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Identifying a Blocked Drain

You may discern multiple signs blocked drain, like water draining sluggishly down sinks, showers, or bathtubs, gurgling noises that seem to be emanating from deep within the drains, unpleasant sewage smells near drains, accumulation of water around floor drains, and toilets or outdoor drains inundating and triggering a backup.

Let’s delve into the most frequent causes of blocked drains typically experienced in your home:

  • Accumulations of hair, food scraps, grease, and other debris represent one most common culprits of drain blockages
  • Tree roots penetrating, frequently the culprit for causing blockage, which requires the thorough cleaning of external drain setups
  • Build up of fats, oils and grease (FOG) along pipe walls
  • Foreign objects like toys or other items accidentally flushed down toilets or drains
  • Collapsed or broken drain pipes can happen unexpectedly, leading to frustrating obstructions

Identifying signs of a clog, especially in outside drains, along with likely causes is key to effective resolution. When stumped about how to alleviate your drainage woes and home tactics fall short, it’s time to enlist the expertise of a professional plumber for a precise diagnosis and remedy.

Using Household Items for Minor Blockages

There are several safe, eco-friendly household products that can be highly effective for clearing minor drain blockages.

Gently pour down a pot of boiling water into your kitchen sink to allow the heat to melt and move built-up grease, hair and soap scum. After allowing the drain a respite, letting the hot water undo blockages, follow with a cold water flush as you need do to finalise the cleaning.

A soda vinegar concoction offers another homegrown drain cleaner alternative. Effortlessly pour a cup of baking soda into drain, right away followed by one cup of vinegar. Let it sit for minutes then flush it with water to clear the drainage.

This chemical reaction exhibits how to maneuver your plumbing system effectively, clearing any lurking blockages.

Alternatively, mix 1 cup baking soda with a half cup of salt and cascade the blend down the drain. Then add a slow pour of boiling water to whisk away debris after the initial treatment. The potent mix of salt’s abrasiveness and baking soda’s dissolving power is gentle on your pipe yet tough on blockages, and you can try this mix safely at home.

For a drain blocked by hair and soap accumulation, you can also repurpose an old wire coat hanger, straighten it, and utilise its end to gently extract the problematic debris. Take care not to scratch pipes.

  1. Boiling water - an excellent solution for your blocked drain, dispensed gently down drain
  2. Baking soda and vinegar - sit 5-10 minutes
  3. Baking soda and salt - follow with hot water
  4. Coat hanger - gently retrieve hair and debris

These cost-effective DIY techniques not only protect the environment but also help keep your piping systems in better condition than harsh chemical alternatives.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

The use of baking soda alongside vinegar can be a viable DIY strategy that can be utilised for clearing out small-scale clogs. Here is a simple step-by-step process:

  1. Initiate the process by adding a cup of baking soda down the drain showing signs of a blocked drain.
  2. Allow the baking soda to settle into the drain for a few minutes.
  3. Next, carefully introduce 1 cup of household vinegar down, allowing the water to interact with the baking soda.
  4. There will be an immediate fizzing chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar, which helps break up blockages.
  5. allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes to work its magic softening the clog before sending water down drain.
  6. Conclude the method by discharging water down the drain and witness the clear blockage in your drainage pathway after a short duration.
  7. You could try using the treatment a few times for stubborn clogs, with 10-15 minutes between applications.

While the abrasive reaction between baking soda and vinegar can disintegrate minor obstructions quite effectively, it may not be as useful for extremely tough clogs. Additionally, this method should be avoided for metallic or plastic pipes, which can corrode from prolonged contact with vinegar.

A clogged drain can be quite difficult to dislodge when it’s caused by hair, grease, and solid objects.

Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water down your drain can use the heat for clearing blocked drain complications with minor clogs. The heat from the boiling hot water can influence tenacious deposits of grease, soap scum, and diminutive food particles to disintegrate. Heed these safety measures when employing this down water clearing approach:

  • When attempting to fix blocked drain by pouring boiling water down sink, use extreme caution to prevent scalding yourself and ensure to wear gloves with eye protection.
  • Initiate by boiling your kettle full to a rollicking boil, geared up for the subsequent steps.
  • Gently dispense the water down the drain to unblock it effectively.
  • Avoid pouring too much water down toilets or plastic PVC pipes, as excessive heat can cause damage.
  • Let the drain sit with some hot water for 5-10 minutes to effectively dissolve the clog.
  • Finish up by flushing with cool water to rinse debris down the drain.

While boiling water may loosen tougher drain blockage involving hair or solids like food, comprehensive drain cleaning methods may be required to completely clear the blockage.

Salt and Baking Soda

This homemade mix of salt and baking soda can assist in clearing blocked drain problems effortlessly. Simply pour 1⁄2 cup of salt down the drain followed by 1 cup of baking soda. The salt’s coarseness works into pipe buildups, while the fizzing action of baking soda and water reactions dislodges debris.

After adding the salt and baking soda:

  1. Allow the mixture to settle into the drain and pipes for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Boil a full kettle to pour boiling water through the system.
  3. When at a boil, fastidiously pour the hot water down the drain and ascertain how unblock drains methodically.
  4. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes and, Should the blockage persist, you’re encouraged to repeat process, trusting your judgement.

The salt and baking soda drain treatment is safe for all pipe types and the environment. Albeit for undeniable stoppages, the intervention of a drain snake or professional service can do wonders.

