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Clear Blocked Drains – DIY

blocked drain

Whether it’s a small house or a big home with the whole family, kitchen and bathroom sinks can get clogged any time. Considering the amount of waste that gets flushed, it’s only understandable that residue will get trapped in the drains from time to time.

Drains get clogged because of the build-up of debris in your drainage pipes – usually, food, hardened grease, soap residue and even foreign objects like hair and dirt.

While the immediate impulse is to call an expert plumber, there are several do-it-yourself or DIY techniques to remove the clog, thereby saving a couple of bucks.

Draining a blocked drain can be partial or full-on. The former, or partial clog, will allow at least some water down the drain. The latter, however, means the drains are fully blocked and no water is going down at all.

Refresh your drains with soda!

Ever heard that a nail put in a glass of soda will dissolve and eventually disappear with time? It’s true. This may take you by surprise – soda is great for vanquishing a clog o your drains. This is even more effective than many commercial clog removers as they are packed with strong dissolving agents.

Get started with a two-liter bottle of soda. Let it acclimate to room temperature before you can use it. Pour the soda down the drain and let it fizz for a moment, working its corrosive power for up to an hour or two depending on the strength of the clog. Then run hot water to wash everything down.

The soda is loaded with phosphoric acid. That’s why it can effectively break down build-up which often clogs drain pipes. It can remove harder substances like the limescale that are often difficult to remove with regular cleaners.

Attack your blocked drain with boiling water

This is an easy DIY method of unclogging a blocked drain pipe. The high temperatures in hot boiling water should be able to do the work.

Notice that hardened grease and soap residue are some of the most common substances that build up over time and clog your drainage pipes. That’s why you might be surprised to find your kitchen or bathroom sink clogged even after you’ve been so careful as not to let any solid substances in it.

The hotter the water the more effective it will be. Pour hot boiling water down the clogged pipe and allow it to work for some time. The hot water will dissolve any organic matter in the sink and melt away any hardened grease.

Grease and accumulated soap residue may hold some food particles creating a strong, solid build-up in the pipes. Once the hot water dissolves the grease holding the particles together, the solid residue in the sink can then easily be washed away even by cold running water from the tap.

Caveat: Don’t use hot boiling water to unclog a PVC pipe – the heat could loosen cause the joints of the PVC to loosen. This will result in additional cost due to repairs. Neither should you pour boiling water into a porcelain sink bowl directly, it can crack. Be sure to pour the water straight down the drain.

Bonus: when using boiling water to unclog your sink, you can always repeat the process if necessary.

Use vinegar and baking soda to remove clogs

Pour half a packet of baking soda down the clogged drain without adding any water. Then add half a cup of vinegar down the pipe. Use a metal stopper or some rags to stop up the drain and let the two substances react for 30 minutes. Remove the stopper and pour hot water down the drain.

Plunger for more stubborn clogs

A hand plunger may be necessary for a sink that has a large stubborn obstruction.

hand plunger

Yes, a plunger is not just meant for use on a clogged toilet, it is a great tool for use on a clogged sink too. Start by filling the sink halfway, a bathtub to about four or five inches. Having removed the metal strainer or stopper, place the plunger over the drain and ensure you have a firm seal. Then force the debris down the drain using quick sharp plunges. Check to see your progress from time to time.

Drain snake – the ultimate DIY tool

This piece of equipment gets the job done on any type of drain clog. It is a long, flexible metal rope with a metal spiral at its end. You can get one inexpensively from your local hardware supply stores. The long steel wire will spiral its way into the drains, effectively removing any clogs built up in there.

You can twist the snake once it is up against a blocked drain to remove it. The steel wire is often designed to allow for it to bend around most pipes without a problem.

While these DIY home techniques can be extremely effective in getting rid of sink clogs, sometimes you might be unlucky to run into something unexpected. If that ever happens, consider hiring a professional to help resolve the problem. Aus-test has seasoned experts that will come to your aid immediately when you contact them.