It’s been threatening do to it for some time. And now it’s happened. Your sink’s said ‘enough’s enough.’ It blocked. Completely. Utterly. Hopelessly. Perhaps it’s down to all the grease and leftover greens you’ve been letting slip down there of late. Maybe there’s something sinister lurking in the U-bend. Either way, if you need to get your pipes flowing freely again, take a look at our top five tips.
1. Plunge it
This is your least risky and most budget friendly option. Get yourself a plunger (you’ve probably got one lurking under the sink), ideally one with a large enough rubber cup to cover the plughole. You’ll also need to make sure there’s enough water in the sink to cover the cup. Then the hard work begins. It’s straightforward enough; push down and pull up on the plunger until the blockage budges. It’s a pretty effective method for minor clogs. But if the plunger doesn’t work, you’ll need to move to a more aggressive solution.
2. The old fashioned approach
Like this one. Drop a few spoons of baking soda down the drain. Leave it for a couple of minutes. Then pour down a good glug of vinegar. Leave it for five to ten minutes and then rinse with plenty of boiling water. It’s potent combination, and should be strong enough to shift fairly stubborn blockages.
3. Get tooled up
A drain auger is a nifty bit of kit for tackling really hard to move blockages. It’s an extendable coil of wire that you feed down, into the plughole. Once it reaches the source of the blockage, you rotate the wire to break it up and dislodge it. The big benefit of a drain auger is that it can get to hard-to-reach bits of your pipes. And it’s something you can use again and again.
4. Blast it out
So you’ve tried the plunger, the baking soda and the auger. Still no joy? Time to bring out the big guns in the shape of the pressurised can. One blast of its high speed air should do the trick. And it’ll be even more effective if you follow steps one to three to weaken the waste first.
5. Call in the professionals
If your pipes still aren’t clear, then it’s time to admit defeat. If the first four steps don’t work, there’s no point pouring money down your (still blocked drain). So instead of shelling out for expensive chemicals, which could cause more problems and add to your plumbing bill, get someone in who knows how to tackle it once and for all. Call a plumber.