Employing Plungers and Drain Snakes

A reliable plunger can be your trusted tool in learning how fix blocked conduits in sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Figuring out how to release a drain using a plunger prevents any further complications:

  • First seal the drain opening completely with the plunger cup.
  • Half-fill your sink with water so the plunger cup is submerged, as drains can respond better to a fully covered plunger.
  • Energetically pump the plunger up and down 10-15 times to loosen the clog, then flush the drain to ensure clarity.
  • Flush with your hot water when the job is done.

To unblock drains with stubborn clogs deeper in the pipes, a drain auger, often called a drain snake, can be quite helpful. Feed the flexible steel cable down the pipes while turning the hook end to ensnare and extract debris. Take care not to scratch pipes when removing clogs this way.

Using hot water, plungers and drain snakes properly can clear many minor household clogs. But for severe or deeper blockages, calling a professional plumber may be required.

Chemical and Enzyme Cleaners

For stubborn drain clogs that persist after trying home remedies, commercial chemical and enzyme-based drain cleaners available at hardware stores may be an option before calling a plumber.

Chemical drain cleaners, which can used from your local hardware store, with ingredients like sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid act to dissolve obstructions. While often effective, they can damage pipes and seals over time and should be poured slowly and allowed to work for up to an hour before rinsing.

Enzyme cleaners take longer to work, and in persistent cases, you might need to call plumber for professional assistance. Containing bacteria cultures or enzymes from plants and animals, they digest hair, grease, food and soap scum over 6-12 hours so must be used preventatively overnight.

When using any store-bought drain cleaner, take safety precautions like gloves and ventilation. Avoid mixing chemical products together or following up with other methods. While not as eco-friendly as home cures, commercial cleaners can power through stubborn clogs without requiring disassembly of pipes when applied judiciously.

Removing the U-Bend

Removing the U-bend pipe situated under sink fixtures enables direct access to clear challenging clogs. Follow these steps:

  1. Start by placing a bucket under the U-bend to catch water.
  2. Loosen the slip nuts on both sides of the bend drain using adjustable pliers or a basin wrench.
  3. Carefully manoeuvre the pipe assembly to disconnect it. Place the drain cover aside carefully to prevent spilling any trapped water inside.
  4. Inspect the interior of the exposed segments and employ tongs to clean out the drain of hair, grime, and assorted debris causing clogs.
  5. Scrub the empty U-bend thoroughly with a drain brush to clean residue off the pipe walls.
  6. Reconnect the cleaned U-bend and tighten the slip nuts back into place.

When reassembling, check washers for wear and replace if deteriorated. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection when dealing with drain pipes. Removing and cleaning the U-bend provides direct, hands-on access for tough DIY drain clearing jobs.

Calling a Professional Plumber

If you’re pondering over how unblock drain effectively and multiple DIY attempts with boiling water, chemical cleaners, or hand-powered drain snakes have failed, it’s wise to enlist a professional plumber.

At Burwood Plumbing, we have over 10 years of experience dealing with all types of blocked drains. Our licenced plumbers use specialised equipment to clear blocked drains and resolve issues efficiently.

our sophisticated drain camera can be used to pinpoint exact locations of blockages, complemented by pressure hose hydro-jetting for immaculate pipe cleansing and advanced snake cables usable up to 125 feet underground. In instances like tree root intrusions or collapsed pipelines, our attention turns to pipe relining, amending the clogged drains to forestall repetitive complications.

Burwood Plumbing is dedicated to serving clients throughout Burwood and the greater Sydney metropolitan area, attending to your property’s plumbing needs. We operate 24/7 including nights, weekends and holidays. Call us at 1300 349 338 or email jobs@burwoodplumbingservices.com.au to schedule an appointment with our blocked drain specialists.

drain services including hot water systems, this plumbing service caters to all issues from leaky taps and pipes to hot water system repairs and replacements. Contact your local Burwood Plumbing team to have your plumbing problem diagnosed and resolved affordably and efficiently.

Preventing Future Blockages

There are several effective preventative measures that can help avoid blocked drains occurring in the first place:

  • Positioning mesh drain screens onto your sink, shower basins, and baths can capture hair and debris, helping to unblock outside and inside pipelines.
  • Be cautious about what goes down your outside drain to prevent solid buildup along pipe walls.
  • Ensure substances such as food scraps, hygiene products, and even excess toilet paper are meticulously discarded in waste bins rather than flushing them down toilets.
  • Clean sinks and tub strainers regularly to remove accumulated hair and soap scum before it washes down.
  • Consistently use a drain brush monthly when comes to unblocking drains and securing the internal parts of sink, tub, and shower drains from obstruction threats.
  • Consistently administering a cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar down drains is a prime example of efficient clearing techniques that keep water flowing freely—an essential regimen for less utilized drains.
  • Trim back tree roots and plants that may infiltrate your outside drainage pipes, preventing future issues.
  • Schedule annual drain inspections and professional cleaning services to proactively maintain unblocked drains.

Get your drains flowing smoothly by faithfully maintaining them and modifying daily habits to protect plumbing against costly and disruptive blockages.

For additional drain care tips or to inquire about Burwood Plumbing’s preventative maintenance plans, reach out to us today on 1300 349 338 or jobs@burwoodplumbingservices.com.au.

News & Information

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Unblocking a blocked drain is easy with common household products. Pour boiling water down the pipe, follow with baking soda and vinegar. The reaction breaks down debris so you can flush the drain clear.

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