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Blocked Drains – Six Ways to Success
Clearing blocked drains, sink or toilet is always a headache. If DIY is your way to go – you’ll find ‘Unblock Drain – 6 Ways to Success’ a useful home plumbing guide on how to clear blocked drains. As with all DIY projects you need to consider all of the alternatives and weigh up the pros and cons. We hope our ‘Unblock a Drain – Six ways to Success’ article helps. In case you are not interested in a DIY then you can take the help of professional plumbers that use latest technology such as a drain camera and drain snake among others to identify hidden problems.
Six Ways to Success
- The Old Fashion Way
- Use of Technical Equipment
- Use of Chemicals
- The U-Bend Check
- The Simple Way
1. The Old Fashion Way
You can’t go past the good old fashion plunger to force the block from the plumbing pipe. It’s the force of the push that forces air through the pipe to clear the clog. Before plunging cover the overflow with a damp cloth to ensure a drain seal and force the air out through the drain blockage. If you have a double kitchen sink make sure you block off the second drain to ensure good pressure. Try this a few times before you throw your hands in the air. Many home DIY-ers have reported this to be one of the most successful methods.
2. Use of Technical Plumbing Equipment
You can hire a Drain Auger (AKA Plumber’s Snake or Electric Eel) from most hire places, however, be aware that these require a bit of skill and can be quite dangerous if not used correctly. These will unblock just about anything, including tree roots. I know of an apprentice plumber who had a bad experience when using a snake for the first time: he yelled out ‘STOP’ to his colleague just as the toilet block was dislodged. For those with a weak stomach I won’t go any further with that story, but needless to say, his wife wasn’t too keen on a kiss that afternoon. The moral of this story is – do wear protective clothing and practice good hygiene after coming into contact with drain fluids. The snake does have the potential to scratch ceramic surfaces of plumbing fixtures and drainage pipes. Drainage pipes are kind of a complicated system and need to be dealt with professional care.
3. Use of Chemicals
Many of us have been convinced that you need a full chemical arsenal to clear a blocked drain. Drain-O, Hydrochloric Acid or Caustic Soda are commonly used and are available at most hardware stores. You generally pour the substance down the affected drain, leave for 20-30 minutes (refer to instructions), and follow with cold water afterwards. Do not put hot water down immediately after the chemicals as it may spray back up in your face. Follow instructions carefully, and always wear gloves and a breathing mask when dealing with any kind of drain pipe cleaner.
If it’s just soap or fat you could try to unblock it with boiling water, but be careful not to burn yourself or melt the sink seal. Using natural enzymes is also a good place to start, so in the following order try putting 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup bi-carb, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup hot water. This method is perfectly harmless for you, the sink, pipes, and the environment and can be repeated as often as required. However, it will have limited effect on severe blockages. Alternatively, your local health food stores or chemist may stock the bacteria based enzyme cleaners which are also quite successful at doing the job and they often smell quite pleasant too.
5. The U-Bend check
Before you get carried away with all of the above, check that the blockage is not in the U-bend of the sink. Often food blockages have not got further than the drain directly beneath the sink. Place a bucket under the drain to catch any water or waste, unscrew the two connections and unblock the U-shaped pipe and give it a quick clean to clear your sink drain.
6. The Simple Way
Contact a licensed Adelaide Plumber at Sharpe Group ‘We can be there today‘ for drain plumbing services. We employ experienced, fully trained plumbers. All our plumbers drive well-stocked vans with all the equipment required to quickly carry out most plumbing jobs be it drain unblocking, releasing clogged drains or overall drain cleaning in Adelaide.
Sharpe is the name to trust when it comes to plumbing in Adelaide. Because we have a large team of qualified local plumbers in Adelaide we can provide a truly local service. When you phone the office call centre our efficient administration team will ask you where you live and they will schedule the closest Plumber.
Licenced Plumber with the best tools and equipment
We only employ fully trained Master Plumbers and we are a member of the Master Plumbers Association. Our plumbers drive a fully stocked service vehicle with the full range of common stock items as well as an electric eel and all other tools and ladders. We also have plumbers that specialize in blocked drains and can unblock your drain and repair the pipe without having to dig up your property.
We are Adelaide’s trusted Plumbing and Repair specialists.
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Sharpe Plumbers cover a wide variety of service needs from leaky taps and blocked drains to hot water system installation. No job is too big or small – we have been doing just that for over 35 years
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