Two ways to fix a blocked drain

Posted on: 16 July 2017


Blocked drains can be a huge inconvenience, making it next to impossible to perform basic tasks, such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. Here are two ways to deal with this issue:

Use tools

There are several tools which are can be effective in removing blockages from drains, including a plunger and a drain snake. The former is the least invasive option and as such, should be the first item that you use to try to unclog the drain.

Begin by blocking up the overflow hole by stuffing a cloth into it. This will ensure that the suction that the plunger generates (which will then be used to dislodge the blockage) will not be lost. Place the plunger over the sinkhole to create an airtight seal. Then, begin lifting it up and down rapidly. This should help to remove the clog.

If this does not work, you might want to try a drain snake. This is a long piece of pliable wire with a spiral at the end, which is designed to go into the drain and physically break apart the items that have formed the blockage. Due to its length, a drain snake is more effective than a plunger for removing blockages which are deep inside the plumbing system.

Use chemicals

Chemical drain unblocking products should only be used to if the aforementioned mechanical methods have failed. This is because, whilst they can be quite effective at dissolving blockages, they can also do a significant amount of damage to your plumbing system. The type of substances used for this task (such as caustic soda) are extremely abrasive; so much so that they can often end up eroding the plumbing pipes into which they are poured.

Chemicals of this kind usually need to be left to 'sit' inside the blocked drain for several hours, in order to completely dissolve the blockage. This, unfortunately, gives them plenty of time to damage the pipes. As such, if your plumbing system is quite old (and has, therefore, already deteriorated as a result of daily wear and tear), it not advisable to use this method to fix your blocked drains, as it could result in you having to pay a great deal of money to have the damaged piping replaced.

In this situation, it would be wiser to hire a professional plumber to remove the blockage for you. Whilst this will be more expensive initially than buying a chemical product from the supermarket, it could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.