3 DIY Drain Unblocking Hacks

1 Sep, 2020

Blocked drains are occurrences that are familiar to many homeowners in Ipswich. Found in countless areas around the home, whether they be in the shower, kitchen sink, or bathtub.

They are a bother to even think about, but these blockages can often be fixed quickly and cheaply with these 3 DIY drain unblocking hacks. Why not give them a go before choosing to call your local plumber.

How to Prevent Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can be a hassle to deal with, so preventing them from occurring in the first place is the best solution.

To start off with, keep all food scraps from falling into your drains, or hair in terms of showers and baths. Though this seems like common sense to most, both hair and food waste are one of the most frequent culprits when it comes to blocked drains. Easy ways to avoid this is by using drain strainers which sit above your drain and prevent any large items from finding their way into your drain.

Do also be wary of your disposal of grease. Make sure to scrape it away into the trash. Pouring it down the kitchen sink is a big no-no. Though it may flow like liquid, grease will solidify in a matter of minutes and if in your drains, it will simply stick to and keep together all of the gunk and scraps that come down, effectively giving you a blocked drain.

By frequently checking your drains and strainers for any scraps that may have been previously missed and disposing of them, your drains should mainly stay block-free.


1. The Plunger

The plunger, though old fashioned, is a reliable, trustworthy piece of equipment designed for quickly and easily unblocking drains.

Simply place the open cup end over the drain, and with firm force and pressure, vertically push and pull the plunger about 5-10 times. If the drain doesn’t clear you can try using extra force and plunge a few more times.

Though very useful, plungers won’t be able to unblock grease on the side of pipes. Also be aware that they can sometimes damage drain line connections if too much force is applied.


2. Boiling Water

Since grease is often the cause of many kitchen blockages using boiling water is a remarkably simple and effective solution to melt the grease and clear your blocked kitchen sink.
Boil a full kettle of water, and carefully pour it down the drain in three stages, with several seconds between each pour.

The water should help in loosening the blockage without having to manually pull it apart.

WARNING! This method should only be used on metal or ceramic pipes, and not PVC pipes as the heat can potentially loosen joints. Instead you can try using hot water instead.

hot water melts grease and unblocks your drain

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This drain unblocking hack is a combination of the above method with the addition of a fizzy baking soda and vinegar mixture. 

First, pour a kettle full of boiling water (or hot water for PVC pipes) down the drain, then add 3-4 heaps teaspoons of baking soda down the drain followed by 50-150mL of vinegar.

The vinegar will instantly react with the baking soda and begin to fizzle and froth so make sure you quickly plug the drain and add some weight on top (e.g. pot of water). Wait about an hour for the magic to work then remove the weight and plug and pour a kettle full of boiling water (or hot water for PVC) down the drain again. 

This method combines the grease melting capabilities of hot water together with pressure from the baking soda and vinegar reaction to create pressure inside the pipes pushing the debris through the drain.

baking soda can help clear blocked drains

Blocked drains are a common occurrence to many homeowners in Ipswich. Preventing and fixing them can be a simple task.

Make sure to keep all scraps and hair out of drains, using a strainer or hair catcher, make sure you dispose of grease in the garbage not down the drain!

If already blocked, try to pour down boiling water frequently, use a plunger, or try mixing baking soda and vinegar for a fizzy mix down the drain. If all else fails, contact a local plumber to clear your drains as sometimes the issue can be much more complicated. A tree root may be causing the blockage, for example, which will require the drain to be dug up and the damaged section replaced by a professional plumber. So when the suggestions above fail to work make sure you consult a plumber.

Looking for a plumber?

to fix your blocked drain? If your located in the Ipswich area why not get in touch with us for a quick quote

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