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Top 5 Domestic Drain Unblocking Methods

Across the UK there are daily struggles occurring in the drains, sinks and plugholes of homes. This is the endless struggle against blockages and obstructions in the pipework, having a detrimental impact on the whole drainage system if it’s severe enough.

You’ll know when you’re about to get a blocked drain because of the smells and slow draining in your sink. It can be easy to forget and put off until you reach crisis point, but there is no reason you should suffer and in the end you could be making more hard work for yourself. There are a number of ways in which you can put a stop to a blocked drain without having to call someone out, and we’ve collected five top tips to help.

1)    Check your plughole

The first, and possibly the easiest thing to do is to check your plug hole or stopper in the offending areas. If you can see your enemy, you know you’ll be better able to deal with it, if you can remove the plug hole or the strainer rim which sits in the pipe then you’re in luck – with this out of the way you can really get an idea of what the blockage is like. Usually it’s just a nasty clump of hair or food stuck and tangled in the pipe within reach. Remove this and you’ll find your water draining freely once more.

2)    Get out the plunger

This is an old school piece of kit but it works just as well as anything else to dislodge whatever is blocking your pipes. Plungers aren’t just wooden sticks with a red rubber sucker these days either, you can get large plastic cones with a collapsing end, it does the same job but looks a little funkier to have in your home. Get a good purchase around the plug hole and then work the plunging mechanism until your hear it sucking up. Once you release it should clear the blockage. It may take a few goes so put some elbow grease into it.

3)    Baking soda

Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, you should be careful when putting this substance down your drain, it reacts with liquid at a rapid rate and will fizz up quickly. This expands and works its way in your pipe pushing and flushing out anything its way, be sure to have some hot water nearby to flush the soda out with or, if it hasn’t worked well enough, you can pour a little vinegar down too.

4)    Chemical cleaners

A small disclaimer against chemical cleaners is that if you have a septic tank then they can disrupt them and put out the chemical balance. If you don’t have a septic tank you must still use caution, ensure you don’t get chemicals on your skin or in your eyes. Let this settle for a little while before pouring hot water down the plug hole. This is one of the most robust ways of clearing your pipes as it should break down and cut up any stubborn muck and grime.

5)    Biological cleaners

For something a little lighter and less harmful to the environment, you can choose to use biological cleaners. These cleaners use enzymes to chew through blockages, but do have a limited power as an alternative to the harsh chemical cleaners. Hair, soap and other easy to tackle grime can be removed with this technique, but if it’s anything particularly stubborn you will need to up your fire power.

If you’re suffering from blocked drains that even our handy hints can’t shift, you can call upon 1st call drains for a variety of drainage services in central London. We can unblock even the most troublesome drains both inside and outside using jetting and excavation.

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