being hygienic prior to and after unblocking a drain using an auger is good practice. There is also the hazard of scratching ceramics which can occur.
Beware of Toxic Chemicals
While some of us may be convinced that donning a hazmat and dumping a bucket load of hydoclauric acid, caustic soda or drain-o down the pipes is the best way to unblocking a drain, you had better employ considerable caution when using these chemicals. The methods should be followed as instructed, usually with a wait period and chased with cold water. Gloves and a mask are advised. Know that this can be hazardous to the environment so be considerate of where your chemicals are going to end up.
Doing a u-turn
Prior to attempting any of the above methods, be aware that many blockages occur in the u-bend of the sink. In the majority of instances involving food blockages, it is because the food does not progress further than the u-bend in the sink. To unblock this, place a bucket directly underneath the sink to capture the liquid and clog and unscrew the connections. You may have a flexible brush to clean out the drain itself before reassembling the drain and flushing water down.
Take it Easy
The most simple way to unblock a drain is to contact your friendly plumber. They can be there to clear away the blockage, repair any damages and have your system back in working order without you having to go near it. We have experienced, fully-trained professional plumbers with equipment that can take care of any drain, septic tank or filtering system. We have competitive prices and are both thorough and effective in our work. They can be there to clear away the blockage, repair any damages and have your system back in working order without you having to go near it. We have experienced, fully-trained professional plumbers with equipment that can take care of any drain, septic tank or filtering system. For ways to avoid getting blocked drains in the first instance, read our handy blog here