5 Easy Ways to Clear a Blocked Drain

When a drain in your house is blocked it can be a major inconvenience and a cause for concern – along with a potential strain on your finances.

Any utility in the house that has a drain can get blocked which includes showers, sinks, and basins. Some blockages can be fixed on your own if you have the right tools and technique. But a more serious blockage may require the specialist know-how and equipment of a certified plumber in Canberra.

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The most common cause of drain blockages include:

• Hair
• Soap scum
• Toilet paper
• Food waste
• Dirt
• Excess fat
• Foreign objects
• Tree roots
• Cracked or broken pipes
• Concrete in the pipe

Depending on the cause of the blockage, you may be able to fix the problem yourself without spending a lot of money on a plumber.

Here are 5 easy ways to clear a minor blockage.

1. Commercial Drain Cleaner :

To unclog a sink you can choose from two types of commercial drain cleaners: liquid or granulated crystals. In reality, it does not matter which of the two you choose, as they are both heavier than water and have the ability to travel through standing water to reach a clog.

Modern commercial cleaners are safe to use on any polyvinyl chloride or PVC pipes as long as you use the product as directed. But if you live in an older house that has metal pipes than a commercial drain cleaner may cause damage.

Whether you use a liquid or crystal drain cleaner, always follow the directions and never re-apply more than three times in one session, as this may damage the pipes.

Despite the speed and convenience of commercial drain cleaners, they cannot clear everything that blocks their path. If the drain is clogged due to a solid object, mineral build-up, or tree roots; a chemical cleaner won’t be enough.

For this reason, if you still have a blocked drain after using a chemical drain cleaner, you will need to contact a Canberra plumber.

2. DIY Drain Cleaner :

Don’t have a commercial drain cleaner? No problem. Just make your own solution at home. Here is a simple recipe that is easy to make and, while a danger to the clog, is toxic-free and safe to use on drains.

First mix ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of table salt. Then once combined, pour the solution down the drain (just like you do with the crystals) and pour a cup of cold vinegar down the drain too. Cover the drain with a plug or rag. Lastly, after 15 minutes pour boiling water down the drain to flush out the remaining solution.

Just like a commercial drain cleaner, do not apply this natural solution more than three times in one session.

Having no luck? Book an appointment with a certified plumber in Canberra. Contact Oldmate ACT on 02 6254 6576 today.

3. Use a Plunger :

If you have a plunger around the house you may be able to literally push the offending object down the drain. Keep in mind that you need the right type of plunger for the right job.

For toilets, you need a plunger that is shaped like a cup yet has a soft rubber flat which folds from the outside. This shape is specially designed to fit most types of toilets but is not suitable to use on sinks.

For sinks, you need the ‘classic’ plunger design. This is characterized by the long straight handle and basic rubber cap. The difference between this and a toilet plunger is that it has no ‘cup’ in the middle. They are primarily designed to be used on flat surfaces and therefore only work on sinks.

Despite the difference in shape, both types of plungers work in a similar fashion. When you plunge a drain, you are essentially using the forces of suction and compression to ‘move’ the water and force the clog to go down. Push down on the plunger, the water goes downward. Pull the plunger up, the water goes upward – simple.

After a few strokes, the momentum will start to break up and loosen the clog, before it eventually becomes loose enough to travel down the drain. From there the clog will continue to travel through the drainage system until it is processed at the other end – and is out of your life for good.

4. Drain Snakes :

Drain snakes, also known as drain augers, are specially designed to reach deep within a drainage pipe and dislodge the clog. If you have had no luck with a plunger then it may be because the clog is too far down the drain. That’s when you need the far-reaching capacity of a drain snake.

There are a few different types of augers to choose from. The most popular of them all is the ‘gun type’ auger. It features a pistol grip that is easy to handle, a 4m metal cable with a corkscrew head on the end, and a plastic case with a winder that turns the corkscrew head and dislodges the clog.

Using a drain snake is easy. First take the metal cable and pull it down the drain until you reach the clog. Then turn the winder on the plastic case and the corkscrew head will start to break up and loosen the clog. Eventually, the clog will break down into smaller particles and have the ability to continue to travel down the drain.

Want an even more efficient form of a drain snake? Purchase a drain auger with a drill attachment on the back, which lets you plug a drill into the back and use the power of the drill to turn the corkscrew with ease.

5. Call the professionals :

While all of the above tips are an effective way to clear a minor blockage, home remedies can only do so much. In this case, it’s time to call a certified plumber in Canberra.

Our plumbers will come to your home at a suitable time. They will use a CCTV drain camera to look into the contents of the drain and review the video footage to single out the cause and location of the blockage.

From there, they will use high pressure water jetting equipment to cut through the clog – even tree roots, rubble and, in some cases, concrete and timber posts – and clean the pipe itself.

Of course, clearing the blockage may not be enough to prevent the same problem from happening again. Depending on the cause of the blockage, our plumbers may recommend replacing sections of your piping. If so, they will propose the best solution to suit your needs and budget.

But that’s not all. We are so confident in the quality of our drain clearing services that we back up each service with a workmanship guarantee. So if you are not 100% satisfied, let us know. We will come back at no extra cost to fix the problem once and for all. What could be better than that?

Book an appointment with a certified plumber in Canberra today. For your best mate in the trade, call 02 6254 6576 now!

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