How to unblock a clogged drain and get rid of the foul smell,you might notice a strange gurgling sound erupting from the drain, the slow emptying of the bathtub or you’re on the extreme end and have a sink whose water level just won’t drop, it’s time to face it, you have a blocked drain.
Firstly, let’s discuss what the blockage could consist of as this will help us determine which solution will get you the best results:
This will most likely be your biggest culprit in your bath or shower drain. This can easily cause a block on its own but when mixed up with other things, like conditioner and soap, the clog will be more substantial and stubborn.
I’m talking about the thin slivers of bar soap that can easily slip through the drain slots when they shoot out of your hands mid-use. And while liquid soap wouldn’t cause a block instantly, soap residue build up over time can.
Toilet paper is specially designed to be flushed down the loo but there are items like nappies, sanitary products and baby wipes that are not and will cause a block to occur.
Having children, especially young children, in your home will open you up to many experiences. One of them is learning that a toy (or several toys) have been thrown into the toilet and are now stuck, causing a blockage.
These are not intended to go down your kitchen sink drain and it’s normally the very small pieces or crumbs that do make it down, Which doesn’t seem like a big deal but over time these small pieces can get stuck together and create a far bigger problem.
This absolutely should never be poured down a drain. Oil and water do not mix, so it is more likely to stick to any debris it comes across on its way down. Grease build up is a more common occurrence due to leftover residue on pots and pans during wash up.
These are not likely to be interrupting your internal pipes and causing a drain blockage but they could have disrupted your main sewage system by breaching a pipe. This would then mean that your whole system isn’t draining properly. Unfortunately, you would not be able to fix this on your own and the professionals and, likely your community government, would need to be called in.
Now let’s talk about the different at home methods you can try on how to unblock a clogged drain:
Most debris that builds up to cause a blockage (for example hair, soap or grease build up) has a low melting point. An easy solution for these types of blockages is to boil a kettle and pour the boiling water down the clogged drain in intervals to allow the heat to work through the clog. This can also be done anytime to prevent any blockages from occurring.
If you boiling water on its own doesn’t seem to be getting rid of the clog, try a natural solution. Pour boiling water followed by one cup of bicarbonate of soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar and seal with a plug – wait 10 minutes and follow with more boiling water. Don’t be alarmed if you hear bubbling or gurgling in the pipes, this is just the natural chemical reaction dissolving the blockage. Again, this is a harmless solution that can be used anytime as a deterrence to future blockages.
This is for your more extreme clog cases, and will take stronger action against them. Many retail brands do make a product that can be bought in store. Remember to follow the instructions and make sure the room is well ventilated beforehand.
This will be your solution on how to unblock a clogged drain if the blockage has not been dissolved by the previous options. This means that there is likely a substantial or solid block. Be sure to cover any overflow vents to be able to create a vacuum when plunging. You can do this with a wet cloth. Now fill the clogged basin/ sink with enough water to cover the head of the plunger. Slide plunger’s cup over drain opening, then rapidly pump plunger up and down. You should feel water move in and out of the drain. It is this back-and-forth water pressure that can eventually build up enough force to dislodge whatever is blocking drain. After about a dozen firm strikes, jerk the plunger up quickly. Water should rush out.
Pro Tip: Coat lip of plunger with Vaseline (this helps create better seal)
When All Else Fails . . .
If you’ve made a few good attempts and the block is still there, it is probably time to contact the professionals. Exerting too much force can damage a pipe or fixture, contact us at DMS Plumbing to help you get that pesky drain sorted out.