Unblocking A Drain – Information and Advice
From time to time, a household problem rears its ugly head and you have to put on your DIY hat to sort it out. A common problem is the blocked drain – they smell awful, appear as if from nowhere and can cause you structural problems if left too long. The first thing to try when you get a blocked drain is to pour boiling water down it, as usually this is enough to shift whatever stubborn blockage is causing the problem and let you get on with your day.
If the boiling water doesn’t work, give some thought to what might be causing the problem so you have a better idea of how to attack it directly. Common causes of blocked drains are leaves, leftover food and dishwasher soap. You could also find out if your neighbors are having similar problems as, if so, it might fall under the jurisdiction of the authorities if the blockage was caused by something they’re responsible for. If it’s just you having problems, then it’s up to you to sort it out.
An effective, simple way of sorting out a blocked drain is by using a plunger and hook. The hook should be metal, but if you don’t have one, the end of a clothes hanger will do. Use the plunger to try and shift whatever it is that’s blocking the drain and then use the hook to fish out anything that doesn’t move away by itself – be careful you don’t damage the pipes when you do this. This method is particularly good for bathroom drains and minor external blockages.
For more stubborn blockages, it’s recommended to use caustic soda. This comes in crystal form and is also known as soda crystals or sodium hydroxide. Wear plastic gloves and goggles when using it as it’s highly corrosive and could damage your clothes or skin. Follow the instructions on the packet and pour the soda down the drain where it should dissolve the blockage and allow whatever was stuck to move on and the problem to dissipate. You could also use specialist drain cleaners here, or thick bleach.
Surely the best method of unblocking a drain is not to let it get blocked at all – make sure you clean your external drains of leaves regularly to lower the chances of them getting block and keep an eye on your interior drains so you can act quickly if you need to. If you do get a bad blockage, then it’s an idea to call in an expert, who will make sure you don’t have structural damage by inserting a camera down the drain to check out the problem.
*Disclaimer* This information should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as the sole source of information on this issue. We cannot be held responsible for any loss, inconvenience, damage (whether special or consequential) or claims arising out of the use of this information.