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How to Unblock a Drain

Tips to clear a blocked drain

Blocked drains are one of the most frustrating inconveniences for any homeowner, which is why it is important to know how you can unclog your drain quickly if it's blocked. This article covers a range of different drain unblocking methods that you can choose from when clearing a clogged drain.

Boiling water

To remove soap or fat blockages from a drain, you can simply just pour boiling water down the clogged pipe. This method is easy and free, however, you do have to take caution when pouring the boiling water as you could burn yourself or damage the sink seal.

Natural Enzymes

Natural enzymes can deal with drain blockages that are harder to unblock. This method involves firstly, adding ½ a cup of salt, then ½ a cup of bi-carb soda, then 1 cup of vinegar followed by pouring 1 cup of hot water down the drain also.

Using natural enzymes is danger free, won’t do damage to the drains and can be repeated as many times as necessary. It is often effective at clearing most blocked drains, however other methods are required for dealing with more severe blockages.

The chemical approach

Hydrochloric acid and a wide range of commercial drain cleaner products are often used to combat blocked drains. They are poured down a clogged drain and left there for around 30 minutes, before being washed out with water.

These products are fairly cost effective and are available at many hardware stores and supermarkets. However, when handling hydrochloric acids and drain cleaners, it is best to carefully read the instructions, wear protective gloves, glasses and a breathing mask.

Plunger method

Although plungers are seen as a bit of an ‘old school’ way of clearing a blocked drain, this method is still quite effective, especially for toilets. In order to have enough pressure to push air through the drain, you will need to create a drain seal. This can be done by blocking off one of the drains in a double sink or by covering the overflow with a damp cloth. This method can take a few attempts but is often very successful.

Plumbers drain snake

The drain snake is a flexible metal cable that is inserted into a drain and rotated, either by hand or with a machine, to clear out blockages. The drain snake is also another extremely effective declogging method used by a number of plumbers.

You can hire drain snakes however, they are difficult to effectively operate without the sufficient training and experience. You can also damage ceramic drain pipes with a drain snake, so it is often best to hire a plumber.

Checking the u-bend

Despite how close the u-bend is located to the start of a drain pipe, blockages can still occur in this part of a drain. When checking the u-bend, it is best to always wear protective gloves and clothing to protect yourself from drainage fluids. You just need to unscrew the u-bend from the connected drain pipe and clean it out. It is handy to have a bucket below the pipe when you are opening it to catch any fluid that might come out during the process.

Hiring a professional plumber

The most effective way to unblock a drain is to have it done by a professional! Qualified plumbers like the team at Ryan Old Plumbing have all of necessary training, experience and equipment to efficiently unblock a drain in your home. They will save you the hassle of hiring or buying equipment that you aren’t experienced with or won’t find a good use for after the drain is unblocked.

Your Brisbane drain cleaner specialists

If you want your drain unblocked by a plumbing professional, get in touch with Ryan Old Plumbing. We are industry experts when it comes to unblocking drains efficiently and to a high standard.

We also offer a professional drain cleaning service, which is a regular clean of your home's drains to prevent blockages from occurring in the first place. Talk to us today about your blocked drains on 1300 740 206 or complete our blocked drains request form.

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