We’ve all been there. Standing in the shower with water gathering above our ankles or letting out the dishwashing water for it to linger a bit longer than we’d like. Blocked drains are a common household issue, usually caused by something caught in the pipes.

Luckily, if it’s not a major issue, there are a few ways to sort out a blocked drain without the need to call a professional right away. Here’s how to unblock a drain quickly and easily. But first, let’s look at a few signs that you may have a blocked drain.


Signs of a blocked drain

There are a few signs of a blocked drain, including:

  • Unpleasant smells
  • Slow drainage
  • High water level in your toilets
  • Strange sounds when water is draining
  • Overflowing outdoor drains

In addition to the situation being unpleasant to live with, blocked drains can cause a threat to your property, as any sudden influx of water can potentially cause damage to your pipes. So, if you notice any signs of a blocked drain, it’s advisable to attend to it immediately—either by yourself or by calling a professional like DMS Plumbing.


How to unblock a drain

Here are a few ways to unblock a drain.


1. Run hot water down the drain

If your drain clog was caused by just a buildup of soap or grease, first pour boiling water down the drain. These substances have a low melting point, and the hot water should help shift the blockage.



2. Try natural cleaners

Before opting for any chemical drain cleaners, go the natural route. First, pour hot water down the drain, then a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. When mixing these two ingredients, they should start to fizz straight away. Let it sit for about an hour, then flush again with boiling water.



3. Use a plunger

Sometimes a good old plunger can do the trick. Plungers work by forming a seal around the drain, and the force of the vacuum removes the blockage. 

Cup plungers are designed for sinks, showers, baths and other drains with flat surfaces while toilet plungers are to use on toilets.



4. Use a drain snake

You can buy drain snakes at your local hardware store or use any thin metal wire, like a long spring, and leave a hook at the end. Remove the drain cover, then push the drain spring slowly into the drain to start fishing out any blockages.

Remember to have patience and go slowly as excessive force may lead to pipe damage. This method is mainly helpful for light blockages like hair in shower drains.



5. Buy chemical or biological cleaners (for close to point of entry blockages)

If none of the above has worked, your drain may require something a little more substantial, like chemical or biological cleaners.

These drain cleaners help with tougher drain blockages caused by grease, oils and fat but are only effective if the blockage is close to the drain entry. Always make sure to follow the instructions on the packages and ventilate the room before starting.

Biological cleaners are the more eco-friendly version of chemical cleaners.


If all else fails – Call a professional plumber

As plumbers, we’re obviously going to suggest giving us a call. The time you would have spent pouring baking soda and fishing around in drains with a coat hanger, could have been spent doing more important things—like catching up on your Netflix shows or spying on your neighbour. 

If your drain is still blocked, or you’d rather not try to sort it out yourself, call a professional. Give us a call today on 0800 (PLUMBA) 758622, and we’ll unblock your drain safely and effectively.

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